Against Capital Punishment : A Researched Argument

1691 words - 7 pages

In the United States there has been many hangings during the Salem Witch trials, and years there after. As years went by, capital punishment has become more "humane" and less horrid compared to the past. Although less crude, capital punishment is and never will be the right solution to the killing of another man. The morality of this form of castigation has been debated among society for many decades. Out of the many factors that play a role in capital punishment, its effectiveness, justice, deterrence, and cost are just a fewAs far as the Eighteenth Century BC, the death penalty has been used as the primary source of punishment. Death sentences were carried out by means such as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. ("Death Penalty Info") The Justice system eventually realized that this punishment was being enforced for offenses which were far too simple such as marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason. It wasn't until 1767 however, that Caesar Beccaria wrote an influential essay that theorized that there was no justification for the state's taking of a life. This came for the abolition of the death penalty in Austria and Tuscany. American intellectuals were also influenced by Beccaria. Jefferson took notice on the issue and proposed a bill that capital punishment should only be used for crimes such as murder and treason.Advocates of the death penalty nowadays base their support of allowing capital punishment with passages from the Old Testament in the bible, "an eye for an eye", which really contradicts the teachings in the New Testament, "turn the other cheek". However, they claim that "when someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed". Their solution for restoring the balance and giving closure to the murder is sentencing the killers to death; furthermore stating that those who commit such atrocities forfeit their right to live. (Kozinski 5) Although this may sound like a good reason to take their life as a form of payback, there is no real proof that this punishment is really effective, which introduces us to our next issue."An execution does not stop future violence, it merely creates violence". (Bessler) How effective is taking the life of those who take the lives of others? There is no proof that invoking the use of the death penalty actually works in preventing future murders. In fact, the U.S, with the death penalty has a higher murder rate than countries of Europe or Canada which do not use the death penalty. Those advocating death sentences, argue that "potential murderers will think twice before killing, for fear that they will loose their own life". ("Death Penalty Info") In reality, if a murderer has such ability to reason, if I kill, I will be punished, then why wouldn't they reason that killing is simply wrong? Violence can not be stopped by pursuing a violent approach or solution. Research actually confirmed that the death penalty's overall effect teaches society that...

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