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Death Penalty Pros And Cons Essay Examples and Research Papers

5 essay samples on this topic

Essay Examples

Overview

Controversial Philosophical View on Death Penalty

Pages 9 (2 221 words)
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Death Penalty

Death Penalty Pros And Cons

Philosophers

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Death Penalty Pro and Con Arguments

Pages 6 (1 443 words)
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Death Penalty

Death Penalty Pros And Cons

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Controversial Argument: Death Penalty Affirms Life

Pages 5 (1 109 words)
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Death Penalty

Death Penalty Pros And Cons

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Americans Pro and Con Death Penalty Mindset

Pages 7 (1 707 words)
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Death Penalty

Death Penalty Pros And Cons

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Arguments For and Against the Death Penalty

Pages 4 (923 words)
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Death Penalty

Death Penalty Pros And Cons

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information

What is Death Penalty

What comes to mind when you hear the word death? Maybe you start to feel sad or scared. Maybe you think of a loved one passing or the recent murders happening. Or maybe the opposite. Maybe you feel relieved, happy, or even feel the need to commemorate. There has been an exceptional amount of deaths in the United States. And one of the consequences for first degree murder is capital punishment; also known as the death penalty. The death penalty is currently used in 58 countries and 140 countries have abolished the punishment. The United States is one of the 58 countries that use the death penalty. Most Americans are strongly opinionated when it comes to the punishment. Pro-death penalty supporters believe that it deters crime and that the person that committed the crime deserved it. In reality, the death penalty is outdated and ineffective. The death penalty is serving more harm than good and the United States should outlaw the punishment.

The death penalty is a form of execution. It is only used for formidable crimes, but it wasn’t always like that. In America, legal executions started as early as 1630. In England, executions were utilized a little freely for crimes such as, stealing money or bread. Executions were also public, so thousands of people would attend and watch hangings. Nonetheless, England and America progressively reduced the crimes that were an exception for executions until the main focus was first-degree murder. They also moved the executions indoors, behind bars in a prison.

Forms of execution in the United States have also changed. Initially, there was hanging. Hanging was the primary method of execution. Later, those accused were slain by a firing squad. A firing squad is a group of 5 people who are required to shoot the guilty person. After that, there was electrocution. Someone would sit on a wooden chair and have electrodes fastened to their head and legs. And they would be electrocuted until they die. The second to last method that was enforced was a gas chamber. The prisoner would be sealed in a chamber and die from gas consumption. And lastly, the most commonly used form of execution today, is lethal injection. Lethal injection is when the person is strapped down in a chamber and is injected by three drugs. The first drug ensures the person doesn’t feel any pain. The second and third drug causes paralysis and cardiac arrest in the body. Even though ways of execution have changed, the government is still eligible to use any of these methods.

 

The Death Penalty Should Be Abolished

Now that you know this, imagine being accused of murder. You are financially unstable, so there is a very small chance you are going to win without a good lawyer. There is also little to no evidence to support that you are innocent. So, in the end, you get executed by lethal injection. Later on, after further investigation, they find out you were innocent. An innocent person was killed for someone else’s murder. This leads to my first topic. Procon.org stated that the lives of 1,436 people from 1977 to 2016 faced the death penalty; 1/7 of those people were innocent. That is one too many people being falsely accused of murder and being charged and being subjected to the death penalty. Additionally, people are being put on death row when they are either under the influence of alcohol or are mentally ill and should be put in a mental institution instead of being executed.

My second point is that the death penalty doesn’t really show deterrence. One of the main goals in the death penalty is that it deters crime, but it has failed to accomplish that goal. There is no credible statistic evidence that the death penalty deters homicide. If anything, there are less crimes in states without the death penalty. A study shows that states with no death penalty showed a 40% decrease in murder rates. New York has now abolished the death penalty and their murder rate has decreased compared to when the state still practiced it. The first year New York abolished it, the murder rate went down 4%.

A reason that may cause the death penalty to not deter crimes is that the offenders don’t believe they would get caught. Offenders don’t logically commit a crime knowing they are going to get caught. They try to do it in a way that conceals their identity. If anything, most criminals wouldn’t commit murder if they knew for sure they would go to prison and get executed. They believe they have a chance of escaping charges, so they proceed to do it anyway. Hence, if an offender doesn’t believe they are going to get caught, there is no deterrence.

Another reason why the death penalty should be abolished is because it is very flawed. I already discussed how innocent people have been and continue to be executed, but defendants also have a slim chance of winning. This is due to their inability to pay for a good lawyer. The death penalty is also biased. African Americans are 4.3 times more likely to be executed than a Caucasian.

My fourth reason is that the death penalty costs a significant amount of money. Due to the extra measures taken in judicial proceedings, lawyer fees, extended trials, and expert witnesses, the costs become exponential. According to the Oregonian, in 1995 the trials for three Washington

County murder cases cost more than $1.5 million. In the year 2000, a fiscal impact summary from the Oregon Department of Administrative Services stated that the Oregon Judicial Department would save $2.3 million annually if the death penalty were eliminated. It is estimated that total prosecution and defense costs to the state and counties equal $9 million per year. It is a total waste of effort, time and money to execute someone. The money used for execution should be donated or spent on people who deserve it rather than to a criminal who can be punished by a life sentence without parole. This leads to my fifth and last reason.

 

Conclusion

A Life sentence is a harsher punishment than the death penalty. The death penalty is the easy way out. If the government really wants the offenders to suffer, send them to prison where they will be for the rest of their life.

By executing offenders, the government is sending out a message. The whole point of the death penalty is to show that murdering people is an unacceptable crime, but then they proceed to do exactly that; kill people. On the contrary, the death penalty can also be interpreted as revenge. Supporters believe that the people who commit muder have lost their right to life. For example, if a family lost their son to someone who shot and killed him, the parents would think because that person killed my son they deserve to be killed as well. However, they need to understand that killing the murderer won’t bring back the murdered.

The death penalty has been around since the Eighteenth Century B.C. It has its own history. But that’s really all it should be– history. The death penalty as retribution no longer makes sense in our current society. All the flaws regarding the death penalty outweigh any good cause it has. Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind,” which means if we keep punishing those who we see as cruel, we are no better than the bad guys themselves.   

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