Capital Punishment is Murder Essays

Capital Punishment is Murder Essays

Length: 1748 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

American history is replete with examples of brutality and foolishness that will forever blot the American conscience. Early in this century, Sacco and Vanzetti were railroaded for a murder of which they were almost certainly innocent. The trial was a farce, and the verdict was a more a result of bias against Italians than of the evidence. Their lives were forfeit. Later in the century, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for conspiracy to commit espionage. Despite questionable evidence and even more questionable conduct on the part of prosecuting attorneys and government agencies, they were convicted; the verdict was a statement of public hysteria and fear of Communism. They too met the executioner. Not yet ingrained in the annals of history, in the past months the state of Texas executed a man who even the state admitted had not pulled the trigger, but was only an accomplice. If the recent elections prove anything, it is that these examples of the state-sanctioned murders of innocents have done nothing to change the American mind. Many Republicans ran and won on a "law and order" platform; in New York, Governor George Pataki defeated former Governor Mario Cuomo largely on the basis of Cuomo's opposition to capital punishment. This article is an appeal to readers' morality, to their consciences. It does attempt to show that the death penalty is costly and impractical (though it is), or that it is unconstitutional (which it may well be). The article is an appeal for mercy.

Perhaps the greatest problem with the death penalty, as the cases of the Rosenbergs and of Sacco and Vanzetti point out, is the chance for error incurred in capital cases. A study conducted at Stanford University found that, since 1900, more than fifty pe...


... middle of paper ...


...run by criminals unless the criminals are all destroyed: it is a war of us against them and we must use whatever means are necessary to fight against them. Even more moderate advocates of capital punishment tend to hold to a black-and-white morality that justifies the brutality of capital punishment as a necessary act of self- protection. However, before giving in to fear of crime and justifying the deaths of innocents that inevitably result from the institution of capital punishment, we should remember that one of the few things that distinguishes human from animal is the capacity for mercy. Even if we could be absolutely certain of a person's guilt, by killing him or her do we not make murderers of ourselves. Darrow reminds us exactly what it means for society to abandon its mercy: "I would hate to live in a state that I didn't think was better than a murderer."

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Capital Punishment is Murder Essay example

- Capital Punishment is Murder Capital punishment is state-sanctioned, premeditated murder. It is morally, ethically, socially wrong. Murder is the intentional killing of one person by another. Capital punishment takes the life of one person and uses another, "the executioner," to do it. In the state of Indiana, the warden of the state prison acts as "the executioner." The killing takes place before the hour of sunrise on a fixed day. On that day, the warden, "executioner," flips a switch sending approximately 2,800 volts of electrical current into the body of the convicted prisoner, thus ending the prisoner's life....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]

Powerful Essays
1151 words (3.3 pages)

Capital Punishment is Also Murder Essay

- Capital Punishment is Also Murder Bumper stickers often portray opinions on some of the toughest issues facing America today. I once read a bumper sticker that questioned "Why do we kill people who kill people, to show that killing people is wrong?" The United States is one of the few countries left in the world to practice the savage and immoral punishment of death. Retentionists argue that the death penalty prevents persons from committing the heinous crime of murder. It is proven that the death penalty does not deter persons from committing murder, nor does it serve as an example of the consequences of capital crimes to society....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
2004 words (5.7 pages)

Death Penalty Continues to be a Controversial Topic Essay

- The death penalty is a popular controversial topic throughout the world. Many people believe that it should be used on murderers, rapists, terrorist, arsonists, etc. as retribution and that those convicted deserve the punishment. Those people who are for capital punishment feel that criminals will stop committing such heinous crimes because they know that the result will be death if they are caught. However, the death penalty is proven to not reduce murder rates or any crime rates at all. In fact, the states that do have death row have much higher crime and murder rates than those states that do not use the death penalty....   [tags: murder, crime, capital punishment]

Powerful Essays
2613 words (7.5 pages)

