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

Opposing The Death Penalty Essay

1778 words - 7 pages

Opposing the Death Penalty

Capital punishment is the infliction of the death penalty on a person convicted of a crime. Executing convicted felons has been one of the most widely practiced forms of criminal punishment in the United States. However, this highly controversial form of punishment is not carried out in all of the states in the nation. Currently, the states that do not practice the death penalty are: Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Even for the states that do enforce the death penalty, it has been a topic of debate for many years. In this paper, I will review the major issues related to capital punishment with an emphasis on opposition to it.

There are two groups who argue over the decision to take a person's life as a punishment for a crime. There are many points of discussion including whether or not it is a fitting and reasonable punishment, whether or not it acts as a deterrent to crime and whether or not it is morally neutral or morally wrong. These two classes of people can be grouped together as the 'retentionists', and the 'abolitionists' (Americana 596). For the retentionists, the main reasons they are in support of the death penalty are to take revenge and to punish. Their main worry is the protection of society from dangerous criminals. The retentionists have some good ideas, but they are still very wrong. The abolitionists view the death penalty as morally and legally wrong. Further, they argue that it does not act as a deterrent for crime, it is irreversible and could be used on an innocent person, it is more expensive than imprisonment, and that those who are convicted frequently invoke the expensive process of appealing the decision.

Methods of inflicting the death penalty have ranged from stoning in biblical times, crucifixion by the Romans, and beheading in France, to those used in the United States today: hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, and lethal injection. No matter how the death penalty is executed, many view it as a cruel and unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which defines cruel and unusual punishment, is used to dispute capital punishment. When the constitution was first drafted, capital punishment was widely used and had extensive approval. Many of the contributing writers of the constitution approved of capital punishment, as did the philosophers who helped with the constitution. In the trial of Atkins vs. the state of Virginia, the court voted that executing the mentally retarded violates the Eighth Amendment on cruel and unusual punishment (Gibeaut 2). Officials however often say that this punishment is not cruel and unusual. It is hard to defend that claim when you consider the electrocution of John Evans in 1983. He was electrocuted three times in fourteen minutes. After his first...

Find Another Essay On Opposing the Death Penalty

Death to the Death Penalty Essay

1371 words - 6 pages sentenced to the death penalty but little did Miriam know he was also sentenced. For some 20 years Michael Ryan's execution was carried out through every appeal on and on. The pain that Kelle’s family inflicted was insufferable. As unfortunate as the occurrence was it is safe to say this continues to be the pain of many murder victims families. The death penalty provides nothing but pain for the victims family, the economy and the society

The Death Penalty Essay

1980 words - 8 pages life for its victims. Others defend their opposing views by citing the wave of abolition of other types of corporal punishment such as branding and flogging and propose that imprisonment should also replace the death penalty (McCord and Latzer 9). However, the death penalty has proved to be a punishment befitting certain crimes such as horrific murders as it is the ultimate punishment. It has taken many harmful elements off the streets besides

Death to the Death Penalty

1236 words - 5 pages Life is the most precious good that a human being possesses. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that one of the first human rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the right to life. The third article states that a person has the right not to be killed by any other human being, and this is where the nations that apply the death penalty are failing (Source 1). The death penalty or capital punishment is a legal process in

Eliminating the Death Penalty

973 words - 4 pages necessary to actually conduct an execution. The opposing view might suggest that it is more, “financially friendly” to just kill these inmates rather than continuously paying for them to just sit and rot in jail for the rest of their lives. However, records show that, “seeking the death penalty was nearly eight time greater than the cost of a case that was eligible for capital prosecution but in which the death penalty was not authorized (“Death

The Death Penalty

1083 words - 4 pages Penalty. Death Penalty Curricula for High School. 13 April 2005 . Dieter, Richard. Facts about Deterrence and the Death Penalty. Death Penalty      Information Center. 12 April 2005 . Mitchell, Hayley, ed. The Death Penalty. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2001. Wekesser, Carol, ed. The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven      Press, Inc., 1991.

