Pros For Death Penalty Debate Essay

Capital Punishment Essay - Benefits of the Death Penalty

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Benefits of the Death Penalty


Have you ever thought about if the person next to you is a killer or a rapist? If he is, what would you want from the government if he had killed someone you know? He should receive the death penalty! Murderers and rapists should be punished for the crimes they have committed and should pay the price for their wrongdoing. Having the death penalty in our society is humane; it helps the overcrowding problem and gives relief to the families of the victims, who had to go through an event such as murder.

First, people should know the history of the death penalty. The death penalty has a long history dating back to the 16th Century BC. "In 16th Century BC Egypt, a death sentence was ordered for members of nobility, who were accused of magic. They were ordered to take their own life. The non-nobility was usually killed with an ax"(Burns). During the 18th Century BC, King Hammurabi of Babylon had a code that arranged the death penalty for 25 different crimes although murder was not one of them (Burns).


The death penalty has been around since the time of Jesus Christ. Executions have been recorded from the 1600s to present times. From about 1620, the executions by year increased in the US. It has been a steady increase up until the 1930s; later the death penalty dropped to zero in the 1970s and then again rose steadily. US citizens said that the death penalty was unconstitutional because it was believed that it was "cruel and unusual" punishment (Amnesty International). In the 1970s, the executions by year dropped between zero and one then started to rise again in the 1980s. In the year 2000, there were nearly one hundred executions in the US (News Batch). On June 29, 1972, the death penalty was suspended because the existing laws were no longer convincing. However, four years after this occurred, several cases came about in Georgia, Florida, and Texas where lawyers wanted the death penalty. This set new laws in these states and later the Supreme Court decided that the death penalty was constitutional under the Eighth Amendment (Amnesty International).

The very first legal executions came in the United States was during the Revolutionary War against Great Britain. British soldiers hung the first person to die by the death penalty, Nathan Hale, for espionage (Farrell).

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Death Penalty         Capital Punishment         Benefits         Death Sentence         Overcrowding Problem         16th Century         Amnesty International         Own Life        




The reason that I have included this history is to prove that if something has been working, why stop this from working.Some people say that sending the murderers to death row is inhumane because these people deserve a right to live. This is wrong because they have given up their right to live for the horrible and heinous crimes they committed.

There also has been the problem of overcrowding in prisons and jails. Some people say that this is a problem but having more jails built will solve this problem. Having more prisons or jails built may help solve the problem but the death penalty effectively stops draining more money from the taxpayers to house murderers. These murderers get three warm meals a day; they do nothing all day, and have a place to sleep just because the taxpayers fund these facilities. Murderers on death row do not deserve to get a place to stay. They deserve to get their life taken away from them because of the atrocious crimes that these criminals have done.

The people who are on death row come from all types of race. The national death row population is 3,525, split with 3,477 men and 48 women. The ethnicity is much more varied. There are 1,610 whites, 1,490 blacks, 344 Latinos, 39 Native Americans, 41 Asians and 1 unknown, since August 5, 2003 (death row statistics). The total executions since 1976 are 870, which seem to be a lot, but in all reality, it is a small number compared to the 3,525 inmates still on death row (Farrell). Regardless of their race, they should be killed if they committed murder. With the statistics above it proves that any race can be put on death row, so there should be no problem of putting them to death.

Several countries use the death penalty, including China, Iraq, Iran, U.S.A., and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, twelve of the states do not allow the death sentence. The twelve states are Michigan, Wisconsin, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota, Hawaii, Alaska, Iowa, West Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These states say it is inhumane to kill someone but I believe if a murderer kills someone they should be killed as well. Less than one percent of murderers are sentenced to death, while only two percent of death row inmates are executed. The reason that this is relevant is because having this many people on death row drains the taxpayer's money. Today more than 75 inmates on death row have sat more than 20 years. If an inmate has been on death row for over 20 years then he deserves to die because that person is draining the taxpayer's money. In May of 2000, a recent study on the death penalty found that 65 percent of the US supports the death penalty (Farrell). With that amount of people supporting the death penalty, there should be no problem putting murderers to death because the majority likes the death penalty.

Many people say that the death penalty does not even help because there are not enough people being executed. One major way the death penalty helps is that it could relieve a family if someone is murdered and the convicted criminal is put to death. A perfect example was Timothy McVeigh when he was put to death in 2001, which was the first execution by the government since 1963 (CNN.com). The death penalty is good because the inmates who deserve to be killed, should be killed. This is a circular argument, which is a logical fallacy. A circular argument is when someone reaches a conclusion because it is true by not proven by facts, in other words the argument chases its own tail. I believe that if the people are just going in a circular argument then there is no way that, the people will gain ground to get rid of the death penalty.

