Argumentative essay on death penalty

argumentative essay tungkol sa death penalty

In 1994, Seth Penalver was sentenced to death for a brutal murder that involved three individuals. There was no actual physical evidence relating him to the crime. The only evidence they had was a video with poor quality in which the murderer’s face could not be seen as well. Penalver remained in custody until 2012, when he was finally acquitted of all charges. (Florida: Seth Penalver, acquitted in 2012) Death Penalty is a crime. The death penalty is unjustifiable, hypocritical and leads to false imprisonment that results in executions that are later discovered to be found.

Seth Penalver case is just among the countless cases that have been recorded by individuals who have been on the verge of death due to poor apprehension tactics in their case. Investigations that have been carried out in numerous states following the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 reveals that there are numerous people who were executed yet innocent. It is inevitable to state that the execution of any innocent individual is morally reprehensible. Despite the effort that has been put into guaranteeing proper investigation and conviction of individuals brought in front of a court, no case is fool proof (Ogletree 18). Thus, there might be the conviction of people into death row yet innocent. Based on this, it is recommendable that all individuals, if found guilty beyond reasonable doubt, are given a sentence of life without parole which is reasonably effective. The sentencing of death to some criminals might put them out of the misery they might have endured in prison.

The manipulation of the judicial system has been evident where in history it is recorded that factors such as race influenced the death sentence in certain states. This is evident in cases whereby if an African American murdered a white man, he or she was likely to be sentenced to death which is unlike if the situation was reversed. In states such as Oregon, there have been numerous accounts of biases whereby the blacks were victimized by being given the death sentence, which would not have been the case if a white man killed an African American. The death row system has also been a significant waste of the taxpayers money whereby in cases such as the 1995 Washington County murder cases an estimated $1.5 million shillings was spent yet only one of the three suspects was sentenced to death (Ellsworth and Samuel 28). An investigation conducted by the Oregon Department of Administrative Service has made statements that the abolishment of the death row system would save the federal government a substantial amount of resources that could be utilized in significant development projects.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that may be rendered against a suspect, it is important to note that this does not necessarily make them guilty. However, the lack of a proper defense, particularly among suspects who do not have the financial resources to hire a good lawyer, are likely to be found guilty and sentenced to death. An analysis of the numerous cases that the death penalty has been reversed there has been overwhelming evidence pointing out poor counsel. A study conducted by the Columbia University argues that an estimated 68% of appeals made by individuals sentenced to death have been reversed due to ineffective assistance of counsel. Based on this understanding, it would be inappropriate to continuously sentence people to death row as there are numerous factors that could contribute to misjudgment.

Despite the numerous arguments that have been presented in support of the abolishment of the death penalty, there continues to exist counter arguments who believe that the death penalty should be upheld. Among the substantial arguments that have been presented is that, the public execution of the said offenders serves a public reminder to criminals that crime is not rewarding. Speculations reveal that an evaluation of the rate of homicide in numerous states significantly dropped after the incorporation of the death sentence (Hood and Carolyn 7). The further argument presented in support of the death penalty states that the execution of a convicted felon guarantees that the killer will never be engaged in the act again. This argument has been supported by the fact that a significant number of people have been killed by convicted felons who managed to get parole or escaped from jail.

argumentative essay tungkol sa death penalty

Irrespective of the varied arguments that have been presented in support of the death penalty, I believe that everyone has the capacity to change. It would, therefore, be inappropriate to sentence convicted felons to death without giving them an opportunity to express their remorse towards their actions. It is important that other means of dealing with criminals who are engaged in great crimes is developed because the death sentence has seemingly had no positive impact on lowering the crime rate.

  • Ellsworth, Phoebe C., and Samuel R. Gross. “Hardening of the attitudes: Americans’ views on the death penalty.” Journal of Social Issues 50.2 (1994): 19-52.
  • Hood, Roger, and Carolyn Hoyle. The death penalty: A worldwide perspective. OUP Oxford, 2015.
  • Ogletree Jr, Charles J. “Black man’s burden: Race and the death penalty in America.” Or. L. Rev. 81 (2002): 15.
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argumentative essay tungkol sa death penalty

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Talumpati Tungkol Sa Death Penalty

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Dahil dito hati ang paniniwala at opinyon ng mga tao sa muling pagbabalik ng “death penalty” o ng parusang kamatayan.

Maging sa loob ng ating pamahalaan ay nagkakaroon ng pagkapaksyon-paksyon dahil sa magkakasalungat na usapin tungkol sa usaping ito.

Ang death penalty ay hindi na bago sa ating mga pandinig. Dati na itong isinabatas at pinairal pero saglit lamang dahil ito rin ay pinawalan ng bisa. Ngunit sa kasalukuyang panahon ito ay muling binubuhay dahil na rin sa mga lumalalang krimen na ating hinaharap.

Ang parusang kamatayan ay pinapataw sa mga karumal-dumal na uri ng kriminalidad, kabilang na rito ang pang-gagahasa, kidnapping, pagpatay, paggawa ng droga at iba pang mga krimen na napapaloob sa batas na ito.

Ang bawat tao sa ating lipunan ay may kanya-kanyang saloobin at pananaw tungkol sa usaping death penalty. Wala tayong puwedeng sang-ayunan o kontrahin dahil lahat ay may sariling dahilan ayon sa mga prinsipyo na kanilang pinanghahawakan.

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argumentative essay tungkol sa death penalty

Round Separator

Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty

Click the buttons below to view arguments and testimony on each topic.

The death penalty deters future murders.

Society has always used punishment to discourage would-be criminals from unlawful action. Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder, it should use the strongest punishment available to deter murder, and that is the death penalty. If murderers are sentenced to death and executed, potential murderers will think twice before killing for fear of losing their own life.

For years, criminologists analyzed murder rates to see if they fluctuated with the likelihood of convicted murderers being executed, but the results were inconclusive. Then in 1973 Isaac Ehrlich employed a new kind of analysis which produced results showing that for every inmate who was executed, 7 lives were spared because others were deterred from committing murder. Similar results have been produced by disciples of Ehrlich in follow-up studies.

Moreover, even if some studies regarding deterrence are inconclusive, that is only because the death penalty is rarely used and takes years before an execution is actually carried out. Punishments which are swift and sure are the best deterrent. The fact that some states or countries which do not use the death penalty have lower murder rates than jurisdictions which do is not evidence of the failure of deterrence. States with high murder rates would have even higher rates if they did not use the death penalty.

