Why the Death Penalty Should Be Terminated Essay

Why the Death Penalty Should Be Terminated Essay

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    "Death is a unique punishment in the United States. In a society that so strongly affirms the sanctity of life, not surprisingly the common view is that death is the ultimate sanction... There has been no national debate about punishment in general or by imprisonment, comparable to the debate about the punishment of death" (Brennan).

     Indeed, the issue of capital punishment is one that has been widely debated and for which many persuasive arguments of distinctly opposing viewpoints are available. The issue at hand is and always has been about whether or not we, as a society, should presume to enforce a penalty that by definition irrevocably extinguishes the existence of another autonomous human being. Is it a responsible and mature decision to implement a penalty of such resounding finality merely because the convicted offender has been found to be guilty "beyond a reasonable doubt?" It has long been argued that an appropriate term of imprisonment should be the maximum available penalty for a violent offense. This argument has been supported by the fact that our legal system, though highly evolved and altogether expedient, is far from infallible, and in recognition of this the penalties imposed under it should be both reversible and humane. The imposition of the penalty of death should no longer be exercised in the United States of America. A socially mature and morally established country should refrain from taking the lives of any of its citizens.

     The death penalty is indefensible on three distinct and specific grounds: pragmatic, legal, and moral. The penalty of death is not economically efficient, and is indeed a drain upon the financial resources of our country. Also, it can be proven that the death ...


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Brennan, William. "Concurring Opinion: Furman v. Georgia." No. 69-5003 Supreme Court Of The United States 29 June 1972. Web. 20 May 2015.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/408/238

Linehan, Elizabeth A. "Executing the Innocent." Web. 17 May 2015. https://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Huma/HumaLine.htm

Marshall, Thurgood. "Concurring Opinion: Furman v. Georgia." No. 69-5003 Supreme Court Of The United States 29 June 1972 Web. 20 May 2015.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/408/238

Prejean, Helen. Dead Man Walking. New York: Vintage, 1994.

Scheck, Barry, Peter Neufeld, and Jim Dwyer. Actual Innocence. New York: Doubleday, 2000.

Sherrill, Robert. "Death Trip; The American Way Of Execution." Nation 8 Jan. 2000. Web. 26 May 2015.
http://www.thenation.com/article/death-trip-american-way-execution#

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