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Essay: Arguments against the Death Penalty

The problem of flawed executions

❶The hope of deterring these sorts of individuals by making an example out of a criminal will not really make a difference in their final actions.

Death Penalty Persuasive Essay

Opposing the death penalty
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In most nations, death penalty is used to punish criminals for war crimes or serious crimes associated with physical injury. In Asia Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand it is used to punish for drug-related crimes, even though these crimes are mot related to physical injury. As part of anti-death penalty movement, this call to repeal this measure has been upheld by various international organizations.

Some international conventions such as the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Sixth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights have been adopted, although they only bind nations that have ratified them. Organizations like the European Union demand from new members the abolition of death penalty as a condition of entry. Thus, there is a significant pressure on nations to cancel it. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are two prominent organisations fighting against death penalty.

The issues involved in the discussion of death penalty usually focus around two main parts. First, this punishment is analysed from a purely utilitarian perspective in an effort to find out whether application of capital punishment really helps to deter crime and reduce the risk of recidivism, when criminals commit repeated crimes.

The evidence for this is sought in crime rates in regions and nations where executions are carried out. Second, supporters or opponents of death penalty need to find out whether this penalty can be acknowledged on moral grounds, solving the problem of whether human beings are justified in killing other human beings. Although the arguments stated remain basically the same throughout history of the discussion, evidence can vary, and the findings, although controversial, can tilt the public opinion to one or the other side.

Thus, the support for death penalty surges in nations where especially outrageous murders take place. On the contrary, a lower criminal rate reduces the support. Death penalty, in my view, has to be supported on the ground of just retribution for murder. Still, I do not believe in death as a form of punishment for drug dealers, however heinous their activities might be, since they did not violate human lives.

Political crimes should not be punished with death either, as this would open the way to political repression and physical elimination of political rivals, as it happened in Stalin's times in the Soviet Union. However, when a person murders another person, death is the right kind of retribution. This is analogous to penalties imposed for instance for robbery or theft - the criminal often has to forfeit one's possessions for taking the property of another person.

Similarly, it is fair that one who has consciously taken the life of another person should suffer death. Susstein and Adrian Vermeule, the authors suggest that death penalty is morally justified on the basis of distinction between acts and omissions. Most opponents of death penalty argue that it is barbaric for a government to take a human life since there is a difference between an act, such as killing a person, and omission, such as refraining from the act.

But, researchers argue, by forbidding official penalty, government officials de facto allow numerous private killings that are left unpunished. Therefore, punishing the criminals is a necessary part of any state policy. The interests of victims or potential victims of murders cannot be overlooked in order to consider the interests of the criminals guilty of the most heinous crime - taking a person's life.

One of the most important arguments in favor of death penalty is the fact that it helps to deter capital crimes. This issue is debatable since there have been suggestions that application of death penalty has no serious effects on the rate of murders, for instance. Besides, opponents of death penalty claim that it is not possible to deter so-called crimes-of-passion committed in an emotionally affected state when a person is not capable of thinking about future punishment.

However, there is evidence that application of capital punishment can indeed prevent crimes, even those that are committed by intimates. A study by Joanna M. To find this relationship, she looks at monthly murder and execution data using least squares and negative binomial estimations.

Her conclusion is that one execution helps to avert three killings on average. Capital punishment also has an effect on murders by intimates and crimes of passion.

The influence is evidenced by rates of crimes committed by victims of both European and Afro-American descent. The deterring effect of death penalty, however, was found to be reduced by longer waits on the death row. The paper, in evaluating the deterrent effect of capital punishment, adjusts the data for the influence of simultaneity and therefore comes up with estimates of a deterrent effect that greatly those of previous findings.

Besides, he has established that it is the announcement of death penalty that drives the effect. The above-mentioned findings suggest that the deterrent effect of capital punishment is present and should not be neglected.

If the killing of one criminal can prevent at least three, or fourteen deaths, by different calculations, this opportunity has to be exploited. We cannot forgo an opportunity to save the lives of honest, innocent, law-abiding citizens.

