The Benefits of the Death Penalty

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Fifty-nine criminals were put to death by means of the death penalty in 2004. Whether it had been by lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, hanging or even the firing squad was it the correct thing to do? This is a commonly asked question concerning this controversial topic. Should these criminals, murders, and rapists have be put to death? Is the death penalty a proper form of punishment? As Sellin stated, "Whenever hurt is done you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth..." (9).

Is the death penalty morally wrong? Anti Death penalty advocates argue life is "so" sacred that we shouldn't even be taking the lives of murderers, but what about the innocent people that died because of that murder. Steven D. Stewart, Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County, Indiana, put it best, " I believe life is sacred. It cheapens the life of an innocent murder victim to say that society has no right to keep the murderer from ever killing again. In my view, society has not only the right, but the duty to act in self defense to protect the innocent" (12).

Another controversial topic rendering to the death penalty is cost. Is it really more expensive to keep a criminal in prison for life or is it worth while to sentence them to death? Statistics show that the cost of sentencing an individual to life imprisonment and sentencing an individual to the death penalty are generally equivalent to one another. It is the actual act of the execution that raises the costs. To many people the costs seem strange and useless, but to those who lost a loved one to that criminal find it relieving knowing that there is no way he will ever return. In fact, in a survey conducted in 1995, 74% of people support capital punishment even if th...

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8.) "Innocence and the Death Penalty." Death Penalty Information Center [Online]. November 9, 1999. Available:

9.) Kamis, Theodore. "Capital Punishment on Trial: Which Side is Corect?" [Online]. November 9, 1999. Available:

10.) Paper Presented Before the House of Parliament. "The Death Penalty Will Discourage Crime, 1701." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, 1986.

11.) "Pragmatic Arguments Against The Death Penalty." [Online]. November 9, 1999. Available:

12.)Stewart, Steven D.. "The Death Penalty: A Message from the Procecuting Attorny." Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney [Online]. November 9, 1999. Available:

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