Argument Against the Death Penalty Essay

Argument Against the Death Penalty Essay

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Argument Against the Death Penalty


Life is sacred. This is an ideal that the majority of people can agree upon to a certain extent. For this reason taking the life of another has always been considered the most deplorable of crimes, one worthy of the harshest available punishment. Thus arises one of the great moral dilemmas of our time. Should taking the life of one who has taken the life of others be considered an available punishment? Is a murderer's life any less sacred than the victim's is? Can capital punishment, the death penalty, execution, legal murder, or whatever a society wishes to call it, be morally justifiable? The underlying question in this issue is if any kind of killing, regardless of reason, can be accepted. In this paper I will discuss if the modern American form of capital punishment can be morally justified.

Opponents of the death penalty have a distinct advantage when arguing their point over advocates. Their advantage is the fact that taking the life of another is immoral, and if you remove all outstanding circumstances capital punishment is nothing more than legalized murder. This argument alone is not strong enough, though, because of the many circumstances surrounding capital punishment, such as the fact that the convict being executed has more than likely taken someone else's life.

The first justification for the claim that capital punishment is immoral is the idea that it creates a climate of violence. If a society punishes a murderer by murdering them what are we saying about violence? Our society teaches its children that violence does not solve anything, and yet our highest form of punishment is no different than the crime it punishes.

Capital punishment also furthers the desensitiz...


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... Press Inc, 1986.

The Washington Research Project. The Case Against Capital Punishment. 1971.

Sowell, Thomas and DiIulio, John J. Jr. "The Death Penalty is a Deterrent." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. 1986.

King, Glen D. "On Behalf of the Death Penalty." The Death Penalty in America. 1982.

Prejean, Helen. "The Death Penalty is Morally Unjust." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. 1986.

Amsterdam, Anthony G. "Capital Punishment." The Death Penalty in America. 1982.

DiSpoldo, Nick. "The Death Penalty is Applied Unfairly to the Poor." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. 1986.

Ross, Michael. "The Death Penalty is Applied Unfairly to Blacks." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. 1986.

Rothman, Stanley and Powers, Steven. "The Death Penalty is Not Applied Unfairly to Blacks." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. 1986.

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