Although any human life is precious, the efforts of the society have always been directed mostly at maintaining the well-being of those who live by its rules. They are getting more economic benefits that anti-social elements and can enjoy a more secure future.

Thus, these people have to be protected by the law in the first place. Evidence of repeat offenders returning to normal life is scarce, and instances of recidivism are abundant. Once again, the solution depends on the main goal set for the legal system: If we side with those who believe that the system should in the first place support those who are law-abiding, the focus will be on prevention of deaths though murders as the greatest evil generated by crime.

The execution of Stephen McCoy in May of is a prime example of this. According to witnesses, McCoy reacted violently to the drugs administered to him and was seen gagging, violently coughing, and undergoing body contortions Haines. Examples like this show that the systems that we have in place have serious flaws in them.

From a moral standpoint, one cannot willing and with a clear conscious sentence an individual to an execution that may be cruel and unusual as that violates the Bill of Rights, which the judicial branch is charged with ensuring is never violated. A second argument that is given against the use of the death penalty is that it does not actually deter anyone from committing the crimes that result in receiving the punishment.

The basic argument that is made by individuals that support this form of punishment is that it makes an example out of those that commit these types of crimes and, therefore, will strike fear into the hearts of those that are thinking about attempting to commit the same sort of crime resulting in them rethinking their actions. Unfortunately, this rational is taken with flawed logic. Those that receive the death penalty have usually committed the most gruesome, violent sorts of crimes that usually include one or more murders.

Further, those that commit these sorts of crimes are usually mentally unstable. These are the types of individuals that have no regard for the safety of themselves or that of others, and will act out their plans of actions regardless of what has happened in the past or present.

The hope of deterring these sorts of individuals by making an example out of a criminal will not really make a difference in their final actions. Empirically, one of the major rationales behind allowing the death penalty to remain is that the punishment will deter others from wanting to commit a crime. Though ruling from a standpoint of fear is already morally questionable, the question remains: It would appear that it does not hold.

Further, of the inmates that were on death row, only 65 of them were executed that year. This staggering discrepancy of condemned to execution ratio can appear anything but frightening to the individual. The analysis that these two present appears to have a definite rational component to it, and the evidence suggests that the death penalty is not a deterrent to commit this type of crime.

In another sample essay on the death penalty , we wrote that the death penalty was a modern tragedy because the deterrence argument does not hold up. Another argument against the use of the death penalty is the high cost that this process has on the taxpayers.

One would imagine that a life sentence in prison would be the most expensive punishment that an individual can receive, however the cost of execution is very expensive.

A recent study that was released by the Urban Institute found that the cost of the death penalty is alarmingly high. Further, the study found that the use of the death penalty has taken a great amount of financial resources from the taxpayers over the course of two decades in the sate of Maryland. The study found that Maryland had spent around million dollars in the cost of utilizing the death penalty as a means of punishment Economist.

The amount of resources wasted throughout the sentencing process must also be considered when thinking about the continuation of the use of capital punishment. Through the lengthy appeals process, a person that will ultimately be sentenced to execution can spend years and millions on appealing and refighting their charges to, ultimately, no avail. This problem does not only appear in the death penalty scenarios, but when the stakes are raised and more money is on the table, this issue becomes something to seriously consider.

The wasted money could have easily been spent elsewhere if the death penalty was not still a punishment option for the state, which is especially significant considering the harsh economic time that our nation finds itself in. These are just some examples of how the outlawing of the death penalty can be quite beneficial to a state and the nation as a whole.

As one can plainly see, the benefits financially to a state that outlaws the death penalty seem to far outweigh the reasons for keeping this outdated, extreme form of punishment.

There is one last item to consider in the case of allowing or disbanding the death penalty, and that is the trend that the rest of the world is following. As a world leader, the United States has an obligation to set a standard that the rest of the world can aspire towards. As reported by the Huffington post, the United States is one of only one tenth of the countries of the world that still carries out state executions, and further, the United States is the only Western democracy to still keep this form of punishment Huffington Post.

