Death Penalty Essay

Argumentative Essay on Against the Death Penalty

In the United States criminal justice system when a human being takes the life of another human being there are roughly two options for consequences; Life in prison with no possibility of parole or the death penalty. So, in regard to the death penalty, morality can define what justice may to be in a criminal punishment. Individuals who believe it is morally right to put an individual to death over a horrendous crime support the retentionist argument for the death penalty. Individuals who believe it is morally wrong to kill an individual, despite the crime committed are in support of the abolitionist argument of the death penalty. In the United States, there are thirty-one states in support of the death penalty and remaining nineteen states are against the death penalty law. As the death penalty can be a controversial topic is it important to consider all possible factors. The best approach to the death penalty is the principle of human dignity.

The principle of human dignity is an argument in abolishing the death penalty. The principle of human dignity presents an argument that gives all individuals equal rights regardless of decisions made in a criminal act. The principle of human dignity is an argument that a human being, in virtue of just being a human or person has intrinsic worth. This argument means that a human being is a human being and should always be treated as one. No matter the crime committed, one does not forfeit their right to life even if they have taken one. This argument in abolishing the death penalty can agree with tortures should not be tortured, drunk drivers not being hit with a vehicle, and individuals who are accused of arson should not be set on fire. The consequences for those crimes are excessive; the same thing occurs when in regards of the death penalty. When placing the idea of an eye for an eye on various crimes is seems extreme and unnecessary. A life for a life is excessive. Criminals do forfeit some rights to life, but not all rights to life. Punishments will happen for individuals committing these crimes, but there are punishments that fit the crimes being committed. For example, life in prison with no possibility of parole fits the punishment of first degree murder.

The principle of human dignity directly goes directly against the element of reciprocity. The element of reciprocity explains that we can forfeit our rights by our own actions. If a person violates someone’s right to life, this murderer forfeits his or her right to life. The argument claims the state is not taking anyone’s right away because if one took a life of someone else, they do not have a right themselves. The human dignity argument has the idea that human dignity should always be reserved. Human rights are given to an individual when born should be modified when committing crimes but never forfeited.

The principle of human dignity attempts to portray a message to lead individuals to believe that ending someone’s life says, a person doesn’t have any worth or value left. Individuals should never lose their respect for human dignity. Good or bad actions, all humans have emotions and can feel pain; at somewhat the same level. Individuals who do not agree with the principle of human dignity are in support of the death penalty. There are many factors that morality support the death penalty. Supports are in favor of taking the life of someone who committed a horrendous crime; a life for a life. Individuals who do not agree with the human dignity argument may attempt to argue that the death penalty is an effective consequence because it deters other criminals from committing the crimes. Continuing, it may be argued that the death penalty can show society its moral outrage at unpleasant crimes. Resulting in a decrease in the crime rates. Although this seems efficient, an individual who commits a crime already knowing the consequences. Life in prison with no possible chance of parole is enough to deter an individual of a crime who does not want to seek punishment.

Other supporters of the death penalty derive more from government than society. The government is considerably more in favor of the death penalty because of the costs. It is much cheaper in today’s economy to eliminate the criminals with the death penalty rather than to pay for them to live their entire life in prison. This argument is important to the government because it saves the government more money. Rather than having an inmate in prison and maintain the funds to support these prisoner’s lives, the government would rather choose to execute the criminals. Morally, this is the most incorrect argument regarding the death penalty. No amount of money is equivalent to the life of a human being. Not only is the death penalty decreasing the value of a human being’s life, it is putting the cost and expenses of keeping individuals alive, above their rights to life.

The death penalty is the wrong consequence more many reasons. Although, individuals are rarely put to death for crimes they did not commit, it does happen. To avoid wrongfully killing an individual for a crime they did not commit, the death penalty should not be used a punishment. Technology continues to advance every day. Scientist are figuring out new technology and experiments as we speak. If new advances in technology (regarding the criminal justice system) were to be discovered and the death penalty was not implemented, an individual would gain their rights and freedom back. A wrongfully committed individual can be released from prison, not brought back to life. Not all, but some crimes can be justified.

Although the death penalty has been used for thousands of years to punish criminals, in today’s society it is not as effective. The death penalty is such a controversial topic there will never be a correct answer. The arguments are all based on morals and views. Although there is no correct answer, there is a better answer. The human dignity argument gives all humans, equal rights; regardless is one made a criminal mistake or not. All humans have human dignity.

