The Death Penalty Essay

1980 words - 8 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 precept of the criminal justice system. The death penalty has been in existence for thousands of years and has gained wide acceptance in the United States since early colonial times. Even those who framed the Constitution specifically the Fifth Amendment approved of it though implicitly (McCord and Latzer 9). Despite the growing acceptance of the death penalty as an appropriate punishment for certain kinds of crimes such as first degree murders, there are still some people who argue against it on certain grounds. The debate as to the justification of the death penalty has raged on for a long time. On one hand, there are those who are of the opinion that the death penalty is a cruel punishment which is morally wrong and a violation of the right to 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 acting as a deterrent for both the convicted criminals and other potential murderers out there. In essence, it has saved many innocent lives that otherwise would have fallen prey to the evil schemes of murderers. Indeed, there is no course more worthy than saving innocent lives. This essay presents an argument in support of the death penalty by considering its numerous benefits as backed up by ample evidence from credible sources. In order to build the argument, the essay shall also consider some of the opinions of those who oppose the death penalty.
Death penalty is a good form of punishment considering that it prevents future murders by acting as a deterrent. Society has always employed different kinds of punishments in an effort to prevent potential criminals from committing crimes. In other words, there is always a drive to prevent future harm by learning from the mistakes of today. In this regard, the society has a fervent interest in protecting people’s lives from murderers. The best way to prevent murder is to use the strongest form of punishment which is the death penalty (Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty). Evidence from numerous studies has proved that the death penalty has an inherent ability to deter would-be murderers from committing heinous crimes.
In fact, the incapacitative benefits of the death penalty occur in two ways. Firstly, by apprehending and executing convicted individual murderers, death penalty totally eliminates any possibility of the criminal going back to the streets and killing again (Ogloff and Honeyman). Apart from this aspect referred to as specific deterrence, the death penalty...

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