Capital Punishment is Murder Essays

- American history is replete with examples of brutality and foolishness that will forever blot the American conscience. Early in this century, Sacco and Vanzetti were railroaded for a murder of which they were almost certainly innocent. The trial was a farce, and the verdict was a more a result of bias against Italians than of the evidence. Their lives were forfeit. Later in the century, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were tried for conspiracy to commit espionage. Despite questionable evidence and even more questionable conduct on the part of prosecuting attorneys and government agencies, they were convicted; the verdict was a statement of public hysteria and fear of Communism....   [tags: Against Death Penalty Essays]

Powerful Essays
1748 words (5 pages)

Essay on Capital Punishment is an Appropriate Penalty For Murder

- Legal professor Ernest van den Haag believes that the death penalty is the good as in a punishment for terrible crimes that are committed. On the other hand professor of philosophy Hugo Adam Bedau thinks that the death penalty is not appropriate, do to it takes the lives of people that can not afford a good defense. I would have to agree with Ernest van den Haag. When a person commits a serious crime like murder, the only fitting penalty is death. "Maldistribution inheres no more in capital punishment than in any other punishment." (Haag 274) Fear of the death penalty can be a good deterrent....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1442 words (4.1 pages)

Capital Punishment is State Sanctioned Murder Essay example

- Capital Punishment is State Sanctioned Murder Capital punishment is state sanctioned, premeditated murder. It is morally, ethically, and socially wrong. Murder is the intentional killing of one person by another. Capital punishment does just that. It takes the life of one person and uses another, "the executioner," to do it. In the state of Indiana, the warden of the state prison acts as "the executioner." The killing takes place before the hour of sunrise on a fixed day. The warden, "executioner," flips a switch that sends electrical current into the body of the convicted prisoner, thus ending the prisoner's life....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]

Powerful Essays
997 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Capital Punishment Is Murder

- All throughout the media, one hears of murders and homicides. It is a crime to kill someone, but the government "murders" people all the time without thinking twice. There is a risk when pulling the trigger that this horrible fate will happen. If it is not right to kill someone, why does the government kill people all the time. In The Bible, there is a statement that says "Thou shalt not kill," and yet the government believes it can punish for what it already does. It is a crime within a crime and the government should "Practice what they preach." This has been going on for so long that most nations have created a numbness to death....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Free Essays
408 words (1.2 pages)

Death Penalty: Capital Punishment is State Sanctioned Murder Essays

- Capital Punishment is State Sanctioned Murder      Old Sparky and Gruesome Gertie (affectionate names for the electric chair) have taken the lives of many, even the innocent (Finnerty 18). They are prejudiced and lack compassion. However, many Americans believe that they represent justice. Capital punishment does not represent justice, but vengeance and hate. Among the 7,000 people estimated to have been killed in the United States between 1900 and 1985, at least 23 were innocent (Finnerty 18)....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Topics]

Powerful Essays
1100 words (3.1 pages)

Death Penaluty: Vengeance or Forgiveness? Essay

- Death Penalty When it comes to Capital Punishment, the question is vengeance or forgiveness. Before you answer, you should know what capital punishment is. Capital punishment, better known as the death penalty, is a legal process where someone is put to death as punishment for a crime, usually rape and murder. Although recently it has been reduced to only murder and more countries are looking to abolish the punishment. As of 2011, there are only 21 listed countries to take part in capital punishment....   [tags: capital, punishment, cime, murder]

Powerful Essays
574 words (1.6 pages)

Capital Punishment Essay - Death Penalty is Socially Sanctioned Murder

- The Death Penalty – Socially Sanctioned Murder Capital punishment is not "actual" punishment. It's a capital reaction to a type of criminal act. It serves no purpose. When a person is executed, the person learns no lesson. He or she cannot say, "Hey. I learned my lesson. I surely won't do that again," for he or she is dead. Although the word "punishment" is used in varying contexts, it is generally accepted that it is served out unpleasantly to an individual in hopes that that person learns from the punishment and, therefore, doesn't repeat the bad deed....   [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays]

Free Essays
941 words (2.7 pages)