Essay on The Death Penalty: Right or Wrong?

1940 Words 8 Pages
This essay will discuss the various views regarding the death penalty and its current status in the United States. It can be said that almost all of us are familiar with the saying “An eye for an eye” and for most people that is how the death penalty is viewed. In most people’s eyes, if a person is convicted without a doubt of murdering someone, it is believed that he/she should pay for that crime with their own life. However, there are some people who believe that enforcing the death penalty makes society look just as guilty as the convicted. Still, the death penalty diminishes the possibility of a convicted murderer to achieve the freedom needed to commit a crime again; it can also be seen as a violation of the convicted person’s …show more content…
Abolitionists question the issue of how it is determined if the accused felon actually committed the crime or whether the rights of these individuals were breached and as a result they have been wrongly accused (Zimring, 2004).
The vigilante style approach may seem unappealing to many, yet it is how the U.S. continues to prosecute convicted felons. While the truth of the matter remains; there will always be someone killing innocent victims, sometimes for reasons unknown. Instead of seeking to abolish the death penalty completely, it seems we should turn our focus in to proving the convicted felons guilt or innocence before sentencing them to death.
It is hard to imagine that a murderer could possess any moral standards or even a level of self-consciousness. From a retributivist’s standpoint, a person who is capable of taking the life of another human being possesses neither moral standards or any type of self-consciousness and for that reason forfeits their right to live (Bedau, Cassell, 2004)
From a retributivist’s view, there are three propositions; the first being that anyone proven guilty deserves to be punished, secondly, only the guilty deserve to be punished, and finally, the guilty deserve a punishment equal to their crime (Bedau, Cassell, 2004). Philosopher, John Stuart Mill was perhaps one of the best known Utilitarianism believers, closely matching the retributivist theory in that he believed anyone convicted…

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