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Death penalty - Research Paper Example

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Death Penalty Name Instructor Course Date The sentencing of individuals to death has been applied in many societies for most of their history and this has been a fundamental part of the laws of these societies. Records, even from the most primitive societies, indicate that the death penalty was a part of their justice system and it was used as a punishment for acts which were considered to be detrimental to the community…
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Download file to see previous pages In some communities, however, the death penalty among its members was shunned because of the fact that it was forbidden to spill the blood of fellow community members. In such cases, this sentence was often reserved for times of conflict with neighboring communities where captured individuals, especially leaders, were sentenced to death. The continued use of the death penalty to punish a diverse number of crimes in the modern world has come to receive praise and condemnation in equal measure. Those, who advocate for it, argue that it serves as a deterrent to crime, since those who are given the death penalty serve as an example to would-be criminals (Fagan, 2006). Furthermore, they state that there are those individuals, such as murderers, who if sentenced to death, would be good riddance from society. This is because of the fact that they will have been removed from society on a permanent basis, thus ensuring that they are kept from repeating the same crimes that they have committed. They further argue that the death penalty is a just punishment for those individuals who commit such heinous crimes as child murder and serial killing, because these are human beings without a conscience who must be completely removed from society. In addition, they state that the death penalty is completely justified especially when applied to cases where individuals are serial murderers or have committed mass killings; acts which are unforgivable in most human societies in the world (Vollum et al, 2004). It is argued that sentencing such people to death is a means of showing the members of society that such acts cannot be tolerated and that if they are committed, then the lives of the offenders would be forfeit. There are some among those who support the use of the death penalty, who have gone as far as to state that not applying it on people who have committed such crimes as murder and genocide is a miscarriage of justice (Davis, 2002). For them, those who call for the abolition of the death penalty are not living in a realistic world, because its abolition is likely to increase the occurrence of terrible crimes in human societies. Furthermore, it is stated that the punishment of a crime must be painful in proportion of the crime committed and this is used to justify the death penalty since leaving murderers alive would be unfair to the families of their victims. The opponents of the death penalty, on the other hand, argue that its application in all manner of cases is a violation of the human rights of the individuals who have committed crimes. They argue that not all of those who are sentenced have a desire to commit murder and that in fact, there are many who only commit murder in self-defense since to do otherwise would have meant their own deaths (Rogoff, 2008). Another argument that they give is that the application of the death penalty is discriminative since most of those people who are sentenced tend to come from minority groups which do not have the resources to get the best representation in the courts (Lynch and Haney, 2000). They state that the use of the death penalty is an act of violence and that its continued use encourages the propagation of a culture of violence within the human society. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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