Ernest van den Haag, a Professor of Jurisprudence at Fordham University who has studied the question of deterrence closely, wrote: “Even though statistical demonstrations are not conclusive, and perhaps cannot be, capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else. They fear most death deliberately inflicted by law and scheduled by the courts. Whatever people fear most is likely to deter most. Hence, the threat of the death penalty may deter some murderers who otherwise might not have been deterred. And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence. Perhaps they will not be deterred. But they would certainly not be deterred by anything else. We owe all the protection we can give to law enforcers exposed to special risks.”

Finally, the death penalty certainly “deters” the murderer who is executed. Strictly speaking, this is a form of incapacitation, similar to the way a robber put in prison is prevented from robbing on the streets. Vicious murderers must be killed to prevent them from murdering again, either in prison, or in society if they should get out. Both as a deterrent and as a form of permanent incapacitation, the death penalty helps to prevent future crime.

Those who believe that deterrence justifies the execution of certain offenders bear the burden of proving that the death penalty is a deterrent. The overwhelming conclusion from years of deterrence studies is that the death penalty is, at best, no more of a deterrent than a sentence of life in prison. The Ehrlich studies have been widely discredited. In fact, some criminologists, such as William Bowers of Northeastern University, maintain that the death penalty has the opposite effect: that is, society is brutalized by the use of the death penalty, and this increases the likelihood of more murder. Even most supporters of the death penalty now place little or no weight on deterrence as a serious justification for its continued use.

States in the United States that do not employ the death penalty generally have lower murder rates than states that do. The same is true when the U.S. is compared to countries similar to it. The U.S., with the death penalty, has a higher murder rate than the countries of Europe or Canada, which do not use the death penalty.

The death penalty is not a deterrent because most people who commit murders either do not expect to be caught or do not carefully weigh the differences between a possible execution and life in prison before they act. Frequently, murders are committed in moments of passion or anger, or by criminals who are substance abusers and acted impulsively. As someone who presided over many of Texas’s executions, former Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox has remarked, “It is my own experience that those executed in Texas were not deterred by the existence of the death penalty law. I think in most cases you’ll find that the murder was committed under severe drug and alcohol abuse.”

There is no conclusive proof that the death penalty acts as a better deterrent than the threat of life imprisonment. A 2012 report released by the prestigious National Research Council of the National Academies and based on a review of more than three decades of research, concluded that studies claiming a deterrent effect on murder rates from the death penalty are fundamentally flawed. A survey of the former and present presidents of the country’s top academic criminological societies found that 84% of these experts rejected the notion that research had demonstrated any deterrent effect from the death penalty .

Once in prison, those serving life sentences often settle into a routine and are less of a threat to commit violence than other prisoners. Moreover, most states now have a sentence of life without parole. Prisoners who are given this sentence will never be released. Thus, the safety of society can be assured without using the death penalty.

Ernest van den Haag Professor of Jurisprudence and Public Policy, Fordham University. Excerpts from ” The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense,” (Harvard Law Review Association, 1986)

“Execution of those who have committed heinous murders may deter only one murder per year. If it does, it seems quite warranted. It is also the only fitting retribution for murder I can think of.”

“Most abolitionists acknowledge that they would continue to favor abolition even if the death penalty were shown to deter more murders than alternatives could deter. Abolitionists appear to value the life of a convicted murderer or, at least, his non-execution, more highly than they value the lives of the innocent victims who might be spared by deterring prospective murderers.

Deterrence is not altogether decisive for me either. I would favor retention of the death penalty as retribution even if it were shown that the threat of execution could not deter prospective murderers not already deterred by the threat of imprisonment. Still, I believe the death penalty, because of its finality, is more feared than imprisonment, and deters some prospective murderers not deterred by the thought of imprisonment. Sparing the lives of even a few prospective victims by deterring their murderers is more important than preserving the lives of convicted murderers because of the possibility, or even the probability, that executing them would not deter others. Whereas the life of the victims who might be saved are valuable, that of the murderer has only negative value, because of his crime. Surely the criminal law is meant to protect the lives of potential victims in preference to those of actual murderers.”

“We threaten punishments in order to deter crime. We impose them not only to make the threats credible but also as retribution (justice) for the crimes that were not deterred. Threats and punishments are necessary to deter and deterrence is a sufficient practical justification for them. Retribution is an independent moral justification. Although penalties can be unwise, repulsive, or inappropriate, and those punished can be pitiable, in a sense the infliction of legal punishment on a guilty person cannot be unjust. By committing the crime, the criminal volunteered to assume the risk of receiving a legal punishment that he could have avoided by not committing the crime. The punishment he suffers is the punishment he voluntarily risked suffering and, therefore, it is no more unjust to him than any other event for which one knowingly volunteers to assume the risk. Thus, the death penalty cannot be unjust to the guilty criminal.”

Full text can be found at PBS.org .

Hugo Adam Bedau (deceased) Austin Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University Excerpts from “The Case Against The Death Penalty” (Copyright 1997, American Civil Liberties Union)

“Persons who commit murder and other crimes of personal violence either may or may not premeditate their crimes.

When crime is planned, the criminal ordinarily concentrates on escaping detection, arrest, and conviction. The threat of even the severest punishment will not discourage those who expect to escape detection and arrest. It is impossible to imagine how the threat of any punishment could prevent a crime that is not premeditated….

Most capital crimes are committed in the heat of the moment. Most capital crimes are committed during moments of great emotional stress or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, when logical thinking has been suspended. In such cases, violence is inflicted by persons heedless of the consequences to themselves as well as to others….

If, however, severe punishment can deter crime, then long-term imprisonment is severe enough to deter any rational person from committing a violent crime.

The vast preponderance of the evidence shows that the death penalty is no more effective than imprisonment in deterring murder and that it may even be an incitement to criminal violence. Death-penalty states as a group do not have lower rates of criminal homicide than non-death-penalty states….

On-duty police officers do not suffer a higher rate of criminal assault and homicide in abolitionist states than they do in death-penalty states. Between l973 and l984, for example, lethal assaults against police were not significantly more, or less, frequent in abolitionist states than in death-penalty states. There is ‘no support for the view that the death penalty provides a more effective deterrent to police homicides than alternative sanctions. Not for a single year was evidence found that police are safer in jurisdictions that provide for capital punishment.’ (Bailey and Peterson, Criminology (1987))

Prisoners and prison personnel do not suffer a higher rate of criminal assault and homicide from life-term prisoners in abolition states than they do in death-penalty states. Between 1992 and 1995, 176 inmates were murdered by other prisoners; the vast majority (84%) were killed in death penalty jurisdictions. During the same period about 2% of all assaults on prison staff were committed by inmates in abolition jurisdictions. Evidently, the threat of the death penalty ‘does not even exert an incremental deterrent effect over the threat of a lesser punishment in the abolitionist states.’ (Wolfson, in Bedau, ed., The Death Penalty in America, 3rd ed. (1982))

Actual experience thus establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that the death penalty does not deter murder. No comparable body of evidence contradicts that conclusion.”

