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...
... middle of paper ...
... 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.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Once a popular punishment for crime, the death penalty has now become one of the most controversial forms of punishment. The death penalty has been abolished in most civilized nations around the world. Currently, the states in America are reanalyzing this method of punishment. There are many critics of the death penalty who find this practice of punishment barbaric and uncivilized. There are, however, many that still hold that the biblical verse: “But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,” (Exodus 21:23-24, KJV Bible) as principle.... [tags: Capital Punishment Essays]
1332 words (3.8 pages)
- In 1992, 17 year old Johnny Frank Garrett was put to death for confessing to raping and murdering a 72-year old nun. A crime as heinous as this certainly deserves the death penalty as a punishment right. The only problem is that Garrett didn't do it. Garrett was in fact, a mentally ill man who suffered severe childhood trauma, significant brain damage and multiple personality disorder. His mental instability and repeated police interrogation are only things that caused him to confess to killing the nun.... [tags: Capital Punishment Essays]
1184 words (3.4 pages)
- The death penalty is rooted deeply within the Jewish Torah because, “purging evil from the community in the person of the evildoer served more than the retributive function of expiating guilt. It also removed a harmful influence from Israel” (Brugger 62). God gave clear instructions to Israel to remain holy and not to let evil to take root. In order for this to happen they must execute individuals that could cause introduction of evil. The New Testament is much more silent on the subject. However Jesus said, “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person.... [tags: Argument Against Death Penalty]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Capital Punishment]
3429 words (9.8 pages)
- The new millenium has ushered in many wonderful things for the world to look forward to such as new advances in medical science, food production technology, and communication systems that allow even the most remote places on earth to a wealth of information instantly. However, many places around the world have taken three steps back in human rights for every step taken in technological advances. Capital punishment heads up this A-list if you will, of crimes against humanity that are carried out in the name of justice each and every day globally.... [tags: Argumentative Essays, Persuasive Essays]
910 words (2.6 pages)
- "The question with which we must deal is not whether a substantial proportion of American citizens, would today, if polled, opine that capital punishment is barbarously cruel, but whether they would find it to be so in light of all information presently available. -Justice Thurgood Marshall Family members of the wrongfully convicted, This letter is for everyone out there who has ever suffered. Anyone who has ever felt the infallibility of our criminal justice system. Anyone who believes that death is scary.... [tags: Exemplification Essays]
1998 words (5.7 pages)
- Capital punishment is the punishment of death for a crime given by the state. It is used for a variety of crimes such as murder, drug trafficking and treason. Many countries also have the death penalty for sexual crimes such as rape, incest and adultery. The lethal injection, the electric chair, hanging and stoning are all methods of execution used throughout the world. Capital punishment has been around since ancient times; it was used in ancient Rome, and one of the most famous people to be crucified was Jesus Christ.... [tags: Argument Against Death Penalty]
869 words (2.5 pages)
- The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is exactly how it sounds. The convicted is sentence to death because of the heinous crimes they have committed by the legal process. “Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes” (ProCon, 2014, para1). The eighth amendment protects people from excessive bail, excessive fines imposed, or cruel and unusual punishments. The courts would have to find the death sentence to be proportional to the crime they had committed.... [tags: Argument Against Death Penalty]
1254 words (3.6 pages)
- Should murderers and rapist be given the death penalty. Should you kill someone because they killed another. If you’re for or against capital punishment we can all agree that, one who commits a crime should be punished. Picking a side for capital punishment is a hard one because no one case is the same as the last one. Convection someone to capital punishment would cost more than just sending them to prison “One Ohio trial judge estimates a death penalty trial will cost 3-4 times as much as life-without-parole trail.” Study also shows that death penalty costs average as much as $10 million more per year per state than life sentence costs.... [tags: Argument Against Death Penalty]
909 words (2.6 pages)
- "What says the law. You will not kill. How does it say it. By killing!" -Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the practice of killing criminals or accused criminals (Issitt, Micha L.Newton, Heather.) In most Western countries still using this practice, death by lethal injection is most common(“Forms of Execution in the United States”) and in the United States federal capital punishment is mostly used in cases of first degree murder or murder in which the killer meant and planned to kill the victim or victims, but is also used for espionage and treason(Federal Laws Providing for the Death Penalty.) Many other Western countries have ban... [tags: Argument Against Death Penalty]
1873 words (5.4 pages)