Capital punishment is the execution of a perpetrator for committing a heinous crime (homicide), and it is a hotly debated topic in our society. The basic issue is whether capital punishment should be allowed as it is today, or abolished in part or in whole. My argument is that:
1) Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent for heinous crimes.
2) Life imprisonment can be worse of a punishment than death, not as
costly as execution, and better for rehabilitation.
3) The innocent can be wrongly put to death.
Conclusion: Capital punishment should be abolished.
Though capital punishment might seem like the only way to get revenge, it is morally unjust. Who are we to decide whether a person should live or die? It is morally wrong, individually or through government action, to seek revenge on a murderer by means of execution. The death penalty violates our right to life.
Capital Punishment is Not an Effective Deterrent
As justification for capital punishment, deterrence is used to suggest that executing murderers will decrease the homicide rate by causing other potential murderers not to commit murder from fear of being executed themselves and obviously the murderer who is executed will not kill again. This position may seem initially correct, and indeed, in a USA Today Poll, 68% of respondents agreed that the death penalty is an effective deterrence for crimes. However, some research suggests that rather than deterring homicide, state executions actually may cause an increase in the number of homicides (Stack, 1990). This phenomenon has been called the "brutalization hypothesis" and it suggests that through proposition, modeling, or by legitimizing killing, the death penalty actually causes an increase in homicides. Thus, the brutalization hypothesis is a reason for opposing the death penalty.
On the other hand, a study prepared for the UN in 1988 showed that abolishing the death penalty shows no significant change in the number of crimes committed. Since Canada’s abolishing of the death penalty in 1975, homicide rate actually decreased 27 percent (up to 1993).
Life imprisonment can be worse of a punishment than death for many convicted murderers. Instead of an easy out, these people will have to live out their lives without many of the freedoms and rights you and I ta...
... middle of paper ...
... Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which has now been ratified by 33 European countries; Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, which has been ratified by six countries in the Americas and signed by two others. Protocol No. 6 is meant only to abolish the peace penalty in peacetime. The other two are meant for total abolishment.
Sixty-eight prisoners were executed in the United States in 1998, bring the total for an even five hundred since the death penalty was resumed in 1977. Over 3500 prisoners were under the sentence of death as off April 1, 1999. Thirty-eight of the fifty US states now provide for the death penalty law. The death penalty is also provided under the US military and civilian law.
Hopefully I’ve made the point that the death penalty is useless except for delivering some sort of closure to a victims’ loved ones, through this type of closure is morally wrong, and can be achieved through life imprisonment of the murderer. And because capital punishment is not an effective deterrent, because life imprisonment is a better option, and because the innocent wouldn’t have to die; capital punishment should be abolished.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Use of Capital Punishment in America The use of capital punishment in the U.S. is a growing concern for most American citizens. According to statistics, seventy percent of Americans are in support of the death penalty, while only thirty percent are against it. These statistics show that few people are against capital punishment (“Fact” 1). With the use of the death penalty growing the controversy is becoming more heated. With only twelve states left not enforcing it the resistance is becoming futile (“Fact” 4).... [tags: Capital Punishment Justice Death Penalty Essays]
1429 words (4.1 pages)
- Capital Punishment in America Capital punishment is the execution of a perpetrator for committing a heinous crime (homicide), and it is a hotly debated topic in our society. The basic issue is whether capital punishment should be allowed as it is today, or abolished in part or in whole. My argument is that: 1) Capital punishment is not an effective deterrent for heinous crimes. 2) Life imprisonment can be worse of a punishment than death, not as costly as execution, and better for rehabilitation.... [tags: Capital Punishment Death Penalty Essays]
1170 words (3.3 pages)
- Capital Punishment in America In recent news there has been a highly controversial issue regarding the use of capital punishment. Studies have shown that the newest form of punishment to those on death row may not be as beneficial and painless as once thought. Lethal injection could in fact be excruciatingly painful to the inmates that are put through it. This form of punishment took the place of the electric chair back in the 1970’s as the best form of execution. Those against capital punishment are still criticizing the use of lethal injection today along with any other form of execution.... [tags: Capital Punishment Essays]
1293 words (3.7 pages)
- Capital punishment in America is a controversial subject. Some people support the elimination of dangerous criminals from society, seeing it as a way to keep undesirable criminals from being released back among law abiding citizens; while others abhor the idea of taking the life of a convicted felon, preferring instead to keep these dangerous criminals under lock and key for their whole lives (also known as LWOP or Life With Out Parole). Debates rage amongst Democrats and Republicans, blacks and whites, and most politicians, over a solution to this slippery issue.... [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]
699 words (2 pages)
- The death penalty in America has been a controversial topic for many years. There are many organizations both fighting for and against capital punishment. No matter what type of research or actions are taken toward capital punishment there have always been disagreements. There are many factors that are incorporated in whether or not someone believes the death penalty should be used. These factors for both sides can be the chance of innocence, cruel and unusual punishment, effectiveness of deterrence, and cost.... [tags: the death penalty, controversial topics]
2171 words (6.2 pages)
- Prior to the nineteenth century, if a criminal was convicted of an offense that was deemed punishable by death, the execution was held publicly in hopes to deter other citizens from committing crimes. Today executions are announced to the public but not viewed. The research provided in this document will show evidence to suggest whether capital punishment is or should be used as a method of preventing or lowering homicide rates in the United States. Do states with a death penalty have lower homicide rates.... [tags: death penalty, crimes]
881 words (2.5 pages)
- THE ULTIMATE PRICE: A Look into Capital Punishment in America Many Americans claim that capital punishment is a cruel and unusual punishment and goes against a persons constitutional rights. On the other hand, many Americans support it and claim it is against ther constitutional right not to carry out the death penalty. How are we to know what is right. In all honesty, facts, papers, journals, etc. can not decide how I am truly going to feel about a subject that is very much a macro-argument.... [tags: essays research papers]
986 words (2.8 pages)
- Capital Punishment in America Capital punishment or the death penalty as it is commonly termed is of all the penal practices, the most controversial. This is not at all surprising, concerning the fact that it involves taking a human life. Because it is the most severe of all sentences, there have been countless efforts to abolish the death penalty, and these efforts have proved effective in most of the industrialized nations, with the exception of Japan and the United States of America. It is very important to know the issues surrounding capital punishment, because it occurs in the country we live in and affects us even if we are not on death row.... [tags: Death Penalty Debate]
1478 words (4.2 pages)
- Capital Punishment in America In America, we no longer feel that crime should go without harsh punishment. Tim Robbins’ film, “Dead Man Walking” is a movie about a man named Matthew Poncelet (Sean Penn) who is on death row, and the different things he goes through as he counts down his final days until execution. The movie is based on a true story. Through the movie, I was able to see the different the steps that a death row inmate goes through leading up to execution. I cannot really say that the movie was pro or anti death penalty because I think it covered both sides well.... [tags: Papers]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- The Racial Bias of Capital Punishment in America Throughout history, minorities have been ill-represented in the criminal justice system, particularly in cases where the possible outcome is death. In early America, blacks were lynched for the slightest violation of informal laws and many of these killings occured without any type of due process. As the judicial system has matured, minorities have found better representation but it is not completely unbiased. In the past twenty years strict controls have been implemented but the system still has symptoms of racial bias. This racial bias was first recognized by the Supreme Court in Fruman v.... [tags: Argumentative Persuasive Essays]
1192 words (3.4 pages)