America Needs The Death Penalty Essay

1223 words - 5 pages

In 1973 Author Shawcross was convicted of raping and murdering two children in upstate New York; however, after serving 15 years Shawcross was paroled in 1988. In a horrific 21-month killing spree, Shawcross took 11 more lives. That is 11 innocent people who would be alive today had justice been served (Pataki, Deterrent 2). With the topic of the death penalty comes a lot of controversy which is rooted from questions like: is the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment, is it helpful in crime control, is proper representation applied to these cases, and should reform be applied in the areas of crimes punishable and methods? Although some people argue that the death penalty is inhumane and against human rights, crime rates could be lowered through the use and reform of the death penalty.
Since the 1700’s forms of the death penalty have been used for one reason or another, but today some disagree with this judicial practice. The death penalty is the ultimate punishment imposed for murder or other capital offenses, and in Alabama a capital offense is murder with eighteen aggravating factors. In 1972 the Supreme Court moved away from abolition, holding that “the punishment of death does not invariably violate the constitution” (Bedau, Case against 2). Since 1900, in this country, there have been on the average more than four cases each year in which an entirely innocent person was convicted of murder (Bedau 7) and because of these startling numbers people are against capital punishment. It is a horrible reality to convict an innocent person of a crime and even worse to put this person on death row. There are even more horrific stories, like the one of Roger Keith Coleman, who was executed in Virginia despite widely publicized doubts surrounding his guilt and evidence that pointed to another person as the murderer- evidence that was never submitted in his trial (Bedau 8). But, with today’s advances in technology and changes in procedure for police hopefully further doubts can be put to rest.
The American Civil Liberties Union believes the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law (Bedau, Case Against 1). Few would disagree with the assertion of Walter Berns, one of the nation’s most articulate supporters of the death penalty, who argues that regardless of how strongly a person may support the death penalty in theory, the propriety of the penalty in practice “depends on our ability to restrict its use to the worst of our criminals and to impose it in a nondiscriminatory fashion”(Monitoring 1).For the death penalty to not be considered cruel and unusual punishment, the justice system has to make sure that the punishment fits the crime. Furthermore, many now stand behind the fact that murder should be the only offense punishable by the death penalty and that all other offenses need to be removed. Reform...

Find Another Essay On America Needs the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Should be Abolished in America

1227 words - 5 pages American colonies were introduced to the practice of capital punishment through European colonization. The offenses punishable by the death penalty in each colony varied from stealing to denying the existence of God. During the Age of Enlightenment from the mid 1600’s to the early 1800’s, western philosophers such as Ceasre Beccaria began to use reason over religion to debate societal values. In 1776, Beccaria wrote On Crimes and Punishment

An Analysis of the Death Penalty Controversy in America

1848 words - 7 pages Capital punishment, the lawful taking of a person's life after conviction of a crime, is a highly controversial issue. It has raised difficult ethical, practical, and legal debates. In most of the industrialized world, the death penalty is outlawed and is no longer an issue of concern. However, it is still used in the United States. At present, the U.S. government and 38 states allow the death penalty. Methods of execution include lethal

The Death Penalty: Methods of Execution in America

1929 words - 8 pages Crime in America is something that has been around for many decades. While a large number of crimes are considered minor, many more result in the serious injury or death of another human being. “When we think about crimes, we … normally focus on inherently wrongful acts that harm or threaten to harm persons or property” (Bibas 22). The death penalty, also called capital punishment, has been used as a means of punishing the most violent of

The Death Penalty in America: Who is More Apt To Support It

2431 words - 10 pages Cody Lonigro 12The Death Penalty in America:Who is More Apt to Support it?Cody LonigroSpring 2014 SOC 240 01The Death Penalty in America: Who is More Apt to Support it?From trial by combat to lethal injection, the death penalty has been a controversial topic in many cultures around the world. The current trend has been to abolish the death penalty within western industrialized nations, but the United States has not yet done so (Soss et. Al. 2003

Death penalty in america with graphs and stuff - Geog 222 University of Arizona - essay

