The Ethics of Capital Punishment Essay

The Ethics of Capital Punishment Essay

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Does taking another’s life actually avenge that of another? The disciplinary act of capital punishment, punishment through death, has been a major debate in the United States for years. Those in support of capital punishment believe that it is an end to the reoccurrence of a repeat murderer. The public has, for many years, been in favor of this few and pro-death penalty. Yet as time goes on, records show a decrease in the public and the state’s support of the continuation of capital punishment. Those against capital punishment believe it is an immoral, spends taxpayers’ money improperly, and does not enforce a way to rehabilitate criminals and/or warn off future crimes.
Those who are for the death penalty argue that without it the murderers would be released back into society, only to kill again. They believe in the saying “an eye for an eye”; and that life in prison is not a cruel enough punishment, but that the only way to stop further murders is death. In fact, there have been cases that show legitimacy to this belief. In one occurrence, author Mike Royko exemplifies that “at the time of his [the murderer] trial it was mentioned that this was his second murder.” This murderer had been tried twice, for two different murders, while this is true some murderers have come back to society to kill again, that does not mean all criminals will follow that path. There are many cases in which men are sent to life in prison without the chance of parole; in which case the criminal cannot kill again and does not have to be killed. Legalizing the death penalty is allowing “one person to judge another incapable of rehabilitation” (King).
Capital punishment permits the federal government to decide whether a human being is allowed to live o...


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...ld Blood. New York: Vintage International, 1993. Print.
"Deterrence: States Without the Death Penalty Have Had Consistently Lower Murder Rates." deathpenaltyinfo.org. DPIC, n.d. Web. 04 Mar. 2010.
Harrison, Brigid C. “Death to Capital Punishment.” The New York Times, Late Edition. New York, New York: Dec. 2, 2007. Print.
King, Coretta Scott. “The Death Penalty is a Step Back.” Patterns Plus: A Short Prose Reader With Argumentation, Fifth Edition. Mary Lou Conlin, Editor. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston. 1995. 357-359. Print.
Lewis, Neil A. “Death Sentences Decline, And Experts Offer Reasons.” The New York Times, Late Edition. New York, New York: Dec. 15, 2006. Print.
Royko, Mike. “Death to the Killers.” Patterns Plus: A Short Prose Reader With Argumentation, Fifth Edition. Mary Lou Conlin, Editor. Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston. 1995. 353-356. Print.

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