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Death Penalty Research Essay


Starting Sentence Option 1: The death penalty may seem like [a great idea/a horrific torture], but [did you know/were you aware] that it is available in 30 states? The killing of a [criminal/wrongdoer] is something that is [permitted by the government/government sanctioned] and that is [a good thing/very wrong]. [thesis statement]


Starting Sentence Option 2: Much controversy surrounds [the death penalty/capital punishment]. The idea of killing someone [as a consequence/in punishment] of a crime seems [cruel/just] to many, but others [are for/are against/protest] it. In fact, the death penalty is [thesis statement].

  • Certain crimes require a o-strong="er punishment for deterrence and capital punishment is the ultimate deterrent.
  • You cannot rehabilitate some people and these people should be put to death.
  • The death penalty does not allow for rehabilitation or repentance. If the person is killed, they cannot fix their ways.
  • Every human deserves the chance at life, no matter what they have done and we cannot take that right away.

Amnesty International

Bureau of Justice Capital Punishment

Death Penalty Fact Sheet

The death penalty, also known as capital punishment is a legal process through which an individual is sentenced to death by the state justice as punishment for a crime committed (Dieter, 2008). Capital punishment has been practiced and accepted in some countries while in others it is a matter of debate. The debate on whether to legalize or abolish the death penalty raised both strong and weak disparities on the implications for justice in the United States.

The criminal justice system has strongly supported the death penalty while the public opposes the ruling citing that criminal cases should not be punishable by death. Heinous crimes such as massacres are the main cases in which capital punishment is functional while lighter cases are punishable through jail terms. California is among the first counties to embrace capital punishment for cases like robbery, rapes, and serial killing. The first capital punishment law was established in the 18th B.C. in the ruler ship of king Hammaurabi of Babylon. The king’s intention was to punish 25 crimes on death penalty. By the year 1700, the death penalty had been adopted by other countries and 222 crimes were approved for death penalty (Kirchner, n.d). The Americans later learned about the death penalty from Britain in the course of Europeans’ movements. After the World War II, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the “right to life” article to enhance the relationship between communities. The United Organizations’ formed framework was not effective because it did not consider all groups particularly the juvenile and women cases. Though death penalties may be abolished, the peace keeping methods through community groups can be held to replace them. Rehabilitation centers are also effective avenues for helping drug addicts and all kinds of criminals to change their morals. The cost of the death penalty is greater than imprisonment thereby, death penalty should be abolished. There are several articles and books discussing abolishing of the death penalty for crimes against humanity. The death penalty affects the remaining family members because they have to keep it in their minds that one of their own is going to be killed at a certain point. This can result in depression and at times cases of suicide as a result of the mental torture. When people lose their loved ones in murder or any other crime, the family of the victim may feel that the only way in which they can get justice for the victim is if the perpetrator gets the same fate as the victim, which is death. Some people argue that jail terms are better than death sentences because a jail term results in the perpetrator staying locked up for the rest of his life, and this may give them a chance to think of their actions. Death penalties can be applied to both males and females, although in most cases they are applied. There are situations, however, in which women are handed the death sentence. The law favors women when it comes to stiff sentences but when a crime involves premeditation and murder in a horrendous manner, the women can be handed the death sentence. Karla Faye was the first ever woman executed in the USA since 1984, after committing a murder in Texas. Although she later claimed to have changed to Christianity and changed her ways, she was still handed the sentence because of the nature of the crime, in which because of her use of drugs, she killed an innocent person. A number of people advocated for her sentence to be converted to life imprisonment but this was not allowed (Clark Prosecutor, 2009).

Capital punishment should be abolished because it goes against the 8th amendment of unusual punishment for cruel criminals. The amendment states that capital cases are formulated in an objective and fixed standard to see off discrimination in judicial courts. Therefore, when capital punishments’ choice is made, the judge should consider if a lighter judgment such as a jail term can correct the offense. This is because there has been a lot of prejudice in the law courts depending on the familiarity and the profile the criminal. Some judges are lenient in dealing with cases of people from high ranking offices in the government while making unfair judgment to the unpopular criminals in the justice corridors. Often, the people with a louder voice have their way to justice than the poor. Regularly, we hear most cases whose evidence is highly questionable but the culprit released. Most victims of criminal activities do not find justice and will prefer keeping silent. Death penalty should be abolished because it is discriminative in the racial minorities’ lines and the poor. Statistics show that most people that have faced capital punishment are from poor families. Some judges are corrupt and ask for money in order to deal with similar cases in a selective manner that could imply a lighter judgment. A poor man will keep moving from one corridor of justice to the other without help or if any, it takes a long and tedious process. If such a poor man’s criminal punishment required the death penalty, the process becomes faster on his side than in a rich man’s case. In American society, racism has contributed to higher capital punishment for Native Americans. Immigrants, especially the blacks are bound to face more judgment on bigger criminal activities in the court justice. Everyone fears death. When it is publicly declared that certain acts will need death penalties, the people are able to guard themselves from falling into the sting of death. There is hope in jailing a rapist or murderer for 10 years than a person convicted of death penalty. The prisoner might change his behavior while still in cells and later become a learning icon. For example, in an article by Scott Shane in the New York Times “A death penalty Fight comes home” published on 5th February, 2013, he reports on Kirk Noble Bloodsworth’s story, an innocent man charged as a criminal. For 20 years innocent Bloodsworth lived his life in jail bars until DNA results proved him false. Today, he campaigns against death penalty. Shane reports of Bloodsworth’s ordeal in the hands of law enforcers and judges…

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