The Death Penalty Is A Controversial Form Of Punishment Essay

The Death Penalty Is A Controversial Form Of Punishment Essay

Length: 1910 words (5.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The death penalty has been a controversial form of punishment in America since colonial times. According to a PBS article, the use of capital punishment in the U.S. was a tradition brought over by the English settlers, with the first execution to occur on American soil in 1608 when Virginia executed George Kendall for “plotting to betray the British to the Spanish” (Reggio, 2014). Over time, other colonies began using the death penalty for specific crimes. Most colonies established the death penalty by hanging by 1776 for the following crimes: “arson, piracy, treason, murder, sodomy, burglary, robbery, rape, horse-stealing, slave rebellion, and counterfeiting” (Reggio, 2014). However, according to media and entertainment company, Mashable, in 1794 the first abolishment of the death penalty when Pennsylvania limited capital crimes to only include first degree murder (Daileda 2015). This started the long back and forth battle between pro-death penalty groups and pro-death penalty abolition groups in the U.S. Several states abolished the death penalty, while other states expanded it and opened up new ways to execute criminals (Daileda 2015). In the Time article The Death of the Death Penalty by David Von Drehle, a few of the new ways of executing criminals states used include: burning, firing squad, hanging, gassing, electrocution, and injection (2015). However, several of these methods of execution proved to be unreliable, inconsistent, and sometimes brutal. For example, in 1853 a routine hanging in Wisconsin turned cruel when the victim struggled for life for five minutes after the hanging began, and then eighteen more minutes for his heart to stop beating (Reggio, 2014). Other situations like this one caused anti-death penalty gro...


... middle of paper ...


...3). These are the reasons opponents of the death penalty use, and while they too are viable arguments, they too can be refuted by the other side.
The death penalty in the U.S. will continue to be a complex and controversial issue far into the foreseeable future. Public opinion will also continue to guide states in whether or not to keep the death penalty or get rid of it. However, since public opinion continuously fluctuates, it will be difficult to judge how Americans view it in the future. If the current approval ratings continue to go down, then Congress, or the Supreme Court might be able to act on it. Or, a horrendous event could occur that would significantly increase the approval rating for the death penalty. Either way, the future of the death penalty in the U.S. is questionable, and will continue to be questioned, as a part of the partisan political system.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Death Penalty As A Form Of Punishment Essay

- Whether because of financial reasons, moral reasons, or societal pressure, over two thirds of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice; so I ask, should the United States insist on having the death penalty as a form of punishment. Capital punishment is one of the most controversial topics among Americans today. Since every person has their own opinion on this topic, either for or against.In this argument, I 'm going to present the two sides of the issue, in order to objectively, come to a conclusion....   [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Prison, Murder]

Better Essays
909 words (2.6 pages)

The Death Penalty As A Form Of Punishment Essay

- Over half the countries in the world use the death penalty as a form of punishment. Is this a proven deterrent to heinous crimes; or is it a barbaric practice that has been perpetuated by society since its inception under the Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon in the eighteenth century B.C.. We will examine the death penalty from several perspectives and ultimately show the decency of today’s civilized society has progressed beyond the need for the death penalty. A prisoner on death row costs more than twice as much as a prisoner in general population....   [tags: Crime, Capital punishment, Human rights, Prison]

Better Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Death Penalty Is A Form Of Capital Punishment

- The death penalty is a form of capital punishment by lethal injection. Questions have been raised whether or not this is the correct form of punishment or if it is cruel and injustice. Thirty-three states including the United States military and the United States government authorize lethal injection leaving inmates on death row for execution. Unfortunately, the U.S, Supreme Court had made the decision that the death penalty was not considered to be cruel and does not in any way mess with the 8th amendment of the US constitution, therefore, making it legal....   [tags: Capital punishment]

Better Essays
1104 words (3.2 pages)

