Capital Punishment and Torture Essay

Capital Punishment and Torture Essay

Length: 2197 words (6.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Capital punishment is not a morally acceptable practice because the process has come to represent a form of torture in our modern society and therefore, should not be seen as an acceptable form of punishment for any criminal act. The goal of a punishment is to properly reprimand the criminal so justice is served in regard to the victim. This can be achieved without violating our moral standards through the use of punishments which sufficiently punish the offender while still doing right by the victim. Capital punishment may be the most just option of retribution when punishing a murderer, but it serves as an injustice to the persons who must carry out the duty and has also become a torturous experience for the offender.
Cesare Beccaria discusses the issue of torture in his work An Essay on Crimes and Punishments. He states that either a crime is certain or uncertain, and in either circumstance, torture is not a legitimate punishment (Beccaria 530). When a crime has certainly been committed and already has a punishment assigned to it by law, it is useless to torture because you do not need to torture the convicted person to get a confession. If the proof is insufficient to convict the person in question of committing the crime, “it is wrong to torture an innocent person, such as the law adjudges him to be, whose crimes are not yet proved” (Beccaria 530). Torture, therefore, is not acceptable in any case of punishment and should not be used.
It is important to assign punishments in proportion to the crime committed. Immanuel Kant comments upon this in his work, The Retributive Theory of Punishment, professing that the mode of measuring punishment is based on “the principle of equality, by which the pointer of the scale...


... middle of paper ...


...alty, but the process leading up to it makes it a torturous and unjust form of punishment. Therefore, capital punishment is not a morally permissible practice and should be abolished.



Works Cited

Johnson, Robert. Death Work: A Study of the Modern Execution Process. Ed. Sabra Horne, et al. 2nd
ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1998. Print.

Reiman, Jeffrey H. “Justice, Civilization, and the Death Penalty” Philosophy and Public Affairs 14, no. 2 (Spring 1985): Princeton University Press, 1985. Print.

Kant, Immanuel, and William Hastie. The Philosophy of Law: an Exposition of the Fundamental Principles of Jurisprudence as the Science of Right. Union, NJ: Lawbook Exchange, 2002. Print.

Beccaria, Cesare. “An Essay On Crimes And Punishments” The Portable Enlightenment Reader.
Ed. Isaac Kramnick. New York: Penguin Books, 1995. 525-32.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Capital Punishment and Torture: Unconstitutional Or Justice?

- Capital punishment and torture are often looked down on in today’s societies because they are viewed as cruel and unconstitutional, but perhaps they would help in more ways then we would like to admit. They can be beneficial in many ways such as encouragement to be truthful, encouragement to live by the laws, and as a source of punishment. Capital punishment and torture are thought to be too painful, and the person doing the punishment is also committing a crime. Many people agree with capital punishment and torturing....   [tags: essays research papers]

Term Papers
518 words (1.5 pages)

Abortion, Sexual Harassment, And The New Health Care Reform Bill Essay

- Throughout history, society has been faced with a plethora of issues involving ideas with imprecise definitions and explanations. These ideas have been constantly reinterpreted and always remain heavily contested. Abortion, sexual harassment, and the new Health Care Reform Bill are just a few of the topics that are prominent in today’s society. Another issue is the definition of cruel and unusual punishment, and whether death by injection should be prohibited due to this phrase. The Legal Dictionary defines cruel and unusual punishment as “governmental penalties against convicted criminal defendants which are barbaric, involve torture and/or shock the public morality.” It is important to def...   [tags: Prison, Penology, Capital punishment, Torture]

Term Papers
1232 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about The Death Penalty Is Not Necessary

- Crimes are serious matters that take place continuously. When it comes to the punishment that a criminal must receive, it is often difficult to have mercy. The most rational punishment is imprisonment. However, there are various people that agree to enforce torture or even capital punishment on many criminals. In order to create nations that provide equality and freedom, The United Nations established The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the declaration, Article 5 states that individuals must not be tortured or punished cruelly, for it is considered inhumane(2)....   [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Prison, Torture]

