The Death Penalty Debate

The Death Penalty Debate

Length: 1170 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The death penalty till this day remains to be a very controversial topic. Some people may argue that it should be considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment; others may rebuttal in saying that the death penalty is capital punishment. When visiting the idea of placing someone to death one must bear in mind the possibility of condemning an innocent person through such torture, the brutalizing effect on society it may leave, and the serious psychological trauma that a defendants family and friends may face. Is this really what the justice system is willing to place on the line in order to gain a form of so called justice. I mean reasonably speaking what will anyone gain from such an action. It definitely will not bring the harm to be undone. As stated in the encyclopedia under the theory of judicial torture “ the use of torture was confined to capital crimes, for which the death penalty or mutilation could apply” (PIHLAJAM, 2004). Looking at how the death penalty is conducted people should not be treated like animals, given a due time to be put down. No human being deserves such treatment whether or not his or her offense was so horrific and traumatic. Is that not the lesson being taught to society when the criminal is captured? Yet, the law as a jury of peers, men just like the accused, may cast the same sin upon him. Why should this action be considered in any way to be fair or believed to be capital punishment?
If we look back from 1927 until 2011 there have been about ten different cases, that the death penalty was contested around the country. These cases asserted that the accused were found innocent at the last moment and put to death because the judicial system found the wrong person guilty. In the case of Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, these two Italian immigrants were put to death using the electric chair in 1927 after an exceedingly contested string of trials over the shooting of two men during an armed robbery in 1920. Although a man named Celestino Madeiros an ex-convict confessed to committing, the shooting it did not save them from facing death. A number of anarchist leaders later stated that Vanzetti was not guilty of the crime but Sacco was even though historian’s debate if either man really carried out the shooting at all.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Death Penalty Debate." 21 Jan 2020

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Debate on the Death Penalty in America Essay

- On September 9, 1993 a seventeen year old boy, Christopher Simmons, and a few of his friends met up to discuss and devise a plan to commit a robbery and possibly even a murder, just for the sake of fun. Simmons’ plan was not complicated: find someone to burglarize, tie up the victim and either leave the victim tied to a tree or push them off a bridge. Simmons and his accomplice climbed through a window and proceeded into the bedroom of the victim, Mrs. Cook. The two teenagers tied the woman up and loaded her into the back of her own minivan....   [tags: Capital Punishment Essays]

Research Papers
1470 words (4.2 pages)

Essay about A Debate of the Death Penalty

- The death penalty raises important questions about the right to life, who has a right to life, and under what circumstances a right to life can be taken away. I believe there are no circumstances under which capital punishment is justified. I will proceed to defend my claim that capital punishment is unjustified by arguing a position that killing is wrong because it deprives individuals of valuable futures. To support my thesis that capital punishment is not justified, I will expand upon an argument made my Don Marquis in his essay “Why Abortion is Immoral” in which he argues that killing is immoral on the grounds that it deprives human beings of a valuable future....   [tags: capital punishment, killing, right to life]

Research Papers
1234 words (3.5 pages)

Death Penalty Debate Essay

- Why is the death penalty still allowed throughout much of the U.S.. The process of prosecuting and convicting an individual is astronomical, and there is great debate as to whether the death penalty actually works as a deterrent. Retribution and biasness have contributed too many that have received this sentence, considering all this, life imprisonment is best for all, realistically, and most effective. The advantages of life imprisonment far more outweigh the death sentence.   Death Penalty America has always had a history of using the death penalty, but no subject has received greater debate....   [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]

Research Papers
1792 words (5.1 pages)

The Death Penalty Debate Essay

- The death penalty seems to be a very debatable subject. There are arguments and support for both sides of the debate, but which side is right. That is a tough question to ask. After reading the article in the textbook, two other articles, and looking at statistics, I seem to feel that the death penalty may not be the right answer. The article in the textbook The Death Penalty in the United States and Worldwide was fairly informative. One of the points it brought up was the cost of life without parole vs the death penalty, and those costs were stated as life without parole costing 1.1 million dollars vs the death penalty costing 3 million dollars (Schaefer, Richard T, 2009 pg 176)....   [tags: capital punishment, death penalty]