Click here for the full text from the ACLU website.

Retribution

A just society requires the taking of a life for a life.

When someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to a rule of violence. Only the taking of the murderer’s life restores the balance and allows society to show convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind.

Retribution has its basis in religious values, which have historically maintained that it is proper to take an “eye for an eye” and a life for a life.

Although the victim and the victim’s family cannot be restored to the status which preceded the murder, at least an execution brings closure to the murderer’s crime (and closure to the ordeal for the victim’s family) and ensures that the murderer will create no more victims.

For the most cruel and heinous crimes, the ones for which the death penalty is applied, offenders deserve the worst punishment under our system of law, and that is the death penalty. Any lesser punishment would undermine the value society places on protecting lives.

Robert Macy, District Attorney of Oklahoma City, described his concept of the need for retribution in one case: “In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals. For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die.”

Retribution is another word for revenge. Although our first instinct may be to inflict immediate pain on someone who wrongs us, the standards of a mature society demand a more measured response.

The emotional impulse for revenge is not a sufficient justification for invoking a system of capital punishment, with all its accompanying problems and risks. Our laws and criminal justice system should lead us to higher principles that demonstrate a complete respect for life, even the life of a murderer. Encouraging our basest motives of revenge, which ends in another killing, extends the chain of violence. Allowing executions sanctions killing as a form of ‘pay-back.’

Many victims’ families denounce the use of the death penalty. Using an execution to try to right the wrong of their loss is an affront to them and only causes more pain. For example, Bud Welch’s daughter, Julie, was killed in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Although his first reaction was to wish that those who committed this terrible crime be killed, he ultimately realized that such killing “is simply vengeance; and it was vengeance that killed Julie…. Vengeance is a strong and natural emotion. But it has no place in our justice system.”

The notion of an eye for an eye, or a life for a life, is a simplistic one which our society has never endorsed. We do not allow torturing the torturer, or raping the rapist. Taking the life of a murderer is a similarly disproportionate punishment, especially in light of the fact that the U.S. executes only a small percentage of those convicted of murder, and these defendants are typically not the worst offenders but merely the ones with the fewest resources to defend themselves.

Louis P. Pojman Author and Professor of Philosophy, U.S. Military Academy. Excerpt from “The Death Penalty: For and Against,” (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1998)

“[Opponents of the capital punishment often put forth the following argument:] Perhaps the murderer deserves to die, but what authority does the state have to execute him or her? Both the Old and New Testament says, “’Vengeance is mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Prov. 25:21 and Romans 12:19). You need special authority to justify taking the life of a human being.

The objector fails to note that the New Testament passage continues with a support of the right of the state to execute criminals in the name of God: “Let every person be subjected to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore he who resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment…. If you do wrong, be afraid, for [the authority] does not bear the sword in vain; he is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer” (Romans 13: 1-4). So, according to the Bible, the authority to punish, which presumably includes the death penalty, comes from God.

But we need not appeal to a religious justification for capital punishment. We can site the state’s role in dispensing justice. Just as the state has the authority (and duty) to act justly in allocating scarce resources, in meeting minimal needs of its (deserving) citizens, in defending its citizens from violence and crime, and in not waging unjust wars; so too does it have the authority, flowing from its mission to promote justice and the good of its people, to punish the criminal. If the criminal, as one who has forfeited a right to life, deserves to be executed, especially if it will likely deter would-be murderers, the state has a duty to execute those convicted of first-degree murder.”

National Council of Synagogues and the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops Excerpts from “To End the Death Penalty: A Report of the National Jewish/Catholic Consultation” (December, 1999)

“Some would argue that the death penalty is needed as a means of retributive justice, to balance out the crime with the punishment. This reflects a natural concern of society, and especially of victims and their families. Yet we believe that we are called to seek a higher road even while punishing the guilty, for example through long and in some cases life-long incarceration, so that the healing of all can ultimately take place.

Some would argue that the death penalty will teach society at large the seriousness of crime. Yet we say that teaching people to respond to violence with violence will, again, only breed more violence.

The strongest argument of all [in favor of the death penalty] is the deep pain and grief of the families of victims, and their quite natural desire to see punishment meted out to those who have plunged them into such agony. Yet it is the clear teaching of our traditions that this pain and suffering cannot be healed simply through the retribution of capital punishment or by vengeance. It is a difficult and long process of healing which comes about through personal growth and God’s grace. We agree that much more must be done by the religious community and by society at large to solace and care for the grieving families of the victims of violent crime.

Recent statements of the Reform and Conservative movements in Judaism, and of the U.S. Catholic Conference sum up well the increasingly strong convictions shared by Jews and Catholics…:

‘Respect for all human life and opposition to the violence in our society are at the root of our long-standing opposition (as bishops) to the death penalty. We see the death penalty as perpetuating a cycle of violence and promoting a sense of vengeance in our culture. As we said in Confronting the Culture of Violence: ‘We cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing.’ We oppose capital punishment not just for what it does to those guilty of horrible crimes, but for what it does to all of us as a society. Increasing reliance on the death penalty diminishes all of us and is a sign of growing disrespect for human life. We cannot overcome crime by simply executing criminals, nor can we restore the lives of the innocent by ending the lives of those convicted of their murders. The death penalty offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.’1

We affirm that we came to these conclusions because of our shared understanding of the sanctity of human life. We have committed ourselves to work together, and each within our own communities, toward ending the death penalty.” Endnote 1. Statement of the Administrative Committee of the United States Catholic Conference, March 24, 1999.

The risk of executing the innocent precludes the use of the death penalty.

The death penalty alone imposes an irrevocable sentence. Once an inmate is executed, nothing can be done to make amends if a mistake has been made. There is considerable evidence that many mistakes have been made in sentencing people to death. Since 1973, over 180 people have been released from death row after evidence of their innocence emerged. During the same period of time, over 1,500 people have been executed. Thus, for every 8.3 people executed, we have found one person on death row who never should have been convicted. These statistics represent an intolerable risk of executing the innocent. If an automobile manufacturer operated with similar failure rates, it would be run out of business.

Our capital punishment system is unreliable. A study by Columbia University Law School found that two thirds of all capital trials contained serious errors. When the cases were retried, over 80% of the defendants were not sentenced to death and 7% were completely acquitted.