The Death Penalty Discussion

1398 words - 6 pages innocent person. Thus, many killers go free never to be punished. The appeal process has burdensome, if not impossible procedures. The process is made to speed up cases not granting justice. Morality itself should be virtue enough to at least call for the moratorium of the death penalty in the world. Capital punishment blatantly violates the very concept of justice and is unacceptable as a form of punishment. Opposing death

The Death Penalty

628 words - 3 pages The Death PenaltyIs the death penalty just or unjust? It has been argued that capitol punishment is imposed merely to gratify a desire for revenge. Whether or not a punishment is legal depends upon whether or not it serves a valid goal or purpose of a policy. The death penalty is usually defended on two grounds; is useful and that is just . Is capitol punishment moral or immoral? Is the death penalty moral? Capitol punishment is imposed to spare

The Death Penalty

1799 words - 7 pages Almost all nations in the world either have the death sentence or have had it at one time. It was used in most cases to punish those who broke the laws or standards that were expected of them. Since the death penalty wastes tax money, is inhumane, and is largely unnecessary it should be abolished in every state across the United States. The use of the death penalty puts the United States in the same category as countries like Iran and Saudi

The Death Penalty Debate

1768 words - 7 pages "The death penalty issue is obviously a divisive one. But whether one is for or against, you can not deny the basic illogic - if we know the system is flawed, if we know there are innocent people on Death Row, then until the system is reformed, should we not abandon the death penalty to protect those who are innocent?" --Richard LaGravenese In the United States the death penalty is used as a punishment for capital offenses. These

The Death Penalty

920 words - 4 pages The death penalty continues to be an issue of controversy and is an issue that will be debated in the United States for many years to come. According to Hugo A. Bedau, the writer of “The Death Penalty in America”, capital punishment is the lawful infliction of the death penalty. The death penalty has been used since ancient times for a variety of offenses. The Bible says that death should be done to anyone who commits murder, larceny, rapes

The Death Penalty

1744 words - 7 pages The Death Penalty The death penalty is a form of punishment in which a person who has been convicted of a serious crime is executed under the rule of the criminal justice system. The death penalty has been in continuation for thousands of years and has gained widespread taking in the United States since early colonial times. In spite of the rising acceptance of the death penalty as an right punishment for certain crimes, such as first degree

Similar Essays

Opposing The Death Penalty Essay

1770 words - 8 pages Opposing the Death Penalty According to death penalty.org the total number of death row victims in the united states who were wrongfully convicted since the 1970’s is 144. Even though most people feel that the death penalty is the right approach to someone who has committed or been accused of murder, there are those who are wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit and the process of pursuing the death penalty is far more

Opposing The Death Penalty Essay

1103 words - 4 pages Opposing The Death PenaltyTaking this course has made me ponder on many issues which I never deemed worthy of my thoughts. I always considered the death penalty one of those things which I never had to concern myself with. First of all I'm not planning to commit any vial crimes, and I don't think anyone I care about has those plans either. Secondly, I've never been conscious or concerned with the likes of criminals. When we began speaking on the

Essay On Opposing The Death Penalty With Bibliograpgy

872 words - 3 pages Opposing the Death PenaltyThe death penalty has been a controversial issue in American society for the last twenty years. It started back in 1976 during the Furman v. Georgia trial. This case was about three black men that received the death penalty for the murder or rape of white people. It was argued against because two of the men were sentenced to death for rape, even though other people had been given much less severe punishments for murder

This Essay Discusses The Two Opposing Viewpoints Of Death Penalty With Its Pros And Cons. It Also Gives Some Facts About People Dieing From The Death Penalty

575 words - 2 pages The Death Penalty, with opposing viewpointsThe first death penalty laws were first used in the eighteenth century B.C., which was the penalty for 25 different crimes. Death sentences consisted of crucifixion, drowning, beating, and being burnt alive. Hanging was the usual method in Britain in the tenth century A.D. In the sixth century, some common methods were boiling, burning, hanging, and beheading. Some crimes that brought these penalties