Research Papers
981 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on The Debate Over The Death Penalty

- At the core of the debate over the death penalty are differing moral and philosophical views regarding the value of human life. Nonetheless, the policy itself should still be informed by factual evidence. Historically speaking, until relatively recently, the government did not have any secure prisons in which violent criminals could be safely kept for long periods of time. Local state and county jails were only suitable for short durations of time. As such, when faced with prisoners who could not be set free for the public’s safety, there seemed to be little choice but to just kill them....   [tags: Prison, Crime, Capital punishment]

Research Papers
989 words (2.8 pages)

The Debate of the Death Penalty's Constitutionality Essay

- The Debate of the Death Penalty's Constitutionality Capital Punishment has existed in civilized society for thousands of years. One of the world’s largest religions is based on the execution of its leader. In America the execution of Timothy McVeigh is around the corner, and is possibly the nation’s and the world’s news story for upcoming weeks. In the United States the death penalty has existed since the creation of the union, and well before that in colonial America. Public executions once drew large crowds in the 19th and early 20th century America, the last one taking place in 1936 with a crowd of 20,000 people to watch a single man be killed....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1743 words (5 pages)

The Death Penalty Debate Essay

- The death penalty is one of the most debated issues in the United States. It is a judicially ordered execution of a prisoner for a capital crime. There are many people who oppose the death penalty and then there are many people who support the death penalty. People who are against it think it is inhumane or it is too expensive. The people who are for the death penalty feel that it gives a chance for individuals to be accused for their wrongful acts. Each year billions of dollars are spent to sentence criminals to death....   [tags: capital punishment debate]

Research Papers
1211 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on The Debate over the Death Penalty

- The Debate over the Death Penalty Introduction: In addition to the death penalty laws in many states, the federal government has also employed capital punishment for certain federal offenses. For example, between 1927 and 1963, the U.S. executed 34 individuals, including two women. There have been no federal executions since Victor Feguer was hanged in Iowa for kidnapping in 1963. (Bureau of Justice Statistics 1960-2000) Thesis: The status quo regarding State and Federal capital punishment statutes should be maintained....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
898 words (2.6 pages)

The Death Penalty Debate Essay

- The Death Penalty Debate The issue of the death penalty is widely disputed. So disputed that maybe I shouldn’t have picked this topic. But nevertheless, the death penalty is an issue that needs to be addressed. Should the death penalty be abolished from our criminal justice system. Well, that depends on whom you ask. If you ask me… no. I personally don’t see anything wrong with the death penalty because there are a lot of criminals that are just too dangerous to society and death is the only punishment they deserve....   [tags: Papers Capital Punishment Essays Papers]

Research Papers
1027 words (2.9 pages)

Death Penalty Debate Essay

- The controversial debate over the death penalty has been going on for a very long time and still has no conclusive solution. In the United States that is, most of the rest of the civilized world has done away with the death penalty a long time ago. Many people have different views on this issue. Although, there is a consensus that heinous murders need to be severely punished, there is no consensus on the choice of that punished. The debate over the proper punishment lies between the death penalty and life in prison....   [tags: Sociology]

Research Papers
1247 words (3.6 pages)