Many of the releases of innocent defendants from death row came about as a result of factors outside of the justice system. Recently, journalism students in Illinois were assigned to investigate the case of a man who was scheduled to be executed, after the system of appeals had rejected his legal claims. The students discovered that one witness had lied at the original trial, and they were able to find another man, who confessed to the crime on videotape and was later convicted of the murder. The innocent man who was released was very fortunate, but he was spared because of the informal efforts of concerned citizens, not because of the justice system.

In other cases, DNA testing has exonerated death row inmates. Here, too, the justice system had concluded that these defendants were guilty and deserving of the death penalty. DNA testing became available only in the early 1990s, due to advancements in science. If this testing had not been discovered until ten years later, many of these inmates would have been executed. And if DNA testing had been applied to earlier cases where inmates were executed in the 1970s and 80s, the odds are high that it would have proven that some of them were innocent as well.

Society takes many risks in which innocent lives can be lost. We build bridges, knowing that statistically some workers will be killed during construction; we take great precautions to reduce the number of unintended fatalities. But wrongful executions are a preventable risk. By substituting a sentence of life without parole, we meet society’s needs of punishment and protection without running the risk of an erroneous and irrevocable punishment.

There is no proof that any innocent person has actually been executed since increased safeguards and appeals were added to our death penalty system in the 1970s. Even if such executions have occurred, they are very rare. Imprisoning innocent people is also wrong, but we cannot empty the prisons because of that minimal risk. If improvements are needed in the system of representation, or in the use of scientific evidence such as DNA testing, then those reforms should be instituted. However, the need for reform is not a reason to abolish the death penalty.

Besides, many of the claims of innocence by those who have been released from death row are actually based on legal technicalities. Just because someone’s conviction is overturned years later and the prosecutor decides not to retry him, does not mean he is actually innocent.

If it can be shown that someone is innocent, surely a governor would grant clemency and spare the person. Hypothetical claims of innocence are usually just delaying tactics to put off the execution as long as possible. Given our thorough system of appeals through numerous state and federal courts, the execution of an innocent individual today is almost impossible. Even the theoretical execution of an innocent person can be justified because the death penalty saves lives by deterring other killings.

Gerald Kogan, Former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Excerpts from a speech given in Orlando, Florida, October 23, 1999 “[T]here is no question in my mind, and I can tell you this having seen the dynamics of our criminal justice system over the many years that I have been associated with it, [as] prosecutor, defense attorney, trial judge and Supreme Court Justice, that convinces me that we certainly have, in the past, executed those people who either didn’t fit the criteria for execution in the State of Florida or who, in fact, were, factually, not guilty of the crime for which they have been executed.

“And you can make these statements when you understand the dynamics of the criminal justice system, when you understand how the State makes deals with more culpable defendants in a capital case, offers them light sentences in exchange for their testimony against another participant or, in some cases, in fact, gives them immunity from prosecution so that they can secure their testimony; the use of jailhouse confessions, like people who say, ‘I was in the cell with so-and-so and they confessed to me,’ or using those particular confessions, the validity of which there has been great doubt. And yet, you see the uneven application of the death penalty where, in many instances, those that are the most culpable escape death and those that are the least culpable are victims of the death penalty. These things begin to weigh very heavily upon you. And under our system, this is the system we have. And that is, we are human beings administering an imperfect system.”

“And how about those people who are still sitting on death row today, who may be factually innocent but cannot prove their particular case very simply because there is no DNA evidence in their case that can be used to exonerate them? Of course, in most cases, you’re not going to have that kind of DNA evidence, so there is no way and there is no hope for them to be saved from what may be one of the biggest mistakes that our society can make.”

The entire speech by Justice Kogan is available here.

Paul G. Cassell Associate Professor of Law, University of Utah, College of Law, and former law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. Statement before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights Concerning Claims of Innocence in Capital Cases (July 23, 1993)

“Given the fallibility of human judgments, the possibility exists that the use of capital punishment may result in the execution of an innocent person. The Senate Judiciary Committee has previously found this risk to be ‘minimal,’ a view shared by numerous scholars. As Justice Powell has noted commenting on the numerous state capital cases that have come before the Supreme Court, the ‘unprecedented safeguards’ already inherent in capital sentencing statutes ‘ensure a degree of care in the imposition of the sentence of death that can only be described as unique.’”

“Our present system of capital punishment limits the ultimate penalty to certain specifically-defined crimes and even then, permit the penalty of death only when the jury finds that the aggravating circumstances in the case outweigh all mitigating circumstances. The system further provides judicial review of capital cases. Finally, before capital sentences are carried out, the governor or other executive official will review the sentence to insure that it is a just one, a determination that undoubtedly considers the evidence of the condemned defendant’s guilt. Once all of those decisionmakers have agreed that a death sentence is appropriate, innocent lives would be lost from failure to impose the sentence.”

“Capital sentences, when carried out, save innocent lives by permanently incapacitating murderers. Some persons who commit capital homicide will slay other innocent persons if given the opportunity to do so. The death penalty is the most effective means of preventing such killers from repeating their crimes. The next most serious penalty, life imprisonment without possibility of parole, prevents murderers from committing some crimes but does not prevent them from murdering in prison.”

“The mistaken release of guilty murderers should be of far greater concern than the speculative and heretofore nonexistent risk of the mistaken execution of an innocent person.”

Full text can be found here.

Arbitrariness & Discrimination

The death penalty is applied unfairly and should not be used.

In practice, the death penalty does not single out the worst offenders. Rather, it selects an arbitrary group based on such irrational factors as the quality of the defense counsel, the county in which the crime was committed, or the race of the defendant or victim.

Almost all defendants facing the death penalty cannot afford their own attorney. Hence, they are dependent on the quality of the lawyers assigned by the state, many of whom lack experience in capital cases or are so underpaid that they fail to investigate the case properly. A poorly represented defendant is much more likely to be convicted and given a death sentence.

With respect to race, studies have repeatedly shown that a death sentence is far more likely where a white person is murdered than where a Black person is murdered. The death penalty is racially divisive because it appears to count white lives as more valuable than Black lives. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 296 Black defendants have been executed for the murder of a white victim, while only 31 white defendants have been executed for the murder of a Black victim. Such racial disparities have existed over the history of the death penalty and appear to be largely intractable.

It is arbitrary when someone in one county or state receives the death penalty, but someone who commits a comparable crime in another county or state is given a life sentence. Prosecutors have enormous discretion about when to seek the death penalty and when to settle for a plea bargain. Often those who can only afford a minimal defense are selected for the death penalty. Until race and other arbitrary factors, like economics and geography, can be eliminated as a determinant of who lives and who dies, the death penalty must not be used.

