The Death Penalty: An Appropriate Punishment

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Capital punishment has been a punitive consequence of multiple societies in many different countries over the years. The death penalty has been witnessed in many different forms, depending on the society or culture. It is viewed as an act of justice due to its deeply embedded historical tradition. Over the centuries, many cultures have used capital punishment because it ensures the safety of society. Criminals continue to use violence as their way of solving a problem. Capital punishment deters crime rates more than anything else. The death penalty offers justice with historical tradition. According to Roger Smith, societies use capital punishment as a consequence for numerous crimes. “The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi states death as the punishment for the following offenses: giving false testimony; making unproved accusations; theft from temples, state property, or the household of a landowner; receiving stolen goods; helping slaves escape or hiding runaway slaves; damaging the wall of a house; robbery; failure to heed the summons of the king; cheating in the selling of wine; allowing outlaws to congregate in a house without reporting them; violating vows; humiliating a husband; or poor house construction that caused a death. Another piece of literature that supports the death penalty is The Bible (Smith 14).

The Bible, as well as the Hammurabi Code, believed in the concept of “life for life,” more commonly known as “an eye for an eye.” This is the idea that if one takes the life of another, then he should pay for his actions by executions. Some of the earliest means of execution, used by the people of Israel, was stoning. Stoning was usually fulfilled by the entire village. Other societies that followed the death penalty were ...

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...eterrence of crime.

In the case of homicide, the family members of the victim are often distraught and are in need of some form of closure before they are able to move on. The death penalty forms this type of closure. It is a reasonable response for a family member to want the criminal’s life to be taken, since he or she took the life of someone they loved. Although it is important for the family of the victim to feel closure, it is also important the surrounding society receives a sense of closure. The thought of murder makes many people very uneasy. The thought of a murderer walking the streets of their community puts them over the edge. The way courts can minimize the crime rate and maximize the safety of society is by appropriately sentencing criminals to the death penalty. The death penalty provides a concrete punishment to criminals that deserve just that.
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