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The Death Penalty Essay

1749 words - 7 pages

The most severe of all sentences: that of death. Also known as the death penalty, capital punishment is the most severe form of corporal punishment as it is requires law enforcement officers to kill the offender. It has been banned in many countries. In the United States, an earlier move to eliminate capital punishment has now been reversed and more and more states are resorting to capital punishment for serious offenses such as murder. In this essay, I will elaborate on capital punishment and on the cases of Joe Guy, Tommy Zeigler, Leroy Orange, and Charles Munsey.

The Bible mentions that one should not take another’s life and people have been violating this for centuries. We use it in reference to burglary, adultery, love and many other situations. However, some people use it on a different concentration; some people use it in reference to death. One steals from those who have stolen from him, one wrongs those who have wronged him, but do we really have the right to kill those who have killed. We have a certain privilege on our own lives, but do the lives of others belong to us as well? Do we have the right to decide the kind of lives others can or cannot live?

Capital punishment is a very delicate subject pertaining to how people are taking a stand on it. Execution has been going on for centuries. Back in biblical times, people were stoned to death for any wrongdoings. So why should we change that now? In a recent article by Cass Sunstein states:
It is possible that capital punishment saves lives on net, even if it has zero deterrent effect. A life-life tradeoff may arise in several ways. One possibility, the one we focus on here, is that capital punishment deters homicides. Another possibility is that capital punishment has no deterrent effect, but saves lives just by incapacitating those who would otherwise kill again in the future. Consider those jurisdictions that eschew capital punishment altogether. What sanction can such jurisdictions really apply to those who have already been sentenced to life in prison without parole? Sentences of this sort may take more lives overall by increasing the number of essentially unpunishable within prison homicides of guards and fellow inmates.53 Many murderers are killed in prison even in states that lack the death penalty.54 And if murderers are eventually paroled into the general population, some of them will kill again. Overall, it is quite possible that the permanent incapacitation of murderers through execution might save lives on net. A finding that capital punishment deters-and deterrence is our focus here-is sufficient but not necessary to find a life-life tradeoff.
With this being said capital punishment is serving in a positive way. If capital punishment spectator would look at it this way, and publicize it in a manner to get a message across to the violent offenders these corrupt crime wave would drop dramatically.

In the case involving Joe Guy, he was convicted for his role in a...

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