Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment

Length: 808 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Throughout the semester, I have studied many social issues in light of
philosophy. One of these
highly controversial social issues deals with the subject of capital
punishment. It is unfortunate, but our society has evolved to the point
where capital punishment has become a necessary function of modern society.

Simply stated, capital punishment is the execution of criminals, for
committing crimes,
which are regarded as so heinous, that the only acceptable punishment is
permanent removal
from the society in which they could not conform. One of the most
controversial issues argued
when considering capital punishment involves determining whether the
execution of our fellow man is justified, and if can be justified, under
what circumstances is it permissible. There are logical reasons to believe
that the death penalty will dissuade members of society from committing
crimes punishable by execution. Human nature causes one to fear getting
caught and punished for offenses made. As a child, one learns that
disobedience brings punishment. This negative reinforcement, through removal
of freedoms, makes a person less likely to break the rules. As a society,
use the same philosophy that our parents, and grandparents have used by
punishing those who commit crimes. The death penalty deters murder by
injecting the fear of execution into potential killers. People are less
likely to do something illegal if they think that harm will come to
themselves, so the worse the crime, the worse the punishment needs to be.
Thus, speeding in your car is punishable through mere fines, and the
potential loss of you freedom to drive. The more serious the crime, the more
important it is to make the punishment as swift and as appropriate as
possible so as to prevent the recurrence of that criminal act. Essentially,
the punishment should fit the crime. In such a context, the death penalty
makes sense. It is the strongest punishment possible, the removal of all of
an individual's rights and freedoms. Everyone has a natural fear of death.
is logical to think that the death penalty would discourage murder.

In an article from the American Journal of Sociology, David Philips says,
"(1) Psychological experiments show that people are often deterred from
exhibiting aggression when they see someone else punished for it (2) there
anecdotal evidence that some criminals may have been deterred by the threat
of capital punishment." A further illustration makes the point even more

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Capital Punishment." 20 Aug 2018

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment Essay

- The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment Since the mid 1900’s, capital punishment has brought many individuals into many diverse view points throughout the years. Capital punishment is a way of punishing a convict by killing him or her because of the crime he or she committed. Capital punishment will always have its pros and cons. There are opponents who absolutely disagree with capital punishment. And then there are advocates who support the idea. In the advocates view point, capital punishment is a way to minimize the threat in the world today....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
859 words (2.5 pages)

Causes and Effects of Capital Punishment Essay

- Capital punishment, or otherwise known as the death penalty, is death sentenced upon a person by the state as a punishment for a crime. These crimes are known as capital crimes or capital offenses. Capital punishment has been practiced in many societies; now 58 nations practice the death penalty, while 97 nations have abolished it. In the past, it was common for the ruling party to make the offender known throughout the community for his or her criminal act. Thus, if the community were made aware of the consequences for breaking the laws, the crime rate would reduce....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
1921 words (5.5 pages)

Capital Punishment: An Ongoing Arguement Essay example

- Since the year 1608, over 15,269 people have been executed in the United States and its predecessor colonies (Smykla, and Espy). With the multitude of persons executed, there is still little evidence proving the effectiveness of capital punishment when concerning future violent crime rates. The death penalty is also costly when compared to the cost of imprisoning a violent criminal for life. With such a definitive punishment and with its finality, there have also been a large number of persons executed who were in fact shown to be innocent at a later time....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
1042 words (3 pages)

Essay Capital Punishment

- Pros of Capital Punishment Capital punishment according to Phil .B, (2006), refers to a death penalty by the government of a country to a person who is found guilty of serious crimes like homicide, rape among others. Capital punishment has been a way of punishing people for many years. It has been prevalent in the United States, Asia and Middle Eastern countries. During the past two centuries many reforms on capital punishment have been made and it has been abolished in some states and countries....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
1341 words (3.8 pages)

Capital Punishment Essay

- a) Through the Utilitarian perspective, Bedau is a firm believer in the removal of capital punishment; Bedau thinks that no reason is good enough justify the more severe punishment like death penalty on the moral ground, and no evidence of deterrence and prevention is sufficient enough to support the retribution of justice to keep capital punishment. Bedau have raised several arguments direct to the issue of death penalty: The morality of self-defense and death penalty; the efficiency prevention and the deterrence through capital punishment; then finally the inequity treatment towards the racially disadvantaged and poor....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
2003 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Capital Punishment

- A famous expression, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” has become the basis for this political debate over the past several decades --- capital punishment. In society today, many people are murdered every day by the hands of another human being. Those who are for capital punishment promote that it is a deterrent for crime, provides closure, and is a moral punishment for those who choose to take a human life. Those not in favor of it argue that it is an ineffective crime deterrent, sends the wrong message, and is more expensive than sentencing a murderer to life in prison....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
1142 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on Capital Punishment

