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Capital Punishment Essay - True Justice Through Application of the Death Penalty

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True Justice Through Application of the Death Penalty

The death penalty, as administered by states based on their individual laws, is considered capital punishment, the purpose of which is to penalize criminals convicted of murder or other heinous crimes (Fabian). The death penalty issue has been the focus of much controversy in recent years, even though capital punishment has been a part of our country's history since the beginning. Crimes in colonial times, such as murder and theft of livestock were dealt with swiftly and decisively ("The Death Penalty..."). Criminals were hanged shortly after their trial, in public executions. This practice was then considered just punishment for those crimes. Recently though, the focus
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Conversely, one of the main arguments for the death penalty is that it does deter crime. U. S. Department of Justice F. B. I. statistical data supports this point by highlighting the fact that most criminals released back into society commit additional felonies. Indeed, two out of three death row inmates had prior felony convictions, and one in twelve actually had been convicted of prior homicides (Snell). Removing any chance of further contact with innocent human beings, by carrying out the sentence of death, effectively assures us that this criminal will not commit another crime (Fabian). The crimes he or she would have perpetrated on future victims have essentially been deterred. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine who these "spared" victims are, yet the statistics just mentioned support the assumption that more heinous crimes will be committed if these criminals are not dealt with in the most permanent fashion - by execution.

The death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment. Authors of the United States Constitution's 8th Amendment related "cruel and unusual" punishment to methods used in ages past. There were many ways of carrying out the death penalty then that are not acceptable now. The 8th Amendment was created to outlaw such practices as burning criminals at the stake, boiling them in oil, or "drawing and quartering", whereas the convicted felon was tied
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