Essay on Why the Death Penalty Should Be Terminated

3070 Words 13 Pages
"Death is a unique punishment in the United States. In a society that so strongly affirms the sanctity of life, not surprisingly the common view is that death is the ultimate sanction... There has been no national debate about punishment in general or by imprisonment, comparable to the debate about the punishment of death" (Brennan).

Indeed, the issue of capital punishment is one that has been widely debated and for which many persuasive arguments of distinctly opposing viewpoints are available. The issue at hand is and always has been about whether or not we, as a society, should presume to enforce a penalty that by definition irrevocably extinguishes the existence of another autonomous human being. Is it a responsible and
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Finally, the death penalty is an altogether unethical and immoral violation of fundamental human rights under any and all circumstances.

Proponents of the current system of capital punishment defend this system as beneficial to society on these same grounds. It is argued that putting prisoners to death saves money over the alternative option of imprisoning them for a formidable amount of time, and acts as a deterrent to violent crime. It is further argued that the death penalty is in perfect accordance with all principles and protections set forth in the Constitution. Finally, the contention is offered that the death penalty is morally acceptable and permissible in that a violent offender has forfeited his or her right to life in the commission of his crime. Through the use of evidence consisting of both statistics and expert opinions on all three of the aforementioned grounds it can be clearly shown that the death penalty should be abolished once and for all.

The cost benefit analysis is an all-important aspect of the pragmatic argument. Be it good or ill, modern society is preoccupied with money and many people may support a system on the grounds that it is simply more cost efficient than an offered alternative. It has been the commonly held belief of many that costs for a lengthy prison term are higher than the cost of carrying out…