- Many people live by the motto, “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” but does the quote imply that every state believes this also. According to the Death Penalty Information Center only thirty-four states, the government, and the military actually carryout the death penalty sentence, and the use of the sentence has been on the decline since 1997. There is a serious opposition when it comes to society today. The crime rates are not being evaluated enough, the country is in recession, and many families are desperate for any form of income....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
779 words (2.2 pages)

Capital Punishment Essay

- There are not many issues that come to mind that have had the same effect on societal divides as has the issue regarding the death penalty. Debates swirling around the grounds of whether to abolish it or not has long since divided society on different beliefs in America, resulting in a concept that stirred up countless numbers of arguments and valid points. People’s outlooks on the issue have varied on situations involving the death penalty. The very mention of it sparks a certain passion within the justness and fairness of the American judicial system....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
657 words (1.9 pages)

Capital Punishment Essay

- Not many issues come to mind that have affected society in such a way that has resulted in protests, out roars and heated debates as ha the issue regarding the death penalty. Debates have hovered around as long as capital punishments beginning; differing on viewpoints whether to abolish it or not and whether or not it is s just form of punishment. The different ends of the spectrum arguing their beliefs has resulted in a divided society with innumerable tallies under the pros and cons to the issues at hand....   [tags: Capital Punishment, Death Penalty]

Research Papers
652 words (1.9 pages)

The Christian Perspective on Capital Punishment and Rehabilitation Essay

- Abstract Christian’s hold three distinct perspectives on capital punishment, namely Rehabilitationism, Reconstructionism and Retributionism. Rehabilitationism is the view that death sentence should not be allowed for any crime; Reconstructionism holds that death penalty should be allowed for any serious crime; Retributionism recommends death sentence for some capital crimes. The last two positions share a somewhat similar view. This paper focuses on rehabilitationism. Proponents of this view comprise those who appeal to the Bible for justification and those who do not....   [tags: Capital Punishment]

Research Papers
2730 words (7.8 pages)

clear. I think if someone murdered someone else and as soon as the victim
died, the murderer died as well, the murder rate would be a fraction of what
it is today. Only those killers willing to lose their life would commit the
crime. In the same way, the death penalty can dissuade murder if used with
the proper frequency and speed.

Governments were formed, according to John Locke, to protect the right to
life, the right
to freedom,(liberty) and the right to property. (pursuit of happiness).
rights were absolute,

belonging to all the people. But Locke argued that a person surrenders
his/her rights when
committing even minor crimes. Once rights are forfeited, Locke justifies
punishment for two
reasons: (1) criminals deserve punishment, and, (2) punishment is needed to
protect our society
by deterring crime through example. Thus, society may punish the criminal
way it deems
necessary so to set an example for other would-be criminals. This punishment
includes taking
away his/her life.

What separates crime from punishment, good from evil are not their physical
aspects but
rather their moral aspects. Moral aspects examine the reasons and
behind one's
actions. People against capital punishment tend to focus on the death
penalty's physical aspects to
demonstrate that it is the same as murder, while completely ignoring the
moral aspects involved,
therefore, demonstrating their own total lack of moral consistency. The
sentencing objective
based on the principle of "an-eye-for-an-eye", which means that what one
person has done to
another should also be done to that person in return. Is that not justified
especially in cases of
premeditated murder of another human begin, another life?

The argument which is used by anti-capital punishment advocates is that we
should value all human life, even the most violent and deviant ones. This
of thinking indicates that there is nothing more to humanity than the
physical traits that identify our species. But there is so much more than
just physical traits that distinguish our species. There is an entire
spiritual aspect to
humanity that the critics tend to completely ignore. Anybody can be
physically human. All that
is, is an accident of genetics. It is the spiritual aspects of humanity that
actually define who and
what we are. Being human on a spiritual level means having compassion and
respect for all that
is good and decent. We respect others rights to life, liberty , and
happiness, and we do not
infringe on others inalienable rights for our own benefit. Murderers display
none of those traits.

Our spiritual traits is where our true differences lie. When a culture
develops it's moral structure to recognize humanity in both a spiritual and
physical aspect, as opposed to a mere physical existence, it will not be
to allow, tolerate, or preserve evil and barbarianism just because it exists
inside a physical human shell.

Using a morals arguement, opponents of the death penalty will contend that
execution is the same as murder. They will insist that the use of capital
punishment to stop murder is like fighting fire with fire, and that
the criminal makes the state no better than the murderer. If the death
penalty is murder, then certainly killing someone in a war to defend your
country is murder. Therefore, our country should not fight in any more wars.
This proposition is ridiculous. Even though wars are both barbaric and
tragic, they are often necessary to protect the rights of a group of people,
known as a society. Both war and the death penalty have become necessary
protect every member of society's rights and freedoms.
Return to