This essay will be discussing whether the death penalty is wrong. I will be arguing in favor of capital punishment and will be presenting several arguments to back up my position. First, an understanding of what the death penalty is and why it is used currently needs to be established. The death penalty has been around almost as long as humans have. It is a form of punishment that is a deterrent for other criminals. Also, capital punishment is a way to prevent the criminal being put to death from committing any further crimes. In most cases, the death penalty is only used whenever a crime is so evil that the individual must be dealt with by an equally strong method. Crimes that usually have the possibility of the death penalty are various across the United States and can include treason and murder (Death Penalty Information Center). There are a few states that give extra stipulations on capital punishment, but for this essay, the focus shall just be on those two crimes.
A few may bring about the argument that capital punishment is just punishing murder with murder. On the contrary, capital punishment is not murder; it works more like a self-defense for everyone else. If capital punishment is wrong, is killing in self-defense to prevent harm to you wrong also? The basic idea behind capital punishment is in fact self-defense. Without it, society is defenseless against murderers as a whole.
Without the death penalty, we would have to come up with a new solution in order to deal with the most dangerous criminals. The current solution puts the worst criminals in with criminals that have only committed crimes that are not deserving of death, like robbery or insider trading. Is putting the worst criminals with the lesser criminals morally justifiable? In the article “Against the Death Penalty: The Minimal Invasion Argument.” Bedau argues in his third premise that regardless of what the legitimacy of punishment is: “imprisonment serves them as well as or better than the death penalty” (Bedau, 2004). In stating that, Bedau is essentially trying to convince his audience that it is morally justifiable to put the worst criminals in with any other criminal. I believe this to be entirely false and will prove my reasoning later in this essay.
Capital punishment as a deterrent can be argued that it has no effect on the amount of murders committed. This argument, however, is pointless due to the simple fact that it is not called “Capital deterrent” it is called “Capital punishment” and therefore should not simply be treated as an idle threat. The fact that it has the possible side effect of making individual think twice about committing murder is merely a bonus attribute. The death penalty was not enacted to scare people away from doing murder; it was enacted to prevent the people who have from doing more.
Take this example argument: a maniac decides to go on a killing spree and the police manage to subdue him and he is then convicted with multiple life...