The Death Penalty Is A Controversial Form Of Punishment Essay

- The death penalty has been a controversial form of punishment in America since colonial times. According to a PBS article, the use of capital punishment in the U.S. was a tradition brought over by the English settlers, with the first execution to occur on American soil in 1608 when Virginia executed George Kendall for “plotting to betray the British to the Spanish” (Reggio, 2014). Over time, other colonies began using the death penalty for specific crimes. Most colonies established the death penalty by hanging by 1776 for the following crimes: “arson, piracy, treason, murder, sodomy, burglary, robbery, rape, horse-stealing, slave rebellion, and counterfeiting” (Reggio, 2014)....   [tags: Capital punishment]

Better Essays
1910 words (5.5 pages)

Capital Punishment : Should The Death Penalty Be Banned As A Form Or Punishment?

- Controversy of Capital Punishment “Many see the penalty as barbaric and against American values.” says Joe Messerli in his article “Should the Death Penalty be banned as a form or punishment?” (Messerli) Whether or not capital punishment should be used creates a huge dispute between Americans. The controversy of capital punishment can be understood by knowing what capital punishment is, why people are for capital punishment and understanding why people are against capital punishment. Capital punishment was common throughout the ancient world (Henderson 6).The term death penalty is sometimes used interchangeably with capital punishment, but is not always followed by execution.Capital punishm...   [tags: Crime, Capital punishment, Prison, Murder]

Better Essays
1127 words (3.2 pages)

Essay about The Death Penalty Is An Ineffective Form Of Punishment

- Killing does not stop killing Almost all nations in the world either have the death sentence or have had it at one time but who are we to say who does and does not deserve to live. The death penalty is an ineffective form of punishment and should be wiped out because it is expensive, ineffective in deterring crime, inhumane, and permanent. We should be trying to help them; we are not doing that by killing them before they have a chance to fix themselves. The death penalty is legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states....   [tags: Capital punishment, Prison, Lethal injection]

Better Essays
914 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Death Penalty As A Justified And Valid Form Of Punishment

- An issue that has continually created tension in today 's society is whether the death penalty serves as a justified and valid form of punishment. Whenever the word "death penalty" comes up, extremists from both sides start yelling out their arguments. One side says deterrence, the other side says there 's a potential of executing an innocent man; one says justice, retribution, and punishment; the other side says execution is murder. Crime is an evident part of society, and everyone is aware that something must be done about it....   [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Crime]

Better Essays
1617 words (4.6 pages)

Death Penalty Is The Highest Form Of Criminal Punishment Essay

- Death penalty has been the highest form of criminal punishment in the American judicial system since the 13 colonies. The death penalty in the United States of America is a constant source of controversy. It has taken the form of hanging, stoning, drowning, burning, beheading, gas chamber and firing squad. Taking a person 's life for criminal behavior is wrong. People should be informed about this topic about the cause & effect, History, and types of death penalty like hanging firing squad and gas chamber....   [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Prison, Penology]

Better Essays
1195 words (3.4 pages)

The Death Penalty Is Ineffective And Inefficient Form Of Punishment Essay

- Kill (Execute) the Death Penalty or Execute Justice Not People or Stop All Executions. "An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind” (Dear). Gandhi’s words still influence people’s acts today. He teaches us to never use violence as justice. When he warns us of the dangers of “an eye for an eye,” he is telling us that there will never be an end to violence as long as there is someone who always provokes it. Throughout history, various forms of executions such as lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad and hanging have taken place as a punishment for violent crimes in the United States....   [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder, Prison]

Better Essays
1799 words (5.1 pages)

The Death Penalty is an Acceptable Form of Punishment Essay

- The Death Penalty is an Acceptable Form of Punishment On March 29, 1971, a thirty-seven-year-old male was convicted of killing seven people and suspected in killing another thirty-five. His methods of killing included gunshots, stabbing with forks, knives, or swords, dissecting, and battering with clubs. He showed no remorse for what he had done, but instead created a media circus in which he had a starring role (Blundell 124-30). If anyone deserved to be executed for a murder sentence, it was Charles Manson....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
2325 words (6.6 pages)