Discretion has always been an essential part of our system of justice. No one expects the prosecutor to pursue every possible offense or punishment, nor do we expect the same sentence to be imposed just because two crimes appear similar. Each crime is unique, both because the circumstances of each victim are different and because each defendant is different. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a mandatory death penalty which applied to everyone convicted of first degree murder would be unconstitutional. Hence, we must give prosecutors and juries some discretion.

In fact, more white people are executed in this country than black people. And even if blacks are disproportionately represented on death row, proportionately blacks commit more murders than whites. Moreover, the Supreme Court has rejected the use of statistical studies which claim racial bias as the sole reason for overturning a death sentence.

Even if the death penalty punishes some while sparing others, it does not follow that everyone should be spared. The guilty should still be punished appropriately, even if some do escape proper punishment unfairly. The death penalty should apply to killers of black people as well as to killers of whites. High paid, skillful lawyers should not be able to get some defendants off on technicalities. The existence of some systemic problems is no reason to abandon the whole death penalty system.

Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. President and Chief Executive Officer, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, Inc. Excerpt from “Legal Lynching: Racism, Injustice & the Death Penalty,” (Marlowe & Company, 1996)

“Who receives the death penalty has less to do with the violence of the crime than with the color of the criminal’s skin, or more often, the color of the victim’s skin. Murder — always tragic — seems to be a more heinous and despicable crime in some states than in others. Women who kill and who are killed are judged by different standards than are men who are murderers and victims.

The death penalty is essentially an arbitrary punishment. There are no objective rules or guidelines for when a prosecutor should seek the death penalty, when a jury should recommend it, and when a judge should give it. This lack of objective, measurable standards ensures that the application of the death penalty will be discriminatory against racial, gender, and ethnic groups.

The majority of Americans who support the death penalty believe, or wish to believe, that legitimate factors such as the violence and cruelty with which the crime was committed, a defendant’s culpability or history of violence, and the number of victims involved determine who is sentenced to life in prison and who receives the ultimate punishment. The numbers, however, tell a different story. They confirm the terrible truth that bias and discrimination warp our nation’s judicial system at the very time it matters most — in matters of life and death. The factors that determine who will live and who will die — race, sex, and geography — are the very same ones that blind justice was meant to ignore. This prejudicial distribution should be a moral outrage to every American.”

Justice Lewis Powell United States Supreme Court Justice excerpts from McCleskey v. Kemp, 481 U.S. 279 (1987) (footnotes and citations omitted)

(Mr. McCleskey, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1978 for killing a white police officer while robbing a store. Mr. McCleskey appealed his conviction and death sentence, claiming racial discrimination in the application of Georgia’s death penalty. He presented statistical analysis showing a pattern of sentencing disparities based primarily on the race of the victim. The analysis indicated that black defendants who killed white victims had the greatest likelihood of receiving the death penalty. Writing the majority opinion for the Supreme Court, Justice Powell held that statistical studies on race by themselves were an insufficient basis for overturning the death penalty.)

“[T]he claim that [t]his sentence rests on the irrelevant factor of race easily could be extended to apply to claims based on unexplained discrepancies that correlate to membership in other minority groups, and even to gender. Similarly, since [this] claim relates to the race of his victim, other claims could apply with equally logical force to statistical disparities that correlate with the race or sex of other actors in the criminal justice system, such as defense attorneys or judges. Also, there is no logical reason that such a claim need be limited to racial or sexual bias. If arbitrary and capricious punishment is the touchstone under the Eighth Amendment, such a claim could — at least in theory — be based upon any arbitrary variable, such as the defendant’s facial characteristics, or the physical attractiveness of the defendant or the victim, that some statistical study indicates may be influential in jury decision making. As these examples illustrate, there is no limiting principle to the type of challenge brought by McCleskey. The Constitution does not require that a State eliminate any demonstrable disparity that correlates with a potentially irrelevant factor in order to operate a criminal justice system that includes capital punishment. As we have stated specifically in the context of capital punishment, the Constitution does not ‘plac[e] totally unrealistic conditions on its use.’ (Gregg v. Georgia)”

The entire decision can be found here.

Death Penalty - Essay Samples And Topic Ideas For Free

The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, remains a contentious issue in many societies. Essays on this topic could explore the moral, legal, and social arguments surrounding the practice, including discussions on retribution, deterrence, and justice. They might delve into historical trends in the application of the death penalty, the potential for judicial error, and the disparities in its application across different demographic groups. Discussions might also explore the psychological impact on inmates, the families involved, and the society at large. They could also analyze the global trends toward abolition or retention of the death penalty and the factors influencing these trends. A substantial compilation of free essay instances related to Death Penalty you can find at Papersowl. You can use our samples for inspiration to write your own essay, research paper, or just to explore a new topic for yourself.

argumentative essay tungkol sa death penalty

Death Penalty and Justice

By now, many of us are familiar with the statement, "an eye for an eye," which came from the bible, so it should be followed as holy writ. Then there was Gandhi, who inspired thousands and said, "an eye for an eye will leave us all blind." This begs the question, which option do we pick to be a good moral agent, in the terms of justice that is. Some states in America practice the death penalty, where some states […]

The Controversy of Death Penalty

The death penalty is a very controversial topic in many states. Although the idea of the death penalty does sound terrifying, would you really want a murderer to be given food and shelter for free? Would you want a murderer to get out of jail and still end up killing another innocent person? Imagine if that murder gets out of jail and kills someone in your family; Wouldn’t you want that murderer to be killed as well? Murderers can kill […]

Stephen Nathanson’s “An Eye for an Eye”

According to Stephen Nathanson's "An Eye for an Eye?", he believes that capital punishment should be immediately abolished and that the principle of punishment, "lex talionis" which correlates to the classic saying "an eye for an eye" is not a valid reason for issuing the death penalty in any country, thus, abolishment of Capital Punishment should follow. Throughout the excerpt from his book, Nathanson argues against this principle believing that one, it forces us to "commit highly immoral actions”raping a […]

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Does the Death Penalty Effectively Deter Crime?

The death penalty in America has been effective since 1608. Throughout the years following the first execution, criminal behaviors have begun to deteriorate. Capital punishment was first formed to deter crime and treason. As a result, it increased the rate of crime, according to researchers. Punishing criminals by death does not effectively deter crime because criminals are not concerned with consequences, apprehension, and judges are not willing to pay the expenses. During the stage of mens rea, thoughts of committing […]

The Death Penalty: Right or Wrong?

