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Death Penalty: not a detterent to crime - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: The Death Penalty: Playing God or Necessary? Introduction Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the practice of granting a state power to execute an individual as punishment for crimes committed (Marzilli, p.12)…
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Death Penalty: not a detterent to crime
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Download file to see previous pages For concerned citizens, the big question is, is it right to sentence to death people who commit heinous crimes? Is implementing “an eye for an eye” justice the right way to go? The death penalty is a barbaric and outdated practice in modern times that needs careful examination to justify its continued existence. Analysis The purpose of this text is to convince the reader that a civilized nation should not condone the killing of people to discourage others from killing. The perspective of three different authoritative authors on capital punishment is examined to lend weight to my argument. Readers of this text may agree with me that as progressive people in America, Land of the Free, we can find better ways of punishing the aberrant among us. Indeed, the crimes committed by some people are too grave to deserve leniency. Terrorism, for example, is one of the major concerns we face as a country. However, these constraints should enable us to arrive at a satisfactory agreement on how to punish criminals. The main motivator for this argument is the recent resurgence in support for the death penalty. This signals a step back to the Dark Ages in human rights. Discussion The subject can be approached from three different angles. Proponents of the death penalty argue that it deters would-be offenders. This is attributed to fear of losing their lives (Mandery, p.56). The permanency of death is also suitable for hardcore criminals who would repeat the same crimes if released. The death penalty seems to be the only punishment befitting heinous crimes such as genocide, serial murder and child murder. The perpetrators of such crimes forfeit their right to life by depriving others of it in such a barbaric manner. The only solution is to have them deprived of what they deprived others (Mandery, p.112). The reparative effects on families of the affected must also be considered. By knowing that whoever killed their loved ones is dead, relatives rest easy in the knowledge that justice has been done. Others argue for the continuation of the death penalty based on its functional properties. Aside from discouraging would-be criminals, it can be used by prosecutors as an incentive for suspects to confess or cooperate (Marzili, p.89). Suspects threatened with the electric chair are likely to confess and obtain plea-bargains in lieu of reduced sentences. Another functional argument is that the likelihood of sending the wrong person to the chair is reduced due to advancements in modern science. With DNA technology and other crime scene investigation techniques, guilt or innocence is satisfactorily established. Another argument is that the death penalty is a better alternative to life sentences because it reduces overcrowding and government expenditure in correctional centers (Marzilli, p.145). Those who oppose capital punishment offer several convincing arguments. First, the supposed deterrent effects of capital punishment are in doubt. The legal process leading up to a conviction is lengthy. “The public may fail to associate the crime with the punishment due to this ling delays” (Johnson, p.237). Modern modes of execution are fast and painless in an effort to be humane. The fear induced by methods such as guillotining or electric chair is lost (Johnson, p.240). The possibility of wrongful conviction of an innocent person can never be fully eliminated due to the ever constant chance of human error. In some cases, families of murder victims oppose the death sentence as retributive ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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