In The United States, there are currently 32 states in which the death penalty is legal and 18 states that have abolished it. The use of capital punishment is commonly used to deter citizens from continuing crimes such as murder, aggravated robberies, and rape. Many people’s greatest fear is death; therefore if death is a possible consequence for their actions, it is less likely people will commit these crimes. Ernest van den Haag, a professor at Fordham University, wrote about the issue of deterrence that capital punishment would prevent other punishments due to death being a fear of most. People mostly fear death that is strictly caused by law and made by the courts, but the threat of the death penalty frighten murderers who might not have been terrified of this. Also the death penalty is the only penalty that could punish criminals already facing a life sentence. As defined by Amnesty International, Capital punishment is the practice of executing someone as punishment for a specific crime after a proper legal trial. Van den Haag’s arguments are more persuasive to an audience due to his notion supporting the fact that the death penalty is constructional, moral, and necessary in order to deter future crime.
Capital punishment carries out retribution justly. When someone commits a crime it disturbs the order of society. Van den Haag believed that giving the death penalty as punishment restores order to society and adequately punishes the criminal for wrong-doing. Retribution serves as justice for murder victims and their loved ones. Some claim this to be revenge, but this retribution is not motivated by malice or envy, rather it be motivated by the need for justice and the principle of Lex talio...
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... would more frequently be sentenced to execution than those at higher income levels.
Van den Haag’s arguments for capital punishment are more persuasive due to his facts based off of the use of it throughout United States history. Van den Haag has established that the use of capital punishment is constitutional, moral and necessary in order to deter future crimes. The arguments against the death penalty often do not hold up when examined more closely. It is important that the nation is united on this issue, rather than having some states use capital punishment while others do not. The death penalty can be an extremely useful tool in sentencing criminals that have committed some of the worst crimes known to society. It is imperative that we begin to pass legislation making capital punishment legal throughout the United States so that justice can be served properly.
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