Some of the other nations that still practice the death penalty includes: As was stated earlier, the recipient of the death penalty is treated humanely and is not tortured in any way, shape, or form. After the anesthetic is administered the person feels no pain; the only part of the process that could be considered painful is when the IV is inserted, but that is done in hospitals on a daily basis and no one is calling it unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the death penalty as constitutional in cases they have presided over. In the case of Furman v. The Supreme Court has not found capital punishment to be unconstitutional, and therefore this argument for abolition is invalid. Another argument put forth by death penalty abolitionists is the possibility of executing an innocent person. Many people that argue this overestimate how often this happens, it is an extremely rare occurrence and has not happened since the death penalty was reintroduced in Mistakes will be made in any system which relies upon human testimony for proof.

We should be vigilant to uncover and avoid such mistakes. Our system of justice rightfully demands a higher standard for death penalty cases. Stewart points out that death penalty cases are held to a much higher standard. Due process in these cases takes much longer so that the court can be absolutely sure that the person is guilty before sentencing him to execution. This helps to eliminate any errors that could lead to executing the wrong person.

He also points out that although there is a small possibility for mistakes to be made, this does not mean capital punishment should be abolished. If everything that had the potential for harmful mistakes were outlawed, society would be extremely crippled. It is true that there is disproportionality when it comes to the races and classes that most frequently receive the death penalty.

It has been proven that minorities and those with lower income levels are overrepresented on death row. This is not due to discrimination; this is due to the higher rate at which these groups commit crime ProCon. It has been argued that poverty breeds criminality; if this is true then it makes sense that those at a lower income level would more frequently be sentenced to execution than those at higher income levels ProCon.

It has also been proven that minorities are disproportionately poor, and therefore they would also be more likely to receive the death penalty. Ernest van den Haag said it best:. The only relevant question is: Whether or not others deserved the same punishment, whatever the economic or racial group, have avoided execution is irrelevant. It does not matter what race or economic status a person is, if he is guilty he must receive the appropriate punishment, which in some cases may be the death penalty.

Capital punishment can be a difficult topic to approach because people tend to have extreme views on it. The death penalty is an asset to society; it deters potential criminals as well as serves retribution to criminals, and is in no way immoral. The arguments against the death penalty often do not hold up when examined more closely.

It is important that the nation is united on this issue, rather than having some states use capital punishment while others do not. The death penalty can be an extremely useful tool in sentencing criminals that have committed some of the worst crimes known to society. It is imperative that we begin to pass legislation making capital punishment legal throughout the United States so that justice can be served properly.

The Case for Justice. Death Penalty Curricula for High School. Death Penalty Information Center. This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 24th, at 5: You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2. You can leave a comment , or trackback from your own site. You must be logged in to post a comment. Ernest van den Haag, a professor at Fordham University, wrote about the issue of deterrence: Ernest van den Haag said it best: Works Cited Bosner, Kevin.

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- The Death Penalty As a Form of Justice Around the World Introduction: The death penalty is a subject that has become very big in the 21st century. Many centuries ago the death penalty is something that was widely practiced in almost all cultures.

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An argumentative essay about death penalty. The death penalty is the ultimate punishment. There is no harsher punishment than death itself.

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This assignment instructed students to write a persuasive essay which argues for a specific viewpoint or a specific action to be taken on a societal issue. I argued for a specific stance to be taken on the issue of the death penalty. The audience for this essay is the opinion section of the. Example academic essay: The Death Penalty. This essay shows many important features which commonly appear in essays. Should the death penalty be restored in the UK? The restoration of the death penalty for serious crimes is an issue of debate in the UK because of the recent rise in violent crime.

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The death penalty is a sentence that should be abolished. Should we do to the criminal as they did to the victim? Is there a chance that . The title is Arguments against the Death Penalty yet the author spent the whole time counterclaiming any arguments brought up rather than explaining the logistics behind the arguments. No side was taken in this essay however the title clearly states that the essay should be on arguments against.