Capital Punishment Essay

J.R.R Tolkien once said, “many that live deserves death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.” The death penalty should be repealed because it’s very stressful for those involved, it is extremely expensive, and it has convicted innocent people.

One reason why the death penalty should be illegal is because it’s very stressful for those who are involved. According to Berman there were several officials begging for them to change the pace of executions because it imposes stress and trauma (Berman). This proves that carrying out several executions can take a severe toll on correction officers wellbeing. Berman states, “In a state review, authorities wrote that the execution team placed the IV incorrectly and that the officers involved described a feeling of extra stress and urgency because a second execution was scheduled for the same night” (Berman). This also proves that when there’s back to back executions scheduled it can stress the correction officers out and they can get nervous and mess up on something. In “With Lethal Injection Drugs Expiring” Berman states, “‘How can you expect them to do something of this magnitude? It’s rough,’ Givens who executed 62 people and now opposes the death penalty, said Friday. ‘I know the effect it can have on you when you participate in execution… It takes a while to really come out of that” (Berman). This proves that when working as a correction officer and you have to execute people it can be very traumatic and hard to get over which causes stress.

Another reason why the death penalty should be repealed is because it is extremely expensive. According to Jones and Eder, California had spent more than $8 billion on capital punishment since it was reinstated in 1928 (Jones and Eder). This proves that the states are spending billions of dollars just to execute people when that money could be going towards something more beneficial. Jones and Eder states, “The cost of housing a death row inmate outpaces the cost of housing a general-population prisoner by $100,000 a year, primarily because death- row inmates are housed alone instead of two-a-cell, and they require a higher level of security” (Jones and Eder). This proves that the cost of housing just one single death row inmate is very expensive. If housing just one is millions of dollars, than imagine how much money it is when housing multiple. In “Costs Test Backing For Death Penalty” Jones and Eder states, “The Alarcon study concluded jury selection alone in capital cases cost more than $200,000 above the amount for life without parole an that the death penalty prosecutors can cost 20 times as much as life-without parole” (Jones and Eder). This shows that capital cases cost a lot of money and is very expensive. It cost way more than it would cost if it was just life without parole.

Another reason why the death penalty should be repealed is because it kills innocent people. In the article “Time to Question Sanity of Death Penalty” Phillip Holloway states, “A study last year found that, at a conservative estimate, ‘more than 4% of inmates sentenced to death in the united states are probably innocent.’ indeed, there have been 330 executions based on DNA alone” (holloway). This quote proves that over 100 people has been put on death that are innocent. According to Holloway there was this man name Henry McCollum, who was in prison for 30 years on death row for the murder of an 11 year old girl which evidence showed that he did not do. This case proves that some death row cases are unfair and they convict innocent people. His whole life is thrown away over something he didn’t do which is unfair. Holloway states, “Some of the inmates appear to suffer from intellectual impairment and outlining qualms about the legal representation the men have had” (Holloway). People who don’t know better are put to death row, and many of them suffers disabilities and intellectual impairment. Why would you want to kill someone who suffer mental illnesses and doesn’t know better?

Even though many people feel that the death penalty should be abolished, there are many people who support it. People who support the death penalty says it saves lives. According to David Muhlhausen, “Professors Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Paul R. Rubin, and Joanna M. Shepherd of Emory University found that each execution, on average, results in fewer murders” (Muhlhausen). This can be proven wrong because according to Kyle Gibson, prison homicides have increased in the past year from 39 to 55, or a 44% increase (Gibson). People who support the death penalty also argue that it brings justice and closure to the victim’s family. In the article “Death Penalty Brings Relief to Victims’ Family” John Futty states, “She felt comforted to know that he will be put to death” (Futty). Even though many think it will bring closure, it can also bring stress and trauma on others such as those involved. Berman stated, “correction officers described a feeling of extra stress and urgency” (Berman).

Simply by repealing and/or making the death penalty illegal would make America way better. It doesn’t help or do anything to resolve the crime rate. The death penalty is senseless and discriminatory. There’s still crimes going on with the death penalty being legal. It brings nothing but stress, debt, and innocent lives lost.

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave A Comment?