The case for and against capital punishment Essay

The case for and against capital punishment Essay

Length: 890 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Capital punishment, also known as death penalty or execution, is the sentence that a criminal must fulfil preceding committing a capital crime. Capital crimes consist of mass murders, treachery and other offenses. The English word ’Capital’ is derived from Latin ‘Capitalis’ meaning the head – ‘caput’ as the sentence was normally served by decapitating the criminal.
The sentence has been in practise for thousands of years, used in almost every society in the world at some point. However, it is used less in retentionist countries – for example, China is suspected to have executed around one thousand seven hundred people but could be up to six thousand in 2009, Iran executed at least three hundred and eighty-eight and Iraq at least one hundred and twenty. The United States only executed fifty-two, due to many states now phasing out the sentence. China and other developed authoritarian countries used the death penalty as a potent means of political oppression but are also overwhelmingly used in poor authoritarian countries also for political oppression.
One of the first recorded uses of capital punishment was used in Ancient Greece, the Athenian legal system was written by Draco in 621 B.C. included the death penalty for a wide range of uses. This legal system was well known to be decisively harsh in which all crimes had a final sentence of capital punishment, and could only be carried out by the state making vendettas illegal. After a war with the city of Megara, the rulers were banished from Athens and a legislator called Solon re-wrote the laws to relieve the misery, and between 594 and 614 B.C. the unnecessary harsh laws were repealed.
It was also revealed that the Soviets executed one hundred and fifty eight thousand soldie...

... middle of paper ...

...en in revenge, either by the Bible – “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38–39) or else. The Bible quotation suggests that revenge must be taken for evil doing by others. This stance would also affect the all humans right to life.
Scientist Michael McCann and Sociologist David Johnson argue that ‘attempts to whittle away capital punishment have made it more difficult to end the practise of state killing’ in their book - ‘The Road to Abolition? The Future of Capital Punishment in the United States’. For the foreseeable future, I forecast capital punishment still to be practised. It isn’t something come to an end completely but it’s in our genes as humans. From day one on planet earth, we have been killing each other - for revenge, judicial purposes or other reasons, it may take a long time before capital punishment to be phased out worldwide.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Case Against Capital Punishment Essay

-     This country is determined to prove that killing someone under certain circumstances is acceptable, when in all reality there can be no rationalization for the taking of another human life.  Killing is murder.  It is as simple as that.  There have been so many different controversies surrounding this debate that often, the issues become clouded in false statistics and slewed arguments.  The basic fact remains that killing is morally and ethically wrong.  This fact does not disappear by simply changing the term "murder" to "capital punishment".  The act is still the taking of a life.  On these grounds, the death penalty should be abolished....   [tags: Death Penalty Essay]

Better Essays
787 words (2.2 pages)

Why the Death Penalty Should Be Terminated Essay

-       "Death is a unique punishment in the United States. In a society that so strongly affirms the sanctity of life, not surprisingly the common view is that death is the ultimate sanction... There has been no national debate about punishment in general or by imprisonment, comparable to the debate about the punishment of death" (Brennan).      Indeed, the issue of capital punishment is one that has been widely debated and for which many persuasive arguments of distinctly opposing viewpoints are available....   [tags: The Case Against Capital Punishment]

Better Essays
3057 words (8.7 pages)

The Case Against the Death Penalty Essay example

- In the United States, since the 1970s there have been more than 1270 executions according to the death penalty information center (Fact Sheet), What’s alarming about that number, is the number of people who were condemned to be executed based on race, income and social status alone, targeting those that could not afford good legal counsel, and were appointed attorneys that were “inexperienced and had below appropriate professional standards” (Hessick 1069), which sealed the fate of those literally fighting for their lives, on the day of sentencing....   [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]

