Every year, thousands of murders occur in the United States and all across the world. According to Wesley Lowe, during the temporary suspension of capital punishment between 1965 and 1980 alone, the annual murders in the United States jumped from 9,960 to 23,040. (Lowe, 2011). If you or one of your loved one became one of these statistics, wouldn’t you want justice? Now, capital punishment is in full effect and has slowly started to decrease that statistic.
John McCrae, John Miller, Michael Lawrence, Donald Dillbeck, and Edward Kennedy all have one thing in common, death. Each of these men have committed numerous murders, only to be put on parole to kill again. (Lowe, 2011). For people that are against capital punishment, how are these people being punished? They have killed innocent people and are now able to walk the streets with the people you love. Who is to say they won’t kill again?
This controversy brings up several questions to many Americas. We will examine how the sentencing of capital punishment can benefit our country. We will see how intended, unintended, recognized and unrecognized functions have increased the efficiency of capital punishment under the structural-functional approach. Next we will use the social conflict approach to see classes clash as we view the treatment of prisoners facing death row. Lastly, we will see how each individual views their place and society and how they deal with the hardships of capital punishment.
Structural-Functional Approach is based on seeing the world as a whole, while figuring out how it works together to operate. Within the Structural-Function Approach are subcategories created by Robert Merton. In Society: The Basics, the tenth edition, Macionis says that Merton determines that within a social function lie many more functions. One of these “other functions” is the Manifest function. The Manifest functions focuses on the intended and recognized consequences of a social pattern. (Macionis, 2013 pg. 11). While focusing on the issue of capital punishment, there is one function that is self-explanatory. The death penalty not only instills the fear of death into potential killers, but it also eliminates the chance of a murderer to kill again. This is the intent of capital punishment. McCrae, Miller, Lawrence, Dillbeck and Kennedy were just of few examples of murderers that were released and able to kill again. (Lowe, 2011). Each perpetrator was arrested for murder, and then released on parole. If these men had been put on death row, they wouldn’t have had a chance to kill again. Supporters of the death penalty are in favor of making examples out of offenders (Capital Punishment, 2013). If people know that they can commit a crime (murder) and know they will only serve a short sentencing before getting out of jail again, then they won’t feel like they’re risking anything by doing it. On the other hand, if someone knows that they could be facing death when certain crimes are committed, they would...