The Death Penalty Essay

3803 words - 15 pages

"If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call."John McAdams - Marquette University/Department of Political Science, ondeterrenceThe Death Penalty: Morally Defensible?The death penalty has faced much opposition as of late. Can the death penalty possibly be a morally acceptable punishment? A popular bumper sticker says, "We kill people to show people that killing people is wrong." The slogan is short, simple, and to the point. But is there really such irony in capital punishment as the slogan implies?WORD GAMESFirst of all, the slogan misses an important point. The death penalty does not punish people for killing, but for murder. Killing is justified when it is done in self-defense. Killing means to cause death. Murder, on the other hand, is defined as, "the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another" (for the less observant, this definition cannot be applied to the death penalty, because the death penalty is lawful, non-malicious, and is not carried out by an individual but by the government). "Kill," "murder," and "execute" are not interchangeable terms. Death penalty opponents would like us to believe otherwise. Just because two actions result in the same end does not make them morally equivalent. If it were so, legal incarceration would be equated with kidnapping, lovemaking with rape, self-defense with battery, etc.' Therefore, the slogan is better stated, "We execute people to show people that murder is wrong." Not quite as catchy, is it?FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD SUPPORT THE DEATH PENALTYThe campaign to end the death penalty gives five reasons on their website why the death penalty should be abolished. Those reasons are quite commonly given, so I will address their objections here.1. The death penalty is racist.2. The death penalty punishes the poor.There are those that state that capital punishment is unfair to people of other races, classes, or mental abilities. I say that these aspects are not an issue. Murder has no color, class, or IQ A murderer is a murderer. When a loved one is killed, I doubt anyone could take comfort in the fact that the perpetrator had a low IQ, was black instead of white, or poor instead of rich. Ernest van den Haag wrote:"If and when discrimination occurs it should be corrected. Not, however, by letting the guilty blacks escape the death penalty because guilty whites do, but by making sure that the guilty white offenders suffer it as the guilty blacks do. Discrimination must be abolished by abolishing discrimination - not by abolishing penalties. However, even if. This cannot be done , I do not see any good reason to let any guilty murderer escape his penalty. It does happen in the administration of criminal...

Find Another Essay On The Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Debate Essay

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 Essay

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

The Death Penalty

1275 words - 5 pages As of January 1, 2010, 3,261 people live on death row (“Death”). Fewer than 3,261 people live in my small town of Belle Plaine, so to me this number is outrageous. Inmates that wait on the death penalty jail create a problem for everyone in the country. If we would put these inmates through the death penalty quickly, we could take the problem away from the country. Why do we keep murderers and criminals on death row around? People argue the

The Death Penalty Worldwide

1656 words - 7 pages Steel bars slam shut, not knowing if today is going to be the last day on earth. Death may come by natural causes or by the hands of another human being. The death penalty is form of punishment to people, who have committed sadistic crimes such as murder. The death penalty is also one of the oldest punishments known to man as it was included in the Hammurabi code. Most inmates are put to death by lethal injection and sometimes, although not

Abolish the Death Penalty

1104 words - 5 pages Abolish the Death Penalty Death penalty or capital punishment is the practice of executing someone as punishment for a particular crime after an appropriate judicial process. It is used as a punishment for specific serious kind of murder, but in some countries for adultery, rape, treason, drugs, terrorism and other serious types of frauds. The argument of death penalty whether it is effective or not is a contentious issue. There are people who

The Death Penalty

1092 words - 4 pages Is the death penalty really a rational and effective way to respond to the crimes of certain prisoners? Thirty one percent of society believes we should not keep the death penalty, while others believe that the death penalty doesn’t really keep crime from happening. Of the thirty one percent, many believe that executing offenders of the law only runs away from the issue at hand. Also, if society thinks about it, ending the penalty would cost

The Death Penalty Debate

1300 words - 6 pages The death penalty is a source of capital punishment that is still being used today in many places including the United States. The death penalty is when someone is killed for a crime they've committed. Many states still take part in the death penalty, only eighteen states don't have an enforced death penalty regulation. The death penalty should be considered cruel and unusual punishment, those who have committed a crime should be punished

The Death Penalty

1003 words - 5 pages Capital punishment (the death penalty) is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. There are different opinions of the death penalty. Some oppose it and some agree with it. The death penalty has been regarded as a deterrent for murder. In an article called ”Working for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, it reveals “Death Penalty Focus reports on November 20th, 2008, that many victims of crime

The Death Penalty - 607 words

607 words - 2 pages The death penalty is a very common topic today. The Laws were established as far back as the Eighteenth century BC, which codified the death penalty for twenty-five different crimes. The death penalty was also part of the fourteenth, seventeenth, and fifth century BC's Roman laws of the twelve tablets. There are three thousand seven hundred and twenty six (3,726) inmates who have been sentenced to death row in the United States. One out of every

The Death Penalty - 604 words

604 words - 2 pages The death penalty is the worst sentence someone can receive in the United States. It takes a violent crime to be given the sentence. The question is does anyone deserve the Death Penalty? Should it be used in modern day? Does it save the taxpayers money to execute someone? Why are some people against it?Does anyone ever deserve the death penalty? I think in some cases it should happen. I believe that if someone knowingly takes another persons

Similar Essays

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

Death To The Death Penalty Essay

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

The Death Penalty Essay 628 Words

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 Essay 1799 Words

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