The Controversy Over the Death Penalty Why is the death penalty used as a means of punishment for crime? Is this just a way to solve the nations growing problem of overcrowded prisons, or is justice really being served? Why do some view the taking of a life morally correct? These questions are discussed and debated upon in every state and national legislature throughout the country. Advantages and disadvantages for the death penalty exist, and many members of the United States, and individual State governments, have differing opinions. Yet it seems that the stronger arguments, and evidence such as cost effectiveness, should lead the common citizen to the opposition of Capital Punishment.
For years, politicians have been passionately debating the subject of the capital punishment, which has only served to create more divisions within our society. It is an extremely sensitive subject, and one that inspires strong emotions in both directions. Like abortion, gun laws, and the war on terrorism, capital punishment
Many contend that the death penalty is morally impermissible due to some irreversible miscarriages of justices . However, capital punishment can be defended in both consequentialist and deontological terms. Kantian ethics claims that, for exceptionally heinous crimes committed with malice aforethought, the penalty of death is not only morally justifiable but is morally obligatory. Consequentialists can substantiate the use of capital punishment through the claim that the death penalty is more effective than other more moderate punishments in averting the murder of innocents through inducing the fear of consequences in
Capital Punishment Research Essay Capital punishment, otherwise known as the death penalty, is a controversial subject which has been argued for decades due to the ethical decisions involved. People believe the death penalty is the right thing to do and that it is the perfect example of ‘justice’ while others believe that it is immoral and overly expensive. The death penalty is not a logical sentence for criminals, it doesn’t give them the right type of justice and it is immoral.
Capital punishment is a sentence that is given to someone that has committed a capital crime. This is a subject of great debate; some people agree and some do not. There are times when a crime is so heinous that the majority would seek capital punishment. Susan Gissendaner received this sentence for plotting to kill her husband, although her boyfriend actually killed her husband. Since being in prison, Susan has undergone a conversion and transformation. She is now a model prisoner. Due to Susan’s transformation, they are trying to have her sentence changed. Should Susan’s sentence be commuted to life in prison is the question being asked? This paper will answer the question by providing a moral judgment viewed by two non-consequentialist theories. The strengths and weaknesses of these positions will be assessed. Whether I agree or disagree will be answered and explained.
Van den Haag argues how “There has been no conclusive statistical demonstration that the death penalty is a better deterrent than are alternative punishments" (1665). Even though van den Haag explains that deterrence might not be the best argument for supporting the death penalty, he does discuss how the certitude of the death penalty tends to be more formidable than imprisonment. Van den Haag also explains that even though the death penalty may not deter hundreds of murderers, is still deters some. “Sparing the lives of even a few prospective victims by deterring their murderers is more important than preserving the lives of convicted murderers because of the possibility, or even the probability, that executing them would not deter others” (van den Haag 1666).
Comparing Two Arguments on Capital Punishment In these two short essays, one by Anthony G. Amsterdam and another by Ernest Van Den Haag both authors make two very important views. Although one supports capital punishment and one is against capital punishment, both authors have good reasons to support their case. Amsterdam believes that capital punishment is a brutal process that a murderer has to go through. Amsterdam believes that the murderer should be punished for their actions, but should not go through capital punishment. Although Ven Den Haag agrees that capital punishment is one of the harshest penalties, it should nevertheless be used. Ven Den Haag believes that a murderer should take responsibility for their actions,
For years the death penalty has been one of the most controversial topics in the judicial field. The death penalty has been abolished in 18 states leaving 34 states that allow it. It is argued that the death penalty goes against moral and religious beliefs along with being unconstitutional. I’m
The Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment Since the mid 1900’s, capital punishment has brought many individuals into many diverse view points throughout the years. Capital punishment is a way of punishing a convict by killing him or her because of the crime he or she committed. Capital punishment will always have its pros and cons. There are opponents who absolutely disagree with capital punishment. And then there are advocates who support the idea. In the advocates view point, capital punishment is a way to minimize the threat in the world today. In the opponent’s point of view, opponents disagree with capital punishment, because of the high expenses it brings to the states. Also, opponents argue that capital punishment
Capital Punishment is defined as the “legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime”. This is also known as the Death Penalty. The death penalty has been an ongoing debate in the United States since as early as the colonial period. Most people including myself are for the death penalty for many reasons. The death penalty provides closure for victims; it is a warning to other criminals because it acts as a deterrent. I believe criminals should face consequences for their actions (an eye for an eye). I will later compare and contrast two great philosophers known as Jeffery Reiman and van der Haag. These two philosophers have two opposing theories regarding Capital Punishment.
