Capital punishment is a declining institution as the twentieth century nears its end. At one time capital punishment was a common worldwide practice, but now it is only used for serious violation of laws in 100 of the world's 180 nations (Haines 3 ). It can be traced back to the earliest forms of civilization. The origins of the movement away from capital punishment are difficult to date precisely. The abolition movement can be heard as early as the religious sermons of the Quakers in the 1640's (Masur 4). In the seventeenth century, the Anglo-American world began to rely less on public executions and more in favor of private punishments. The possible decline in popularity of the capital punsihment system is directly related to the many controversial issues it entails such as: the questions of deterrence, morals and ethics, constitutionality, and economics.
The usual justification for capital punsihment is that it deters crime. It is by no means obvious whether capital punishment deters crime more than life imprisonment. However, a legend says that in Victorian, England, at the site of public hangin gs of pickpocketers, other pickpocketers frequently practiced their trade among the crowd. Although the threat of execution was taking place right in front of their eyes, the deterrence in its strongest form was ineffective (Streib 3). On the other hand , in 1970 and 1971 the Los Angeles Police Department surveyed persons whom they arrested for a violent crime, but did not use their weapon, did not carry a weapon, or carried an inoperative weapon. Of the ninety-nine criminals who responded to the questi on about why they had not killed or put themselv...
... middle of paper ...
... remains such a ontroversial iss ue, it may one-day collapse just like the other "invincible" institutions.
Bowers, William. Legal Homocide. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1984.
Castberg, Didrick and Victor Rosenblum. Cases on Constitutional Law. Illinois: The Dorsey Press, 1973.
Death Sentencing. ACLE Pamphlet #15. Pennsylvania: Nelson Thomas Publishers, 1994.
Gibbons, Don. Society, Crime, and Criminal Behavior. New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc., 1987.
Goshgarian, Gary and Kathleen Krueger. Crossfire and Argument. New York: Addision Wesley Longman, 1997.
Haines, Herbert. Against Capital Punishment. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Masur, Louis. Rites of Execution. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Streib, Victor. A Capital Punishment Anthology. Cleveland: Anderson Publishing Co., 1993.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Capital punishment is a controversial issue, with many organizations and individuals who participate in the debate. Amnesty International and some religions oppose capital punishment on moral grounds, while the Innocence Project works to free prisoners wrongly convicted, including death row, based on newly available DNA tests. Other groups, such as the law enforcement agencies and advocacy groups for certain victims support the death penalty. The use of the death penalty in the United States has been steadily declining in recent years.... [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Prison, Death row]
1164 words (3.3 pages)
- The Controversial Issue of Capital Punishment Since the execution of James Kendall in 1608, capital punishment “has been an accepted form of justice” in what is now the United States (Smith 2). Capital punishment can be defined as “the penalty of death for the commission of a crime” (Dictionary.com 1). In colonial America, both violent and non-violent crimes could merit the death penalty. Murder was not the only crime punishable by death. Criminals responsible for committing any crime against God would be executed.... [tags: Death Penalty Essays]
1339 words (3.8 pages)
- The Controversial Issue of Capital Punishment Capital punishment is a declining institution as the twentieth century nears its end. At one time capital punishment was a common worldwide practice, but now it is only used for serious violation of laws in 100 of the world's 180 nations (Haines 3 ). It can be traced back to the earliest forms of civilization. The origins of the movement away from capital punishment are difficult to date precisely. The abolition movement can be heard as early as the religious sermons of the Quakers in the 1640's (Masur 4).... [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays]
2250 words (6.4 pages)
- The death penalty is a controversial subject, just as is abortion is a difficult topic as well to discuss. People are most likely not going to change their opinion based on others opinions. The issue with the death penalty is that innocent lives are sometimes taken due to being granted guilty when innocent. As stated by the newsletter The Guardian, “At least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the US in the modern era are innocent, according to the first major study to attempt to calculate how often states get it wrong in their wielding of the ultimate punishment.” The death penalty is geared towards those that have committed a crime, so why should the state be so quickly to accuse... [tags: Capital punishment, Murder, Death row, Crime]
719 words (2.1 pages)
- Vanessa Lua Soc 324 April 9, 2016 Death Penalty The death penalty has become one of the most controversial issues since the early sixteenth century in the area of criminal justice. This form of capital punishment has caused heated debates of cruelty and immorality. This paper will discuss the history and reasoning behind the death penalty with respect to Neoclassical/ Classical Theory and Social Process/ Social Development theories. During the colonial period in America the use of capital punishment was not uncommon.... [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Hanging]
1252 words (3.6 pages)
- The issue of capital punishment in the United States is a complicated and controversial one, one that is emotionally charged and morally perplexing. Some people believe that it is a necessary evil; the only punishment fit for the crimes that we as a society have come to abhor, and the only punishment that all criminals fear. Others see its continuing practice as a source of shame; a cruel, costly and archaic form of punishment that has no place in modern America. I feel THESIS – STILL WORKING First, there is the issue of the logistics of execution.... [tags: Capital punishment, Prison, Crime, Murder]
715 words (2 pages)
- Death Penalty In order to reduce the numbers of crimes, keep innocent people from getting executed, and save the government millions of dollars, we need to abolish the death penalty in all countries for good. The death penalty is very controversial issue. Many people have different opinions about how a criminal should be disciplined. Over 80% of americans favor the death penalty. Capital penalization, dying penalization or execution is penalization by death. The condemnation is referred to as a death sentence.... [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder, Prison]
1002 words (2.9 pages)
- Since the beginning of civilization, people have sought justice by punishing wrongdoers. This punishment is usually proportional to the the crime that has been committed, an idea derived from the Babylonian “eye for an eye”. While the contemporary American public has generally agreed with punishments for less serious crimes, the ultimate punishment for capital crimes is still debated. Over decades, numerous court cases and precedents have shaped how and when the death penalty is executed. Even after years of innovation, the government has failed to produce a method of execution that is guaranteed to be quick and painless.... [tags: Capital punishment, Crime]
1199 words (3.4 pages)
- Capital punishment is reserved for the most horrible crimes. The death penalty is seen as one of the most controversial topics to date, due to the fact of another human 's life being decided. The death penalty is seen as unconstitutional, it lacks moral, and at times is unfairly given. The death penalty however can protect families from murderers those that kill for enjoyment. The death penalty although nonreversible is much needed; the death penalty allows criminals to receive the punishment they deserve.... [tags: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder, Prison]
1065 words (3 pages)
- In recent years, there have been approximately 311 inmates exonerated using DNA ("Innocence Project"). The Innocence Project website states statistically 65-75% of those convicted were wrongly accused. It could be argued that some death row inmates are innocent and received an unjust or even unconstitutional trial. It could also be argued that the appellate courts should halt placing inmates on death row until the DNA exoneration has taken effect. If this were possible, what affect would it have on the Criminal Justice System and capital punishment laws within the states, specifically Texas.... [tags: Pro Capital Punishment]
990 words (2.8 pages)
- Without Knowledge, Life Would be Worthless
- Importance of Mountains in Kerouac's Dharma Bums and Barthelme's The Glass Mountain
- Symbols and Symbolism in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter
- Autism in the Media
- The Powerful Message of Beckett's That Time
- Mentally Retarded Criminals Should Face the Death Penalty