Argument - Essay Example

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Subject: 29 January 2013 Capital Punishment Nations across the globe follow criminal justice systems to punish offenders, based on the seriousness of the crimes they commit. Capital punishment is the award of death penalty to the perpetrators of heinous crimes such as premeditated homicide, rape and murder etc…
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, the issue of awarding the capital punishment remains a highly controversial topic across the world. In the US many states award death penalty to offenders who commit premeditated homicide while some others do not have capital punishment. Killing a human being intentionally is a heinous crime and offenders who commit premeditated homicide need to be punished with capital punishment to deter others from engaging in such criminal activities. Criminal justice system awards punishment to the criminals with a view to prevent the recurrence of crimes. The society considers that every criminal offender needs to be awarded a punishment appropriate to the crime he or she commits. Thus, the advocates of death penalty contend that when capital punishment is awarded to a person who commits murder, “potential murderers will think twice before killing for fear of losing their own life” (The Death Penalty: Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty 1). Evidence also points to an analysis by the criminologist Isaac Ehrlich, which shows that “for every inmate who was executed, 7 lives were spared” as other perpetrators become deterred from committing similar crimes (1). This source concedes to the fact that studies relating to deterrence are sometimes “inconclusive” but it attributes this to the rare use of death penalty and the delay in its execution (1). Thus, it can be construed that death penalty acts as a deterrent to crime, which is a “practical justification” for the award of capital punishment (2). Criminal justice system relies on the basic tenet that every crime deserves a proportionate punishment for meeting the objectives of natural justice. Therefore, it appears natural that the person who perpetrates a premeditated murder of another person should be punished with death so that the victim and his or her family receive justice. Thus, the principle evolves that criminal justice must consider the extent of “harm caused by the criminal” and award a punishment that is “proportionate” to the crime (Bidinotto 20). However, the opponents of capital punishment hold the view that punitive measures derive from the concept of vengeance and the “vindictive notion of an eye for an eye” (23). Refuting this theory, Bidinotto argues that justice does not rely on the notion of vengeance but, on the other hand, is “based on retribution” (23). He further contends that showing mercy to murderers amounts to “negation of simple justice” and will actually act as an encouragement for criminals as they can “gain more from crimes than any costs they will have to bear” (23). Thus, it becomes evident that a punishment proportionate to the crime is only moral and, therefore, the award of capital punishment to a murderer is justified. Deliberate murder is a crime that destabilizes the society and, therefore, when such crimes occur the community has a responsibility to respond. The death penalty can be considered as a “uniquely powerful” response to such a crime due to its being a “permanent” solution that cannot be “retracted or overturned” (Gelernter 26). Thus, by awarding death penalty to criminals who commit the offence of premeditated homicide, society makes a proclamation that such crimes are “absolutely evil and absolutely intolerable” (26). Therefore, it will dissuade criminals from engaging in such crimes and reduce murders. Though the opponents of death penalty are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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