This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Capital Punishment, Is It Ethical? Essay

833 words - 4 pages

For certain violent crimes committed within our society, particularly murder, it is clear that they should carry a stiffer punishment or sentence than that of other typically lesser crimes such as robbery. What society cannot seem to agree upon is what that punishment should be. Of all the options available, the one form of legal punishment that continues to be a matter of controversy is that of capital punishment or as it is commonly referred to, the death penalty. No other form of legal punishment in the United States raises more moral or ethical questions than the subject of capital punishment. Both sides of the argument over the death penalty are very polarized in their stance on the issue with little or no middle ground found in the ongoing debate.
In general the main arguments of both sides center around whether or not the death penalty can be regarded as just, whether the death penalty is a deterrent to crime or not and finally other considerations such as the financial costs, to determine the morality of the practice. In this paper, I will explore the arguments for and against capital punishment to determine whether it is or is not ethical.
The concept of capital punishment has long been a part of human civilization with the first known laws mentioning it being the Code of Hammurabi in the 18th Century BC. In the United States the death penalty has been part of the legal system of since Colonial times with the first recorded legal execution occurring in the Jamestown Colony in 1608. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Furman vs. Georgia ruled that the death penalty as then currently practiced was unconstitutional and instituted a moratorium on capital punishment in the United States. This ruling was reversed in 1976 in the case of Gregg v. Georgia, which overturned the moratorium after 38 states and the Federal Government revised their capital punishment guidelines in accordance with the Supreme Court’s previous ruling (Paternoster, et al 40). Since these and subsequent rulings, capital punishment in current American history has been typically reserved only for those crimes where a murder has taken place. Along with the Federal and state governments revising their sentencing guidelines, the acceptance by a majority of the American public in favor of capital punishment has been influential in maintaining the practice. A January 2013 Gallup poll currently shows 69% of Americans in favor of...

Find Another Essay On Capital Punishment, Is It Ethical?

Capital Punishment - Is it required?

2038 words - 8 pages Looking out for the state of the public's satisfaction in the scheme of capital sentencing does not constitute serving justice. Today's system of capital punishment is fraught with inequalities and injustices. The commonly offered arguments for the death penalty are filled with holes. 'It was a deterrent. It removed killers. It was the ultimate punishment. It is biblical. It satisfied the public's need for retribution. It relieved the anguish of

Capital Punishment – Is It The Right Sentence?

1286 words - 5 pages There have been so many debates surrounding the death penalty or capital punishment and whether or not it is an appropriate method of reprimand for certain criminal acts. The death penalty has often been called barbaric or ancient because of its historical origin. Some traditionalists may hold on to this fact as the very reason to uphold the practice of capital punishment. It is also a belief that capital punishment as a form of extreme

Capital Punishment: Is It Right or Wrong?

2149 words - 9 pages Capital Punishment is a controversial topic discussed in today's society. There is a heated debate on whether states should be able to kill other humans or not. People that are in favor of the death penalty say that it saves money by not paying for housing in a maximum prison. Those opposed say that it is against the constitution, and is cruel and unusual punishment for humans to be put to his or her death. I believe that the death penalty is

Capital Punishment is Unethical

1415 words - 6 pages complicated moral decision that deserves research and discussion. First, we will examine the arguments in favor of capital punishment. Second, the ethical arguments against capital punishment. Third, the application of capital sentences. Lastly, we will discuss the moral and logical dilemma of capital punishment. Capital punishment is unethical and should be banned. It is important to understand the process of a capital sentence In order to be

Capital Punishment Is Murder

1041 words - 4 pages Capital Punishment Capital punishment is defined as the imposition of the death penalty by the state. In 1972, the United States Supreme Court voided all federal and state laws calling for the death penalty on grounds that it was a violation of the 8th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but in 1976 this ruling would change. In 1976 the Supreme Court abolished the ruling from 1972, holding that "the punishment of death does not

Capital Punishment is Murder

1750 words - 7 pages recent elections prove anything, it is that these examples of the state-sanctioned murders of innocents have done nothing to change the American mind. Many Republicans ran and won on a "law and order" platform; in New York, Governor George Pataki defeated former Governor Mario Cuomo largely on the basis of Cuomo's opposition to capital punishment. This article is an appeal to readers' morality, to their consciences. It does attempt to show that

Capital Punishment Is Necessary

1485 words - 6 pages protection as a nation s national security does? In fact, it can be argued that supporting armies and war is far more barbarous than the death penalty is. The one of the main reasons why nations and governments exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. People throughout all the nations will soon realize that capital punishment, military or police force, and even

Is Capital Punishment Moral?

2012 words - 8 pages Is capital punishment an equal consequence for the death and killing of another person? Should we even consider this an option, or should we make the senseless individual rot behind the walls of a prison, where they are treated like the criminal they are. Even though every action deserves the consequence equal to the level of crime, capital punishment should be considered before we use it to take another persons’ life because in our judicial

Capital Punishment is Ineffective

2329 words - 9 pages When remarking on the issue of capital punishment, Henry Ford was quoted as saying that “[c]apital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty”(“Henry Ford”). His comment, while not saying that capital punishment and charity does not have the right idea about how to deal with the issues that plague societies, it does say that it does not properly address the issue so that it can be

Capital Punishment is Murder

1252 words - 5 pages Capital Punishment is Murder   Capital punishment is state-sanctioned, premeditated murder.  It is morally, ethically, socially wrong.   Murder is the intentional killing of one person by another.  Capital punishment takes the life of one person and uses another, "the executioner," to do it.  In the state of Indiana, the warden of the state prison acts as "the executioner."  The killing takes place

Capital Punishment is Barbaric

1054 words - 4 pages Capital Punishment is Barbaric Capitol punishment has not always been a controversial issue. For most of history, most governments have punished numerous crimes by way of death. However, in the mid-18th century critics of this form of punishment began to emphasize the worth of the individual. They considered these practices unjust. The controversy and debate continue today. The first significant movement to the abolishment of the death

Similar Essays

Is Capital Punishment Ethical? Essay

2392 words - 10 pages Capital punishment is a difficult subject for a lot of people because many question whether or not it is ethical to kill a convicted criminal. In order to critically analyze whether or not it is ethical, I will look at the issue using a utilitarianism approach because in order to get a good grasp of this topic we need to look at how the decision will impact us in the future. The utilitarianism approach will help us to examine this issue and see

Capital Punishment Is Moral And Ethical

2280 words - 9 pages million (NBC 1). Capital punishment is a bit higher but that is due to factors other than the death of the prisoner. The American-Statesman's Mike Ward reports that the cost of lethal injection is only around 2,000 per prisoner (The Texas StandDown Project 1). So this would imply that the cost to taxpayers is not the death penalty itself but the time spent awaiting death. It is said that a prisoner often spends an average of 14 years on

Capital Punishment: Ethical Or Not Essay

1773 words - 7 pages again. Obviously, capital punishment cases are very expensive, and cost more than life sentence cases. This is probably the best argument against the death penalty, but maybe financial considerations can cloud ethical perspectives. None of the ethical viewpoints give concrete evidence that either of the punishments is better than the other.Someone who has so little regard for human life that they would purposely take it from another person

Capital Punishment Ethical Or Unethical? Ethics Essay

522 words - 3 pages punishments, therefore, and such a mode of inflicting them ought to be chosen in a way that will make the strongest and most lasting impressions on the minds of others, with the least torment to the body of the criminal. Capital punishment is the practice of executing someone as a punishment for a specific crime after a proper legal trial. It can only be used by state, so when non-state organizations speak of having "executed a person they've