I am proposing writing a research paper on the contemporary issue of capital punishment. While, capital punishment has been outlawed in Canada, it still remains a viable option in most parts of the World, including some areas of the United States. With the recent push by the Stephen Harper government, with their crime agenda initiatives, I feel it is an important area to explore, given that there has been a push to hold criminals for accountable for their actions through tougher sentences and punitive measures.
Additionally, capital punishment has always been a controversial issue in several disciplines, such as law, philosophy, ethics and sociology, with some arguing that capital punishment is not only unacceptable but ethically irresponsible especially in this day and age. Others argue that it serves as a powerful deterrent for prospective criminals and acts as a safeguard for society to prevent the most dangerous criminals from ever having the chance to reoffend. Finally, there is the issue of the effectiveness and fairness of the death penalty.
There have been countless cases to come before the courts, alleging that there are innocent individuals on death row and that this is an act that cannot be reversed if the criminal allegations prove to be untrue. Adding to the issue is that the death penalty costs the state and ultimately society, millions of dollars to process a capital punishment. Most of the offenders on death row, challenge the process at every step of the judicial process and in doing so likely waste considerable resources as often the end result remains the same, barring new evidence. Areas of exploration within research Paper
Some particular areas I would like to explore within this research paper include statistics showing the incidence rates of violent crimes in US states with the death penalty and using that to compare against incidence rates of violent crimes in US states without the death penalty. I will also explore the morality of such a decision as it has a lasting effect on not only the offender but the victim, the families of both individuals as well as society. I would like to devote a portion of the paper to explore whether the death penalty truly acts as a deterrent for the most violent criminals and their crimes.
Finally, I would like to explore the logic that capital punishment is any more humane than the murder of a victim at the hands of a criminal. Some have argued that, there is no such thing as a humane capital punishment, and I would like to explore the different forms of capital punishment available and utilized presently. Introduction & Tentative Thesis Since the dawn of society, man has had a unique relationship with crime, punishment and the law. For many centuries, man has resorted to using the death penalty, more commonly referred to as capital punishment for holding those seen as contravening laws accountable for their actions.
There is still support for capital punishment initiatives in the World, as it is seen to act as a powerful deterrent for would be violent and dangerous criminals, while also holding those who commit the most criminal acts accountable for their actions. However, recent statistics have shown that capital punishment is no more effective than other rehabilitative efforts and is an especially costly and resource intensive response that has the possibility of ensnaring innocent individuals, while also violating ethical and moral standards given the advancement of human rights issues in our society.
Rehabilitative models such as that employed by the Canadian penal system allow for the same level of deterrence and avoid the moral and ethical issues that arise from a capital punishment based one. Bibliography Radelet, Michael L, and Traci L Lacock. “Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates? : The Views of Leading Criminologists. ” Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. 09. 02 (2009): 489-508. Print. One of the leading topics of debate concerning the issue of capital punishment is whether capital punishment existing deters criminals from committing serious and violent crimes such as homicides and sexual assault.
This paper explores the findings and thought processes of some of the leading criminologists in the World and their interpretation of statistical data of homicide incidence rates. As I am exploring similar research in my paper, their findings can help me develop my own opinion on whether capital punishment is an effective and powerful enough deterrent to negate violent criminal activity or whether it would be prudent to avoid capital punishment altogether and follow an incarceration model such as that employed within Canada.
Gavrila, Adina Nicoleta. “Should the death penalty be abolished? Arguments for and against the centuries old punishment. ” Journal for Communication and Culture. 01. 02 (2011): 82-98. Print. Gavrila utilizes the statistical data and policy interpretation of the capital punishment model which is extremely pertinent to my research paper. Within it, the author describes the growing trend towards a capital punishment while also looking at the policies of the 23 countries still utilizing capital punishment as a punishment method.
An in-depth analysis of human rights laws and religious arguments are analyzed along with statistical data from organizations such as the United Nations and Amnesty International. This is an important paper for my utilization as the data is relevant and up to date and it explores the ethical issues of capital punishment while also putting to rest several arguments used by proponents of the capital punishment model. Above all else, this paper provides me with a clear and concise argument favoring the abolishment of capital punishment as a means of punishment for criminal offenders.
Goel, Vaibhav. “Capital Punishment: A Human Right Examination Case Study & Jurisprudence. ” International NGO Journal. 03. 09 (2008): 152-161. Print. Valbhav Goel, explores the issue of capital punishment through the lens of human rights law and a sociological context. Goel goes on to examine the very nature of capital punishment and explores the barbaric and unethical component attached to the practice. He does so while incorporating the debate of proponents and critics of the death penalty and also looks at trends developing in the past decade in terms of utilization of the death penalty.
Goel also explores famous uses of the death penalty such as the Sadaam Hussein execution and whether certain individuals merit the use of capital punishment. This paper can help me establish trends taking place on a global scale with regards to capital punishment while also exploring the legal analysis of the issue of capital punishment and whether it contravenes human rights law as well as international law. Peffley , Mark, and Jon Hurwitz. ” Persuasion and Resistance: Race and the Death Penalty in America. American Journal of Political Science. 51. 04 (2007): 996-1012. Print. Mark Peffley and Jon Hurwitz explore the concept of capital punishment through the context of race relations in America. Specifically, why certain groups of people are in favor of capital punishment and why certain demographics such as African Americans and visible minorities are far more likely to receive the death penalty than Caucasians when the same criminal circumstances are present.
This paper will help me analyze trends within certain demographics as well as the acceptance or reluctance of capital punishment during certain periods of time in American history. I can use this to develop my research paper as to why people prefer capital punishment in times of extremes such as during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Research Proposal: Capital Punishment – An In depth Examination