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Capital Punishment Essay - Benefits of the Death Penalty

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Benefits of the Death Penalty


Have you ever thought about if the person next to you is a killer or a rapist? If he is, what would you want from the government if he had killed someone you know? He should receive the death penalty! Murderers and rapists should be punished for the crimes they have committed and should pay the price for their wrongdoing. Having the death penalty in our society is humane; it helps the overcrowding problem and gives relief to the families of the victims, who had to go through an event such as murder.

First, people should know the history of the death penalty. The death penalty has a long history dating back to the 16th Century BC. "In 16th Century BC Egypt, a death sentence was ordered for members of nobility, who were accused of magic. They were ordered to take their own life. The non-nobility was usually killed with an ax"(Burns). During the 18th Century BC, King Hammurabi of Babylon had a code that arranged the death penalty for 25 different crimes although murder was not one of them (Burns).


The death penalty has been around since the time of Jesus Christ. Executions have been recorded from the 1600s to present times. From about 1620, the executions by year increased in the US. It has been a steady increase up until the 1930s; later the death penalty dropped to zero in the 1970s and then again rose steadily. US citizens said that the death penalty was unconstitutional because it was believed that it was "cruel and unusual" punishment (Amnesty International). In the 1970s, the executions by year dropped between zero and one then started to rise again in the 1980s. In the year 2000, there were nearly one hundred executions in the US (News Batch). On June 29, 1972, the death penalty was suspended because the existing laws were no longer convincing. However, four years after this occurred, several cases came about in Georgia, Florida, and Texas where lawyers wanted the death penalty. This set new laws in these states and later the Supreme Court decided that the death penalty was constitutional under the Eighth Amendment (Amnesty International).

The very first legal executions came in the United States was during the Revolutionary War against Great Britain. British soldiers hung the first person to die by the death penalty, Nathan Hale, for espionage (Farrell). The reason that I have included this history is to prove that if something has been working, why stop this from working.Some people say that sending the murderers to death row is inhumane because these people deserve a right to live. This is wrong because they have given up their right to live for the horrible and heinous crimes they committed.

There also has been the problem of overcrowding in prisons and jails. Some people say that this is a problem but having more jails built will solve this problem. Having more prisons or jails built may help solve the problem but the death penalty effectively stops draining more money from the taxpayers to house murderers. These murderers get three warm meals a day; they do nothing all day, and have a place to sleep just because the taxpayers fund these facilities. Murderers on death row do not deserve to get a place to stay. They deserve to get their life taken away from them because of the atrocious crimes that these criminals have done.

The people who are on death row come from all types of race. The national death row population is 3,525, split with 3,477 men and 48 women. The ethnicity is much more varied. There are 1,610 whites, 1,490 blacks, 344 Latinos, 39 Native Americans, 41 Asians and 1 unknown, since August 5, 2003 (death row statistics). The total executions since 1976 are 870, which seem to be a lot, but in all reality, it is a small number compared to the 3,525 inmates still on death row (Farrell). Regardless of their race, they should be killed if they committed murder. With the statistics above it proves that any race can be put on death row, so there should be no problem of putting them to death.

Several countries use the death penalty, including China, Iraq, Iran, U.S.A., and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, twelve of the states do not allow the death sentence. The twelve states are Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Hawaii, Alaska, Iowa, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These states say it is inhumane to kill someone but I believe if a murderer kills someone they should be killed as well. Less than one percent of murderers are sentenced to death, while only two percent of death row inmates are executed. The reason that this is relevant is because having this many people on death row drains the taxpayer's money. Today more than 75 inmates on death row have sat more than 20 years. If an inmate has been on death row for over 20 years then he deserves to die because that person is draining the taxpayer's money. In May of 2000, a recent study on the death penalty found that 65 percent of the US supports the death penalty (Farrell). With that amount of people supporting the death penalty, there should be no problem putting murderers to death because the majority likes the death penalty.

Many people say that the death penalty does not even help because there are not enough people being executed. One major way the death penalty helps is that it could relieve a family if someone is murdered and the convicted criminal is put to death. A perfect example was Timothy McVeigh when he was put to death in 2001, which was the first execution by the government since 1963 (CNN.com). The death penalty is good because the inmates who deserve to be killed, should be killed. This is a circular argument, which is a logical fallacy. A circular argument is when someone reaches a conclusion because it is true by not proven by facts, in other words the argument chases its own tail. I believe that if the people are just going in a circular argument then there is no way that, the people will gain ground to get rid of the death penalty.

In the year 2002, there were at least 1,526 people executed in 31 countries, and at least 3,248 people were sentenced to death in 67 countries. In addition, 81 percent of the executions took place in China, Iran, and the U.S.A. (Farrell). Those facts are just for 2002 and it seems that the number of people executed during this time was a large number. The death penalty is helping cut down the population of inmates on death row. There is no reason for them to believe that this is not helping. It seems that there is not a large number but if someone was to look at the statistics, it is actually a lot (Justice For All).Giving relief to friends and families for the murders on the their sibling or friend is done through the death penalty. The death penalty solves the overcrowding problem and this process is a humane action. Many people are losing their tax dollars to the government to pay for death row murderers, while these murderers should receive the death. These murderers do not deserve to live and have all of their expenses paid for committing those crimes. Now, why should anyone agree with not having the death penalty? They should not! The death penalty helps resolve many problems, such as the overcrowding problem. This process is humane and the persons that perform this task are not playing God. In the Bible, God has said that the people should uphold the law (Holy Bible). In the future, many problems could be resolved keeping the death penalty and not getting rid of it.

Works Cited

Amnesty International. "The Death Penalty." The Death Penalty. 22 Oct. 2003 http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty_index_eng.
Burns, Kari Sable. "Death Penalty." KariSable.com. 27 Oct. 2003 http://www.karisable.com/crpundeath.htm.
CNN.com. "Timothy McVeigh Dead". 11 June 2001. 14 Nov. 2003 http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/06/11/mcveigh.01/index.html.
Death Penalty Information Center. "Death Penalty Info." Death Penalty Information Center. 21 Oct. 2003 http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/.
Death Penalty Information Center. "The History of the Death Penalty." Death Penalty Information Center. 21 Oct. 2003 http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=199&scid=15.
The Holy Bible
Farrell, Mike. "Death Penalty." Death Penalty Focus. 22 Oct. 2003 http://www.deathpenalty.org/facts/other/facts_statistics.shtml.
Justice For All. "Pro-Death Penalty." Pro-Death Penalty. 22 Oct. 2003 http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Resources.htm.
News Batch. 15 Oct. 2003. 27 Oct. 2003 http://www.newsbatch.com/deathpenalty.htm.

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