The Global Debate on Death Penalty

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The death penalty is one of the most hotly debated legal issues in the democratic world today. This is particularly the case in the United States, where some states have implemented capital punishment as a response to major crimes and others have abolished the practice. Among legislators, policy makers, and the general public, there appears no likelihood of resolving the debate. The wide array of moral, religious, humanitarian, and criminological views simply appears too divergent to ever meet. At the basis of the debate is the issue of whether capital punishment is a suitable response to severe criminal activity such as murder, or if there are better and more effective ways to respond to these. While there are compelling arguments both in favor of and against capital punishment, one may draw the conclusion that the death penalty serves little purpose beyond revenge, which ultimately does little to compensate the affected parties. Generally, a search for arguments relating to capital punishment tends to result in a majority of articles against this type of response to crimes involving murder. Some writings in favor of this type of justice, however, can be surprisingly compelling. One of these is the article by Jacoby (2003), where he argues for the death penalty without overtly religious or emotional appeals to the reader. Jacoby makes two main points in support of his view. First, the death penalty results in justice for the victims. According to the author, murder is
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