Term Papers
2147 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Torture within Human Society

- Torture has been part of the human society for a long time, and throughout history we have subjected people to painful, violent and cruel forms of torture. When studying the history of torture, one observation one should make is that the history of torture is specific to torture and not capital punishment. Throughout history we have tortured people and we have almost at all times justified the torturing of those individuals, in most cases we have tortured for, revenge, political reasons, deterrence, interrogation or coercion of the victim, or simply the sadistic gratification of those carrying out or observing the torture....   [tags: capital punishment, crime, confession]

Term Papers
653 words (1.9 pages)

Capital Punishment Should Not Exist Essay

- ... Public Opinions The public view on the death penalty differs greatly by country and by the infraction in question, regardless of the evidence against its power as a preventive. Countries where a great number of people are against capital punishment include New Zealand, where fifty-five percent of the people oppose its practice, ( Hodgkinson, P., Gyllensten, L., & Peel, D. ,2010). A 2010 Gallup poll shows that 64% of Americans support the death penalty for someone convicted of murder, down from 65% in 2006 and 68% in 2001(Newport, F, 2009)....   [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder]

Term Papers
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Capital Punishment Should Not Be Abolished Essay

- ... But it is hardly probable that the great majority of people refrain from killing their neighbors because they are afraid; they refrain because they never had the inclination. (Capital Punishment Will Not Safeguard Society) Criminals will always act on impulse and instinct, and no execution is going to change their mind. Keeping capital punishment will not only have no effect on criminal decision making but ultimately end lives without any form of justification to back it up. In 1976, Georgia, among other states adopted new approaches for capital punishment, which was still considered constitutional given that the cases fell into the proper guidelines....   [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder, Prison]

Term Papers
1800 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on Capital Punishment And Its Effect On Society

- ... John Bessler, an attorney and professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School, argues that killing already captured criminals will somehow solve the problem of violence and sends a misguided message to society. He goes on by providing statistical analysis proving that states with the death penalty have 48 to 101 percent higher homicide rates than those without (Bessler). On the other hand, Neil Clark, a teacher and freelance journalist living in England, argues that capital punishment can deter crime rates at an astonishing level....   [tags: Crime, Capital punishment, Prison]

Term Papers
1294 words (3.7 pages)

Debate About Capital Punishment Analysis Essays

- Capital punishment is a form justice, which used by human for a long time. Human start using death penalty from the beginning of the history and many countries used it to punish criminals. In the past, the family of a criminal offender was punished as well as the criminal. In Macedonia and Athens, if a person commits a crime such as betrayal or treason against their country and the punishment is death for them and their children (Peggs, 1839). Nowadays, there is a lot of debate about capital punishment because some countries use capital punishment more than others....   [tags: death penalty, capital punishment]

Term Papers
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Capital Punishment: Give me liberty or give me death?

- Ages ago in Greek and Roman culture there was many ways of execution for the inmate such as: putting the person in a bag with venomous snakes and let them kill them, or put them in a cooper bull that they would put the person in the bull close it. Then they would build a fire under the bull and listen to the person scream. The screaming would turn to smoke when it went through the nostrils making it look as if it was mad (history channel). In biblical era the death penalty was even used in harsh ways such as stoning people as the famous Jesus story which says the one who has not sinned throw the first stone....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Term Papers
2174 words (6.2 pages)

Capital Punishment Should Not Be Instituted Essay

- Exemptional Executions Brigg Trendler Period 6 Mrs. Monette 8 December 2014 Since 1967, a total of 1392 executions have occurred in the United States ("Executions by Year"). What a shocking amount. This staggering number creates questioning on the topic of capital punishment. Is the death penalty really constitutional. Research and study over the topic leads to the conclusion that capital punishment should not be instituted in the United States for various reasons....   [tags: Capital punishment]

Term Papers
1345 words (3.8 pages)