The death penalty has been a controversial topic throughout the years and now more than ever, as we argue; Right or Wrong? Moral or Immoral? Constitutional or Unconstitutional? The death penalty also known as capital punishment is a legal process where the state justice sentences an individual to be executed as punishment for a crime committed. The death penalty sentence strongly depends on the severity of the crime, in the US there are 41 crimes that can lead to being […]

About Carlton Franklin

In most other situations, the long-unsolved Westfield Murder would have been a death penalty case. A 57-year-old legal secretary, Lena Triano, was found tied up, raped, beaten, and stabbed in her New Jersey home. A DNA sample from her undergarments connected Carlton Franklin to the scene of the crime. However, fortunately enough for Franklin, he was not convicted until almost four decades after the murder and, in an unusual turn of events, was tried in juvenile court. Franklin was fifteen […]

About the Death Penalty

The death penalty has been a method used as far back as the Eighteenth century B.C. The use of the death penalty was for punishing people for committing relentless crimes. The severity of the punishment were much more inferior in comparison to modern day. These inferior punishments included boiling live bodies, burning at the stake, hanging, and extensive use of the guillotine to decapitate criminals. In the ancient days no laws were established to dictate and regulate the type of […]

The Death Penalty should not be Legal

Imagine you hit your sibling and your mom hits you back to teach that you shouldn't be hitting anyone. Do you really learn not to be violent from that or instead do you learn how it is okay for moms or dads to hit their children in order to teach them something? This is exactly how the death penalty works. The death penalty has been a form of punishment for decades. There are several methods of execution and those are […]

Effectively Solving Society’s Criminality

Has one ever wondered if the person standing or sitting next to them has the potential to be a murderer or a rapist? What do those who are victimized personally or have suffered from a tragic event involving a loved-one or someone near and dear to their heart, expect from the government? Convicted felons of this nature and degree of unlawfulness should be sentenced to death. Psychotic killers and rapists need the ultimate consequences such as the death penalty for […]

Religious Values and Death Penalty

Religious and moral values tell us that killing is wrong. Thou shall not kill. To me, the death penalty is inhumane. Killing people makes us like the murderers that most of us despise. No imperfect system should have the right to decide who lives and who dies. The government is made up of imperfect humans, who make mistakes. The only person that should be able to take life, is god. "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind". […]

Abolishment of the Death Penalty

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to relate many different criminological theories in regard to capital punishment. We relate many criminological theories such as; cognitive theory, deviant place theory, latent trait theory, differential association theory, behavioral theory, attachment theory, lifestyle theory, and biosocial theory. This paper empirically analyzes the idea that capital punishment is inhumane and should be abolished. We analyze this by taking into consideration false convictions, deterrence of crime, attitudes towards capital punishment, mental illness and juvenile […]

Punishment and the Nature of the Crime

When an individual commits a crime then he/she is given punishment depending on the nature of the crime committed. The US's way of giving punishment to an offender has been criticized for many years. There are 2 types of cases; civil and criminal cases. In civil cases, most of the verdict comprises of jail time or fine amount to be paid. These are not as severe except the one related to money laundering and forgery. On the other hand, criminal […]

The Death Penalty and Juveniles

Introduction: In today's society, many juveniles are being sent to trial without having the chance of getting a fair trial as anyone else would. Many citizens would see juveniles as dangerous individuals, but in my opinion how a teenager acts at home starts at home. Punishing a child for something that could have been solved at home is something that should not have to get worse by giving them the death penalty. The death penalty should not be imposed on […]

Is the Death Penalty “Humane”

What’s the first thing that pops up in your mind when you hear the words Capital Punishment? I’m assuming for most people the first thing that pops up is a criminal sitting on a chair, with all limbs tied down, and some type of mechanism connected to their head. Even though this really isn't the way that it is done, I do not blame people for imagining that type of image because that is how movies usually portray capital punishment. […]

Euthanasia and Death Penalty

Euthanasia and death penalty are two controversy topics, that get a lot of attention in today's life. The subject itself has the roots deep in the beginning of the humankind. It is interesting and maybe useful to learn the answer and if there is right or wrong in those actions. The decision if a person should live or die depends on the state laws. There are both opponents and supporters of the subject. However different the opinions are, the state […]

The Death Penalty is not Worth the Cost

The death penalty is a government practice, used as a punishment for capital crimes such as treason, murder, and genocide to name a few. It has been a controversial topic for many years some countries still use it while others don't. In the United States, each state gets to choose whether they consider it to be legal or not. Which is why in this country 30 states allow it while 20 states have gotten rid of it. It is controversial […]

Ineffectiveness of Death Penalty

Death penalty as a means of punishing crime and discouraging wrong behaviour has suffered opposition from various fronts. Religious leaders argue that it is morally wrong to take someone's life while liberal thinkers claim that there are better ways to punish wrong behaviour other than the death penalty. This debate rages on while statistically, Texas executes more individuals than any other state in the United States of America. America itself also has the highest number of death penalty related deaths […]

Is the Death Penalty Morally Right?

There have been several disputes on whether the death penalty is morally right. Considering the ethical issues with this punishment can help distinguish if it should be denied or accepted. For example, it can be argued that a criminal of extreme offenses should be granted the same level of penance as their crime. During the duration of their sentencing they could repent on their actions and desire another opportunity of freedom. The death penalty should be outlawed because of too […]

Why the Death Penalty is Unjust

Capital punishment being either a justifiable law, or a horrendous, unjust act can be determined based on the perspective of different worldviews. In a traditional Christian perspective, the word of God given to the world in The Holy Bible should only be abided by. The Holy Bible states that no man (or woman) should shed the blood of another man (or woman). Christians are taught to teach a greater amount of sacrifice for the sake of the Lord. Social justice […]

The Death Penalty and People’s Opinions

The death penalty is a highly debated topic that often divided opinion amongst people all around the world. Firstly, let's take a look at our capital punishments, with certain crimes, come different serving times. Most crimes include treason, espionage, murder, large-scale drug trafficking, and murder towards a juror, witness, or a court officer in some cases. These are a few examples compared to the forty-one federal capital offenses to date. When it comes to the death penalty, there are certain […]

The Debate of the Death Penalty

Capital punishment is a moral issue that is often scrutinized due to the taking of someone’s life. This is in large part because of the views many have toward the rule of law or an acceptance to the status quo. In order to get a true scope of the death penalty, it is best to address potential biases from a particular ethical viewpoint. By looking at it from several theories of punishment, selecting the most viable theory makes it a […]

