Pros And Cons Of The Death Penalty

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The death penalty is a matter that has the United States quite divided. While there are millions of supporters of it, there is also a large amount of opposition. As of today, there are thirty-three states in which the death penalty is legal and seventeen states that have abolished it (Death Penalty Information Center). I believe that the death penalty should be legal throughout the nation. There are many reasons as to why I believe the death penalty should be legalized in all states, including deterrence and retribution. In contrast, critics view the death penalty as unconstitutional and irrevocable. The use of capital punishment greatly discourages any wrongdoers from committing any crime such as murder. Many people’s greatest fear is death; therefore if they know that death is a possible consequence for their actions, they are less likely to perform such actions. Ernest van den Haag, a professor and author of “Punishing Criminals:Concerning a Very Old and Painful Question” wrote about the issue of deterrence: “…capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else. They fear most death deliberately inflicted by law and scheduled by the courts…the threat of the death penalty may deter some murderers who otherwise might not have been deterred. And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence.” Ernest van den Haag stated that capital punishment or the death penalty is the strongest deterrent that society has against murder, which has been proven in many cases. “Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder... ... middle of paper ... ...dant with a nonblack victim, regardless how severe the murder committed. Black-on-black crimes is less likely to receive a death sentence, followed by crimes by other defendants, regardless of the race of their victims.” It is important to note that in these cases, race may more easily become the deciding factor in who lives and who dies. Capital punishment can be a difficult topic to approach because people tend to have extreme views on it. The death penalty is an asset to society. It can stop/deter potential criminals as well as serves retribution to criminals. I believe that the death penalty can be used as a useful tool in sentencing criminals that have committed some of the worst crimes known to man. It is crucial to begin passing legislation making capital punishment legal throughout the United States so that justice can be served properly and rightfully.

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