1265 words - 6 pages means of measuring the deterrent effect of the death penalty. The death penalty is the highest degree of punishment that can be applied in a criminal case. Some believe that execution violates our basic rights and is an inhumane practice that needs to be discontinued. According to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell, “The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that a penalty must be proportional to the crime; otherwise, the punishment violates

Death to the Death Penalty

1371 words - 6 pages reasons to oppose the death penalty." America Magazine . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 1982. Manderu, Evan. 2011. “Capital Punishment America”. "infoplease." Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. "Amendment VIII: Benjamin Rush, On Punishing

The Death Penalty

1799 words - 7 pages psyches, etc. To know that the United States of America did not try to help the person who might have something physically wrong with them? states that convicts do not fear the death penalty, that they in fact fear life in prison more. It also states that the death penalty does not deter crime (7). Lynn Pasquerella says that, “the death penalty is degrading to human dignity and is also implemented with racial and gender

Death to the Death Penalty

1236 words - 5 pages alternative punishments that can be as effective, such as the life imprisonment without parole sentence, in which people can have their freedom in the case a human mistake was made during the trial. The United States of America should adopt a more humane and less radical justice system and abolish the Death Penalty. It is not new to anybody that humans make mistakes. Nobody is exempt of making them, not even the judges in charge of deciding the punishment

Abolish The Death Penalty

1693 words - 7 pages cost an average of 48 percent more than trails in which prosecutors sought life sentence. Millions currently spend on the death penalty could be used to assist the families of murder victims. Funds now being used for the costly process of execution could be used to help families put their lives back together. Examples would be like counseling, restitution, crime victim hotlines, and other services addressing their needs. Instead of spending

The Death Penalty

1083 words - 4 pages Capital Punishment      Murder is the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice. This country believes killings someone under certain circumstances is acceptable; this should not be the case. Capital punishment, the death penalty, is the maximum sentence used in punishing people who kill another human being. It is one of the most controversial topics in America today. Capital

America Needs The Draft

571 words - 2 pages America Needs The Draft A draft starts when there is a major crisis and extra troops are needed for combat. The draft only calls men to duty in a certain order in which they registered. This is called the lottery. Only when Congress passes and then the president signs legislation, the draft can begin. After the Vietnam War was completely over congress felt the draft should be put to an end. The draft was finally put to an end in 1973 by

Similar Essays

America Needs The Death Penalty Essay

839 words - 3 pages In the United States 1,099 convicted murderers have been executed since 1976. Another 3,263 are on death row; a shocking 65% of those on death row had a prior felony conviction at the time of the murder. Thirty seven states authorized the death penalty (The Death Penalty in the US). Lethal injection, firing squad, and the electric chair are the preferred methods. The death penalty has been such a controversial topic since it was reinstituted in

America Needs A Tougher Death Penalty

1067 words - 4 pages America Needs a Tougher Death Penalty   Pain. Anger. Frustration. Hatred. These feeble words do not describe the anguish felt by the families of murder victims. Ted Bundy was responsible for the deaths of more than 50 young women across the United States.(Lamar 34) Bundy was finally sentenced to death by the state of Florida in 1978 for the kidnapping and brutal murder of a 12 year old girl and the deaths of 2 Florida State sorority

Why The Us Needs The Death Penalty

2869 words - 11 pages The death penalty is the most severe punishment a convicted criminal can receive. This penalty is the act of the law putting the criminal to death by lethal injection as punishment for the crime he or she committed (Berns 2). The death penalty does not exist in many civilized countries. In today's society the United States of America is one of the few that resort to capital punishment for certain criminal offenses. The death penalty is most

The Death Penalty In America Essay

2208 words - 9 pages seminary after I graduate, feel like this argument is one of the most important ones personally. As Catholics are called to accept the doctrines of the Church and follow them, I could not personally reconcile supporting the death penalty and considering to become a priest. The Catholic church is very much against the death penalty, and in his 1999 appeal to America, St. Pope John Paul II said that he “renew[s] the appeal [he] made most recently at