Better Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

The Case Against The Death Penalty Essay examples

- The Case Against the Death Penalty” mention that the death penalty does not deter crimes. A survey was given to police chiefs around the United States and the majority agreed that the death penalty does not decrease the murder rate, however increasing the officers on the streets and reducing drug abuse had more of an effect than the death penalty. Statistics have shown that states without the death penalty have lower murder rates compare to the states with the death penalty. Also, Life imprisonment is more effective than the death penalty because the prisoner is constantly reminded of the horrible crime he or she committed for the rest of their lives until they did by natural causes....   [tags: Prison, Capital punishment, Crime, Murder]

Better Essays
722 words (2.1 pages)

Capital Punishment Must be Abolished Essay

- "Crimes against children are the most heinous crime. That, for me, would be a reason for capital punishment..." -- Clint Eastwood "I could not become an American citizen. I would not like to become a citizen of a country that has capital punishment." -- Werner Herzog In most of the industrialized world, capital punishment is not used to punish criminals. However, it is still used in the United States. The capital punishment debate in the United States has raged for almost four hundred years. Supporters of capital punishment often cite its roles as deterrent and retribution as reasons for their support of the death penalty....   [tags: The Case Against the Death Penalty]

Free Essays
2471 words (7.1 pages)

Essay on Capital Punishment Should Not Be Justified

- Over many centuries, the act of killing has been very controversial as it is argued to be barbaric but at the same time, a part of life. Many will disagree on whether killing can be even be justified, let alone condemned and permitted. Killing a person as punishment for the same offence is difficult to justify and essentially says that killing is allowed. Although the practice of the death penalty exists still, many societies argue how it is barbaric and is part of the past. In Canada however, the topic comes up fairly often as the United States still practices capital punishment in many states....   [tags: Murder, Capital punishment, Prison]

Better Essays
1548 words (4.4 pages)

The Legality And Morality Of Capital Punishment Essay

- The legality and morality of capital punishment has been widely debated within the United States for over forty years now. Ever since the Supreme Court first heard the case against capital punishment in 1962, and then stopped executions altogether in 1972, there have been countless controversies over the topic (Harries & Cheatwood, 1997, p.2). As the way it stands today, nineteen states do not have the death penalty, four states have a governor-imposed moratorium, and the other twenty-seven have the death penalty (Warden, 2009, p.1)....   [tags: Capital punishment, Penology, Prison, Murder]

Better Essays
1738 words (5 pages)

Capital Punishment And Its Effect On Crime Essay

- This term paper is on one of the most controversy discussion known as Capital Punishment. This is a topic in which the writer believes does not have a positive effect on decreasing crime in the world. For almost three years now, the writer has grown a passion for criminal behavior in some of the notoriety of a few crime cases that resulted in Capital Punishment and Wrongful Executions. One of my personal favorite crime cases in history is the Scottsboro Boys. This case represents an incident where five innocent African American men nearly faced execution after being accused and convicted of raping two white females on the back of a train back in 1931....   [tags: Capital punishment, Lethal injection, Hanging]

Better Essays
1426 words (4.1 pages)

The Argument Against Capital Punishment Essay

- Capital punishment has always and will always be a subject that people will never agree on. Execution has been used as a punishment for crimes, more specifically murder. Once, in 1972, on the grounds that it "violated the Constitution 's ban on cruel and unusual punishment" (MacKinnon, "Ethics" 289) capital punishment was abolished but was soon reinstated in 1976. Since then, the use of the death penalty has been argued. A major argument supporting capital punishment is that it would help to prevent future crimes - specifically, murder....   [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder]

Better Essays
1280 words (3.7 pages)

Capital Punishment Essay

- a) Through the Utilitarian perspective, Bedau is a firm believer in the removal of capital punishment; Bedau thinks that no reason is good enough justify the more severe punishment like death penalty on the moral ground, and no evidence of deterrence and prevention is sufficient enough to support the retribution of justice to keep capital punishment. Bedau have raised several arguments direct to the issue of death penalty: The morality of self-defense and death penalty; the efficiency prevention and the deterrence through capital punishment; then finally the inequity treatment towards the racially disadvantaged and poor....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Better Essays
2003 words (5.7 pages)