Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished

Table of Content

Capital punishment is the execution, as a punishment for a person convicted of committing a heinous crime against humanity. Crimes that are known as capital crimes or capital offences enforce capital punishment; crimes against humanity, drug trafficking resulting in loss of life, terrorism, murder, kidnapping resulting loss of life, etc. are considered capital offences. In this argumentative paper, I will argue, why the death penalty should never be abolished. I will also argue why the death penalty is morally right.

Life in prison without parole should never be an option when heinous crimes are committed. This topic has been a concoverisal issue for many years. Both sides of this topic have many different opinions. Many people believe that the practice in question is always wrong, against those who believe that the practice is sometimes justified or even mandatory. Pro- Death Penalty Retributivism requires the practice of capital punishment. Retibutivism is a theory of punishment. Retributivists are justified in punishing persons when and only when they deserve to be punished.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

When a person is morally blameworthy they must suffer the sanction; punishment. The correct doctrinal triggers for liability and questions about how much offenders should be punished for certain crimes when done with levels of culpability. The prevention of vigilante justice is presented as the real good retributivism. The state and government must punish those who deserve it. This will satisfy the people needs for feeling that they have not been deceived, thus restraining themselves from criminal action. I believe, retribution id the only solution for taken another life. “An eye of an eye”.

Kant’s theory pints out: “The evil that a wrongdoer inflicts is the measure of how severely he or she should be punished”. Retributivist theory holds not only that criminal guilt is required for punishment, but that the appropriate type and amount of punishment is also determined by the crime itself. Kant recognizes that “like for like” is not always possible to the letter, but believes that justice requires that it be used as the principle for specific judgments of punishment. Therefore, the retributivist theory of punishment leads to Kant’s insistence on capital punishment.

He argues, “That the only punishment possibly equivalent to death, the amount of inflicted harm, is death. Death is qualitatively different from any kind of life, so no substitute could be found that would equal death”. The only thing that is proportional to the crime of killing another person is the execution of the convicted murderer. Many people see retribution as revenge. In my opinion that is not the case. Even a person guilty of murder is to be treated with a certain sort of dignity. Morality requires us to rise above mere instincts. The instinct for revenge is a natural one.

Morality requires that we respect the humanity of the person we are punishing. Though morality states we must not do anything against a person’s will. In the case of a murderer, we don’t respect his or her wishes, and we don’t respect their freedom. Because we must take seriously that a wrongdoer is responsible for what they have done. After all, a murderer robs their victim entirety of his or her humanity. Another argument that I will argue is that the death penalty will have the deferent affect to prevent others from committing murders. Death differs significantly from any other penalty.

Life in prison is still life, however unpleasant, the death penalty does not just threaten to make life unpleasant- it threatens to take life altogether. When a choice is given to a convicted killer; life in prison or execution, 99% of all prisoners prefer life in prison. From this question alone, we can draw a conclusion in favor of the death penalty. The fact is that a convicted killer would fear death more than they fear life in prison. In conclusion, if this statement deters one victim from being murdered in the future; I’d rather execute a person convicted of having murdered others than to put the life of an innocent at risk.

In the book, “The Death Penalty: A Debate” by Ernest Van Den Haag he pursued this question: “Suppose it were shown that every time we execute a person convicted of murder, ten fewer homicides are committed annually than were otherwise expected- would you still favor abolition? The answer has been “yes” in all cases he recalled. So he persisted: “Suppose every time we execute a convicted murderer that otherwise would be expected to be murderer; suppose that by executing the convicted murderer, we so much more deter other who are not deterred by the treat of life imprisonment, that 500 victims will be spared?

Professor Hugo Adam Bedau (Tuffs University), Ramsey Clack, attorney general of the U. S. under President Johnson; Professor Charles Black (Yale); and Mr. Henry Schwarzschild, capital punishment project director of the American Civil Liberties Union. They all admitted that if they had the choice, they would rather see 500 innocent murdered than execute one convict found guilty of murder. (Van Den Haag, 1983). I find this an outrage. It is my belief; at least death by execution will avoided a murderer from murdering someone else. The death penalty is meant to be morally humiliating.

It indicates the extreme blame we attach to the crime of murder by deliberately expelling the murderer from among the living. Therefore, the threat of death, is the most likely to be the greatest deterrent. When a convicted murderer’s life is not threatened by the death penalty, he or she believes they are above all. They also feel that their smart enough to escape. All “lifer” believe that they will escape one day or maybe be paroled. When we give a convicted murderer hope, we fail. When we give hope to a murderer; we are giving them another chance to kill again.

Oppose Death Penalty. Those who oppose capital punishment believe, first and foremost, that any one person or government has no right to take a life for any reason; they believe that life in prison is punishment enough. Another argument against the death penalty is the risk of executing an innocent person is too high. Executions have no place in a civilized society. Murder demonstrates a lack of respect for human life. The death penalty is also cruel punishment. Besides the obvious mental pain, that the accused goes through on death row while waiting for their sentence to be carried out. Physical pain is also inflicted.

Lethal Injection: the most popular and most human, even has its flaws. If the needle is put into the muscle instead of a vein, or if the needle becomes clogged, extreme pain can result. The Electric Chair: rarely used today because death is not instantaneous, is a cruel method of execution. William Brenner, a U. S. Supreme Court Justice, once stated: “The prisoner’s eyeballs sometimes pop out and rest on [his] cheeks. The prisoner often defecates, urinates, and vomits blood and drool. The body turns brightened as its temperature raises, and the prisoner’s flesh swells and his skin stretches to the point of breaking.

Sometimes the prisoner catches fire… Witnesses hear a loud and sustained sound like bacon frying, and the sickly sweet smell of burning flesh permeates the chamber” Another argument opposing the death penalty is that many people feel the risk of executing an innocent person are too great. People opposing the death penalty feel there are many weaknesses within the system. Some of the major causes of injustice are misidentification, improper forensics, false confessions, poor legal representation, racial prejudice, junk science, and prosecutorial misconduct. DNA exonerations have grown across the country in recent years.

Since 1973, 138 people in 26 states have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States was quoted “Regardless of how each of us might feel about the death penalty, there is a common value that I believe everyone shares: no innocent person should end up on death row” Ultimately, the abolition of the death penalty is the only guaranteed protection against such tragic mistakes. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Conclusion. While the arguments are valid on both sides of the issue. 65% of surveyed Americans are in favor of capital punishment. Each capital punishment case is different and each case requires a thorough investigation to determine fairness and justice. There will always be a debate over capital punishment for years to come and there is not likely going to be a solution that will satisfy everyone.

Reference Page

Abolish the Death Penalty, www. amnesty. org retrieved from Google Feb, 1, 2011 Kant on Capital Punishment, www. stairs. umd. edu retrieved from Google Feb 2, 2011 Part 1 Moral Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty, www. su. edu retrieved from Google Feb 5, 2011 Retributivism-How is Retributivism to be justified? The Institutional Implication of Retributivism, Bibliography-Punishment, Theory, Theories, Criminal, Punish, and Deserve. www. law. jranlk. org retrieved from Google on Feb 6, 2011 Students against the Death Penalty-Home www. studentabolition. org retrieved from Google on Feb 7, 2011 http://orgs. law. ucla. edu/LTW/Documents/Week%20%20-%20Reading/Steiker%20-%20The%20Death%20Penalty%20and%Deontology. pdf www. orgs. law. ucla. edu Retrieved from Google Feb 10, 2011

Cite this page

Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished. (2017, Feb 20). Retrieved from

Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront