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Punishment Essay

1391 words - 6 pages

Violence and crime has been a societal issue since the beginning of humanity. There are many methods in which authorities try to deter criminals from acting on impulse. Among the most serious methods of deterrent is the death penalty. The death penalty is sentenced when a heinous crime is committed including, but not restricted to murder, rape, and treason. Capital punishment is one of the most controversial forms of sanction in the United States. The death penalty is legal in 32 states, including California and is outlawed in 18. This subject causes contentious debate amongst people because it allows someone to judge whether or not a person is worthy to live, which some believe is something all-together too powerful to decide. However, others believe it is a powerful tool which will reprimand all menacing criminals, and discourage any future criminals from continuing these offenses. Author Mary Kate Cary, writer of “The Conservative Case Against the Death Penalty,” believes that capital punishment is unnecessary and dangerous because innocent people die, it is discriminatory against people from certain ethnic groups, and believes it is cost effective to let a criminal live rather than be sentenced to death, while author of “The Death Penalty Deters Crimes and Saves Lives,” David B. Muhlhausen thinks that the death penalty should be implemented when certain types of crimes are committed because according to him, it deters future crime, it is not discriminatory, and it saves lives. Although authors Muhlhausen and Cary views oppose each other, one being in favor of capital punishment and the other believing it is unnecessary, they both believe in meting out due punishment for vicious offenses.
The author, Mary Kate Cary believes that capital punishment is dangerous and should be outlawed because it puts the lives of innocent people in danger. She believes that there are many innocent people whom are wrongfully accused of crimes which may be sentenced to death row because of a misunderstanding or misrepresentation of a lawyer. She argues that, “Over the last 35 years, more than 130 people have been released from death row because of evidence of their innocence.” Cary believes that the amount of people being exonerated is alarmingly high because it shows that the judicial system is not always correct in its verdicts, although most of the people on death row are guilty of terrible crimes and should be punished for their wrongdoings, it may cost an innocent person their life. One could also argue that aside from those 130 people that were exonerated, there were still others that were judged as guilty but were guiltless, however were still not found innocent because of various reasons like failure of further investigation. Cary’s main argument is that if the death penalty is still enforced, many innocent people will die at the hands of fallacious judgement and misrepresentation.
Muhlhausen believes that the death penalty is a reasonable punishment...

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