In view of these safeguards, proponents of capital punishment believe that state executions are justified sentences for those convicted of willful first-degree murder. They do not think sentencing murderers to prison is a harsh enough sentence, especially if there is the possibility of parole for the perpetrator. A final argument posed by proponents of the death penalty is that execution is an effective deterrence. They are convinced that potential murderers will likely think twice before they commit murder. Despite the rhetoric of politicians for the increased use of the death penalty, a number of prominent individuals and organizations have emerged to express their opposition to capital punishment. Along with families of death row prisoners, the International Court of The Hague, the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Texas Conference of Churches, Pope John Paul II, Nobel Peace recipient, Bishop Tutu, numerous judges and former prosecutors, former Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, actors, and writers are waging a determined struggle against the death penalty. They invariably argue that capital punishment is wrong and inhumane. Religious folk generally evoke the nature of an “ideal spiritual community” (Cauthen, 1). Within this perspective, a moral and ethical community does not insist on a life for a life. While a community must act to protect law- abiding citizens, an ethical response would be to
Last but not least, from a sociologic perspective, capital punishment does not work as intended, to deter crime rate, rather, it might brutalize individuals, at the same time does nothing good to the victim’s family other than brutal vengeance. The origin of death penalty is served as a vehicle to put a warning for those potential future criminals that such kind of behavior will lead to death. However, so far, no clear evidence can be seen that capital punishment, as a mechanism of deterrent, actually cut down the local crime rate. Ironically, a reversal trend was found by Death Penalty Information Center (2010) in the USA that the death penalty leads to an increase in local murder rate. To die might be too easy for the mindless murderers. Also, for the relatives or friends of criminals put into death through capital punishment, they are more likely to be
From an early age, children are taught that murder is morally wrong. In today’s complex society that is impeded by unsettling periods of civil unrest, it is an expectation for everyone to acknowledge and accept that murder is one of the worst crimes individuals can commit. Perhaps it can be said that the death penalty is one of our legal system’s biggest contradictions of itself, as, if someone commits murder (or another heinous crime of that caliber), such ‘murderers’ will, in states that have capital punishment laws, be sent to Death Row and ultimately murdered in order to prevent potential future crimes by such perpetrators. I believe that the death penalty is wrong not only as it is immoral to take a life, but also, such ineffective laws waste money and do not deter crime.
Death penalty advocates argue that the execution of convicted murderers deter others from committing murder for fear that they will also be executed, and also that murderers will be incapacitated: once dead, they will have no opportunity to commit additional murders. Death penalty opponents dispute the deterrent effect of capital punishment, arguing that few murderers rationally weigh the possibility that they might face the death penalty before committing a murder. Finally, death penalty opponents do not dispute that execution incapacitates executed murders, but argue that life imprisonment without possibility of parole is equally incapacitating. (Jacob Sullum, Los Angeles)
Death Penalty as an Effective Method of Punishment An issue that has continually created tension in today's society is whether the death penalty serves as a justified and valid form of punishment. Whenever the word "death penalty" comes up, extremists from both sides start yelling out their arguments. One side says deterrence, the other side says there's a potential of executing an innocent man; one says justice, retribution, and punishment; the other side says execution is murder. Crime is an evident part of society, and everyone is aware that something must be done about it. Most people know the threat of crime to their lives, but the question lies in the methods and action in which it should be dealt with. In several parts of