Then there is the case of Georgia inmate Troy Davis was executed in 2011 for allegedly shooting of a police officer in 1989. Throughout the trail, seven of nine eyewitnesses who incriminated Davis as the shooter later withdrew their statement, and some say that the man who initially accused Davis of the shooting was the actual killer. (Pappas, S., 2014) These cases clearly show that those who judge are definitely people who can make mistakes, which can cost the lives of many innocent people because of one simple mistake. Now I ask myself how can anyone still believe that the death penalty is any form of capital punishment without seeing some kind of torture taking place.
As one takes a further look into the death penalty when considering the brutalizing effect it may leave on society one could argue that in all actuality it creates more violence and criminal acts rather than being a means of prevention. If we out weigh the possibilities before deciding if the death penalty should be thought of as capital punishment the message that one may adopt is that is sufficient to kill in assertive circumstances or that life in society is not sacred. In addition to this effect on should contemplate the psychological distress a prisoner already endures while being incarcerated conjointly with psychological changes they are forced to tolerate in order to survive the prison exposure. All in all the prevailing styles, include strict policies and conditions of confinement as well as understating the goal of rehabilitating those incarcerated. There are many of other approaches the law could to take in order to make a criminal repent of their sins such as life without parole would definitely be a better alternative than being put on death row. Others could even consider the option of placing them under a different authority, such as sending them to the military without pay to serve some of their time sentenced in order to do some greater good for society. It keeps violent offenders from returning to society, which is cheaper to all taxpayers and it will help to avoid an innocent person from being put to death. More so, the death penalty disinherits the criminal of the chance of realizing and correcting their mistake, reform, and matures for the better of society.
Equally important are the psychological traumas that a defendant’s family and friends undergo. Subsequently their relatives may argue that the death penalty does not adequately care for the victims needs and focuses primarily on the accused, in turn causing the murder victim survivors to sustain immeasurable pain during the course of a trial and the appeals process. A victim’s family will have no other choice than to experience and relive the terror of their loved one’s homicide for the duration each one of the court proceedings. Altogether, in the period of each hearing and trial they sit through the more emotional trauma the surviving family members are subject to. If the justice system is earnest about fostering the needs of the victims then they will disregard the fabrication of the death penalty and work towards finding a better alternative in resolving such an unjust situation. Would it not be better for the courts to use the taxpayer’s money to help the families in duress, than to commit murder themselves?
On the contrary, some may argue that the death penalty will prevent future murders and discourage would-be criminals from committing such an unlawful action. They would believe if a criminal were to be sentenced to death, probable murderers will think once over before taking someone else’s life for the fear of losing their own life. One could also argue that if one person takes a life of another the balance of justice is disrupted. The only way that the balance could be restored is by taking the life of the murderer, which allows society to present beyond shadow of doubt that murder is an unacceptable offense and that will be punished in the same manner. Incidentally, the victim and their family will be unable return to the same status before the murder was committed, they believe that the execution of convicted would bring some type of closure to crime and the ordeal of the victim’s family face which the murderer carried out and will ensure that are no more murder victims.
In conclusion, although many would agree to the death penalty for obvious reasons related to anger towards the accused, or even fear that they may find a way back to other family members. We can even say that society fears where may they strike next, can it be me, or even someone else I love. See fear has always been an issue and what people fear they try to destroy. Others may even argue that those who have committed these heinous crimes should not have the right to live. Anyone who has to endure such a tragedy will feel in this manner, you took what is mine now I want what is yours, and to him or her that makes it all better. Society feels that a judgment set is ample for the victims’ trauma, that the victims will feel accomplished by inducing the capital punishment. In fact, is it not true that most of these cases are open and shut because the jury is already set with a one-track mind of convicting a criminal and sentencing them to death. Yet, if a juror were falsely accused would they not like a fair trial? Would they not expect to be heard out instead of already knowing their verdict? As such if found guilty for a very offensive crime, would they expect the death penalty or to be left to serve their time? Over time some people in society have maintained the notion that it is legitimate to proceed an "eye for an eye" and a life for a life. Although in the ten commandments it states that, “Thou shalt not kill”. So I ask the question is that not what the judicial system is doing when enforcing the death penalty among the condemned.

Works Cited, (2014), Top 10 arguments against the death penalty, Retrieved February 5, 2014 from:, (2014), Death penalty and innocence, Retrieved February 5, 2014 from:, (2013), Death penalty: facts, Retrieved February 5, 2014 from:

Pappas, S., (2014), Mistaken identity? 10 contested death penalty cases, Retrieved January 20, 2014 from:

PIHLAJAM, "Torture”, Europe, 1450 to 1789: Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World, 2004, Retrieved January 20, 2014 from
Return to