The History of the Death Penalty

The History of the death penalty goes as far back as ancient China and Babylon. However, the first recorded death sentence took place in 16th Century BC Egypt, where executions were carried out with an ax. Since the very beginning, people were treated according to their social status; those wealthy were rarely facing brutal executions; on the contrary, most of the population was facing cruel executions. For instance, in the 5th Century BC, the Roman Law of the Twelve Tablets […]

Death Penalty is Immoral

Let's say your child grabs a plate purposely. You see them grab the plate, smash it on the ground and look you straight in the eyes. Are they deserving of a punishment? Now what if I say your child is three years old. A three year old typically doesn't know they have done something wrong. But since your child broke that one plate, your kid is being put on death row. You may be thinking, that is too harsh of […]

The Death Penalty in the United States

The United States is the "land of the free, home of the brave" and the death penalty (American National Anthem). Globally, America stands number five in carrying executions (Lockie). Since its resurrection in 1976, the year in which the Supreme Court reestablished the constitutionality of the death penalty, more than 1,264 people have been executed, predominantly by the medium of lethal injection (The Guardian). Almost all death penalty cases entangle the execution of assassins; although, they may also be applied […]

Cost of the Death Penalty

The death penalty costs more than life in prison. According to Fox News correspondent Dan Springer, the State of California spent 4 billion dollars to execute 13 individuals, in addition to the net spend of an estimated $64,000 per prisoner every year. Springer (2011) documents how the death penalty convictions declined due to economic reasons. The state spends up to 3 times more when seeking a death penalty than when pursuing a life in prison without the possibility of parole. […]

The Solution to the Death Penalty

There has never been a time when the United States of America was free from criminals indulging in killing, stealing, exploiting people, and even selling illegal items. Naturally, America refuses to tolerate the crimes committed by those who view themselves as above the law. Once these convicts are apprehended, they are brought to justice. In the past, these criminals often faced an ultimate punishment: the death penalty. Mercy was a foreign concept due to their underdeveloped understanding of the value […]

Costs: Death Penalty Versus Prison Costs

The Conservatives Concerned Organization challenges the notion that the death penalty is more cost effective compared to prison housing and feeding costs. The organization argues that the death penalty is an expensive lengthy and complicated process concluding that it is not only a bloated program that delays justice and bogs down the enforcement of the law, it is also an inefficient justice process that diverts financial resources from law enforcement programs that could protect individuals and save lives. According to […]

Death Penalty as a Source of Constant Controversy

The death penalty has been a source of almost constant controversy for hundreds of years, splitting the population down the middle with people supporting the death penalty and people that think it is unnecessary. The amount of people that are been against the death penalty has grown in recent years, causing the amount of executions to dwindle down to where there is less than one hundred every year. This number will continue to lessen as more and more people decide […]

Death Penalty is Politically Just?

Being wrongfully accused is unimaginable, but think if you were wrongfully accused and the ultimate punishment was death. Death penalty is one of the most controversial issues in today's society, but what is politically just? When a crime is committed most assume that the only acceptable consequence is to be put to death rather than thinking of another form of punishment. Religiously the death penalty is unfair because the, "USCCB concludes prisoners can change and find redemption through ministry outreach, […]

George Walker Bush and Death Penalty

George Walker Bush, a former U.S. president, and governor of Texas, once spoke, "I don't think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. I don't think that's right. I think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people's lives." The death penalty, or capital punishment, refers to the execution of a criminal convicted of a capital offense. With many criminals awaiting execution on death row, the death penalty has been a debated topic […]

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How To Write an Essay About Death Penalty

Understanding the topic.

When writing an essay about the death penalty, the first step is to understand the depth and complexities of the topic. The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is a legal process where a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. This topic is highly controversial and evokes strong emotions on both sides of the debate. It's crucial to approach this subject with sensitivity and a balanced perspective, acknowledging the moral, legal, and ethical considerations involved. Research is key in this initial phase, as it's important to gather facts, statistics, and viewpoints from various sources to have a well-rounded understanding of the topic. This foundation will set the tone for your essay, guiding your argument and supporting your thesis.

Structuring the Argument

The next step is structuring your argument. In an essay about the death penalty, it's vital to present a clear thesis statement that outlines your stance on the issue. Are you for or against it? What are the reasons behind your position? The body of your essay should then systematically support your thesis through well-structured arguments. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of the death penalty, such as its ethical implications, its effectiveness as a deterrent to crime, or the risk of wrongful convictions. Ensure that each point is backed up by evidence and examples, and remember to address counterarguments. This not only shows that you have considered multiple viewpoints but also strengthens your position by demonstrating why these opposing arguments may be less valid.

Exploring Ethical and Moral Dimensions

An essential aspect of writing an essay on the death penalty is exploring its ethical and moral dimensions. This involves delving into philosophical debates about the value of human life, justice, and retribution. It's important to discuss the moral justifications that are often used to defend the death penalty, such as the idea of 'an eye for an eye,' and to critically evaluate these arguments. Equally important is exploring the ethical arguments against the death penalty, including the potential for innocent people to be executed and the question of whether the state should have the power to take a life. This section of the essay should challenge readers to think deeply about their values and the principles of a just society.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, revisit your thesis and summarize the key points made in your essay. This is your final opportunity to reinforce your argument and leave a lasting impression on your readers. Discuss the broader implications of the death penalty in society and consider potential future developments in this area. You might also want to offer recommendations or pose questions that encourage further reflection on the topic. Remember, a strong conclusion doesn't just restate what has been said; it provides closure and offers new insights, prompting readers to continue thinking about the subject long after they have finished reading your essay.

