Capital Punishment: Right or Wrong?
All punishment is based on the same simple truth: there must be a
penalty for wrongdoing. In order for there to be punishment, there must
be both a wrongdoer and an authority to inflict the penalty. In a family,
when you break a rule, the punishment is handed out by the parents. In
society, punishment for crime is carried out by a criminal justice system
(police, courts, and prisons). In both systems, one solid rule of thumb
can be derived: if you do something wrong, you will pay for it
Our topic, capital punishment, otherwise known as death, is
considered to be the most severe penalty society can inflict. By doing so,
it deprives the criminal of his or her futures, hopes and dreams, while at
the same time taking all that is precious away. Because the death penalty
is ultimate and final, it brings about much controversy. Some agree that
it is immoral, brutal, gruesome and primitive for a ruling body to use
death as a punishment for deviance in any degree; no matter how harsh
the crime. These people are known as abolitionists. On the other hand,
the supporters of the death penalty say that it is only justice that the
death penalty be carried out for capital crimes, such as murder, rape, and
so on (Stewart 6-7).
Putting all theology aside, these views can be explained, to the
point of what fuels them. This can be accomplished by looking into the
hard-core issues that revolve around this seemingly never ending debate,
giving examples of real life cases, and analyzing scientific numbers. Each
and all of these steps can answer the following questions: (1) Is there
inequality in the courtroom?, (2) Does the death penalty deter crime?,
and (3) What are the stands on morality and justice?
Is there inequality in the courtroom?
Most all of the societies and civilizations throughout time have
used the death penalty as a punishment for all kinds of social, criminal,
and political wrongdoings. In ancient Greece, Egypt, and Syria, citizens
were executed for a variety of things ranging from perjury to murder.
Roman and Mosaic law of antiquity also endorsed the retaliating rule of
“an eye for and eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, burn for burn, and
life for life.” Often the trials through which these convicted criminals
were put over consisted of a group of witness, a mediator, and the
plaintiff. After a commonly unfair trial, the defendant was put to death
This comes to the main focus of this issue; court inequality.
Those that oppose the death penalty make accusations that those of
racial minorities are more likely to be found guilty of capital crimes than
those that are white. Furthermore, evidence of this happening is in
In a 1986 study, conducted by Dr. Barry Nakell and Dr. Kenneth
Hardy of Temple University, they discovered remarkable conclusions in
their study on racial inequality in...