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POSISYONG PAPEL PAGPAPATUPAD MULI NG DEATH PENALTY SA ATING BANSA

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Matagal na ang debate tungkol sa pagpapatupad ng Parusang kamatayan o Death Penalty hindi lamang sa ating bansa kundi sa buong mundo.Ito ang isyung pinagtatalunan hindi lamang ng mambabatas pati na mga pangkaraniwang mamamayan. Ano nga ba ang parusang kamatayan? Nararapat ba itong ipatulad muli? Sa United States, kapag ikaw ay nakagawa ng karumal-dumal na krimen ay maari kang maparusahan ng kamatayan kung ito'y mapapatunayan, pati na rin sa mga bansang nagpapatupad nito. Ang parusang kamatayan ang pinakamabigat na hatol kung saan ang gobyerno an may hawak ng iyong buhay ngunit ito'y nakadepende sa kasalanang iyong nagawa o bigat. Ayon pa kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, ang muling pagpapatupad ng parusang kamatayan ay hindi pananakot sa mga krimenal kundi pamabayad sa kanilang kasalanan. Samantalang may mga opisyal ng gobyerno rin na hindi sang-ayon dito, tulad ni Chito Gascon pinuno ng CHR, sapagkat ang paniniwala niya kung ipapatupad ang parusang kamatayan ay wala na silang pangalawang pagkakataon upang magsimula ulit. Sa kabila nito nangingibabaw pa rin sa iba ang pagpapatupad dito. Sa duma-daming mga kriminal, rapist, drug , traffickers , mga magnanakaw , mga teroristang walang takot na pumapatay at gumagawa ng lagim , kidnappers, at carjackers , at ang riding in-tandern kung saan walang awang pumapatay; Sa kasamaang palad ang kadalasang sangkot dito ay mga pulis. Ang halimbawa nito mula sa Pang-Masa ang karumal-dumal na pagpatay sa 75-anyos na ina ng aktres na si Cherry Pie Picache. Hindi lamang ito ang naganap na krimen sa bansa dahil napakarami pang iba. Nakikita at naririnig natin sa mga pahayagan araw-araw na kung minsan pa'y sa ating mismong lugar nagaganap. Isninulong ni Sen. Sotto ang pagbabalik ng Death Penalty, ayon sa kanya palubha ng palubha ang mga krimen sa bansa kaya nararapat lamang na ito'y ibalik ang bitay. Mula sa mga opiniyon at pahayagan ng mambabatas at ibang opisyal ng gobyerno pati na rin ng pangkaraniwang mamamayan na pagtitimbang natin ito kung alin ang mabigat at nakabubuti. Sa pagpapatupad nito maaaring ang kinabukasan ng mga sumusunod na henerasyon ay maisalba mula sa hindi kanais-nais na nangyayari sa ating lipunan. Pati na rin sa pagkakaroon ng patas na batas sa mga ibang bansa. Dahil kung naririnig ninyo maraming Pilipino na ang naparusahan at nabitay sa mga dayuhang bansa subalit ang iba'y nanaaakusahan lamang. At ito'y napakasakit pakinggan. Kaya kung ito'y maipapatupad sa ating bansa kung sinuman ang makagagawa ng krimen maging pinoy, dayuhan o toresta ay mapaparusahan ng parusang kamatayan, dahil ang batas ay walang kinikilingan at walang pinoprotektahan dapat lahat ay patas. Upang pagkakaisa ay makamit. Kaya't ibalik ang Death Penalty sa ating bansa upang mabawasan ang krimen na nagaganap sa ating bansa.

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Argumentative Paper on the Pros of the Death Penalty

Introduction, a case for the death penalty, works cited.

The survival of any civilization hinges on the establishment of laws and codes of conduct and the subsequent obeying of the same by the society’s members. Due to the fact that not all members of the society are going to follow the law on their own accord, forms of punishment for wrongs done may be used both for retribution and deterrence purposes. In the United States, capital punishment has been used as the most harsh form of retribution for the society’s most vicious offences.

However, not all people believe that the death sentence is justifiable notwithstanding the brutality of the crime that a person may have perpetrated. This paper argues that the death penalty is not only necessary but also the most efficient means for deterring future offenders. The paper will reinforce this proposition by delving into the merits of the death penalty.

An article on “Public Support for the Death Penalty” indicates that the support for capital punishment has risen over the years with 77% of Americans supporting capital punishment. While this statistics do not in any way offer justification for the death penalty, they do show that many Americans are of the opinion that the death penalty is a just retribution for the evils perpetrated by the accused.

In most of the states, capital punishment is only issued when the accused party is convicted of crimes such as first degree murder or treason. Capital punishment therefore affords the federal state with a means of dispensing justice. The public and the parties affected by the accused actions can therefore find some solace in the fact justice has been served.

The most desirable function of punishments should be to act as a deterrence to would be criminals. In an ideal environment, punishments should never have to be executed but their mere presence should cause all to abide to the rules and regulations in place therefore peacefully coexist. Capital punishment presents the highest level of deterrence since death is indeed the ultimate punishment. This is especially so in cases where the criminal feels immune to the other forms of punishment such as restriction on freedom of movement or even hard labor.

“Televised Executions” indicates that executions, in this case televised ones, serviced an important social purpose of deterrence as the public is afforded a glimpse as to the fate that awaits those who engage in despicable acts thus making would be future offenders think twice about the results of their acts.

According to “Update: Death Penalty”, one of the most unique attributes of capital punishment is that it irrevocably protects the society from repeat offenders. This is an especially significant point since convicts have been known to reenter society either as a result of parole or more dramatic happenings such as jail breaks.

The death penalty ensures that some of the society’s most vicious criminals; murderers, arsons, etc. are rid off the society for good. The society can therefore continue without fear of there undesirable elements every coming back and causing chaos.

From an economic point on view, the cost of maintaining prisoners in the correctional facilities is fairly expensive. Opponents of the death penalty propose that in its place, life imprisonment without parole should be implemented. What this boils down to is that the prisoner will have to be maintained in the penitentiary for his entire life. This is a very costly affair and the brunt of it is bore by the taxpayer.

Capital punishment as executed by methods such as the lethal injection is not only radically cheaper but it also spares the state of the resources it would have utilized to ensure that the prisoner is maintained for a lifetime. While most of the opponents of the death penalty point to its execution being inhumane and hence torturous to the victim, a report on “lethal injection” indicates that not only is the lethal injection method (which is greatly favored by most states) almost entirely painless but the method presents a great advancement from past methods such as hanging and the use of the gas chamber. As such, capital punishment provides a cheap and human and relatively human method of dealing with criminals.

This paper has argued that the death penalty possess numerous advantages that make it a necessary tool in the justice system. It has been articulated that through the death penalty, retribution is served and the society is purged off its most vicious criminals. In addition to this, capital punishment presents the strongest form of deterrence to would be offenders as an example is made of those who have already been convicted.

While some people do contend that the death penalty should never be imposed on anyone, regardless of their crimes, it can be authoritatively stated from the above discussions that capital punishment does serve a significant role in the society and as such, it’s use should be perpetuated albeit with a lot of caution so as to avoid subjecting innocent parties to this ultimate form of punishment.

“Lethal Injection.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 19 Oct. 2007. Web.

“Public Support for the Death Penalty Remains Strong (sidebar).” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 29 Dec. 1995. Web.

“Televised Executions.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 11 May 2001. Web.

“Update: Death Penalty.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 1 Apr. 2004. Web.

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