In the year 2002, there were at least 1,526 people executed in 31 countries, and at least 3,248 people were sentenced to death in 67 countries. In addition, 81 percent of the executions took place in China, Iran, and the U.S.A. (Farrell). Those facts are just for 2002 and it seems that the number of people executed during this time was a large number. The death penalty is helping cut down the population of inmates on death row. There is no reason for them to believe that this is not helping. It seems that there is not a large number but if someone was to look at the statistics, it is actually a lot (Justice For All).Giving relief to friends and families for the murders on the their sibling or friend is done through the death penalty. The death penalty solves the overcrowding problem and this process is a humane action. Many people are losing their tax dollars to the government to pay for death row murderers, while these murderers should receive the death. These murderers do not deserve to live and have all of their expenses paid for committing those crimes. Now, why should anyone agree with not having the death penalty? They should not! The death penalty helps resolve many problems, such as the overcrowding problem. This process is humane and the persons that perform this task are not playing God. In the Bible, God has said that the people should uphold the law (Holy Bible). In the future, many problems could be resolved keeping the death penalty and not getting rid of it.

Works Cited

Amnesty International. "The Death Penalty." The Death Penalty. 22 Oct. 2003 http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty_index_eng.
Burns, Kari Sable. "Death Penalty." KariSable.com. 27 Oct. 2003 http://www.karisable.com/crpundeath.htm.
CNN.com. "Timothy McVeigh Dead". 11 June 2001. 14 Nov. 2003 http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/06/11/mcveigh.01/index.html.
Death Penalty Information Center. "Death Penalty Info." Death Penalty Information Center. 21 Oct. 2003 http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/.
Death Penalty Information Center. "The History of the Death Penalty." Death Penalty Information Center. 21 Oct. 2003 http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/article.php?did=199&scid=15.
The Holy Bible
Farrell, Mike. "Death Penalty." Death Penalty Focus. 22 Oct. 2003 http://www.deathpenalty.org/facts/other/facts_statistics.shtml.
Justice For All. "Pro-Death Penalty." Pro-Death Penalty. 22 Oct. 2003 http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Resources.htm.
News Batch. 15 Oct. 2003. 27 Oct. 2003 http://www.newsbatch.com/deathpenalty.htm.



Introduction

Officially, thousands of people are sentenced to death every year in countries where the death penalty is practiced. The death penalty is still prevalent in many parts of the world, especially in the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa, with notable countries including Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and the USA.

Given the prevalence of the death penalty in the modern world, it is fair to assume that there are perhaps justifications for it, though there are plenty of people who categorically oppose it. Without going into the details of any given judicial system, there are number of reasons to support both sides of the argument.

The Death Penalty: Pro

There are a number of practical arguments made for the death penalty. Because the death penalty is such a powerful construct, many argue that it decreases crime rates through deterrence. While many believe that the death penalty is more of a deterrent than a lengthy prison sentence, the very concept of ‘deterrence’ is argued by many as inapplicable to criminal psychology, especially if mental illness is involved. Criminals rarely think about the consequences of their actions and this is especially true with crimes of passion.

By killing felons, the death penalty removes the burden of housing them within the penitentiary system. Prison overcrowding and overstretched resources are key issues in prisons in many countries. Due to the severity of prisoners’ crimes on death row, it costs much more to feed, house, and seclude these often dangerous inmates than if they were simply put to death. And if they were paroled, there is always the chance they could re-offend, which is completely eliminated with the death penalty. The concept of retribution, that the perpetrator is punished in a manner fitting to the crime, is also used to support the death penalty.

The Death Penalty: Con

There are many arguments against the death penalty that are both practical and ethical. It is very difficult to know the exact moral status of the death penalty, though many see it to be a degrading, barbaric, and amoral. The opponents of the death penalty argue that it causes incredible suffering and pain for the sentenced and brutalizes society as a whole where it operates. Both of these factors could have negative effects on crime and criminality. The vast majority of people would at least argue that human life is highly valuable and should be preserved, though the extent at which preservation should make-way for retribution is where things become very debatable.

Misconduct in institutional systems can also lead to incorrect sentencing. While this is bad enough for non-death sentencing, these constitute a heinous breach of justice if the death penalty is involved. A psychological argument that may become prominent in the future is the concept of self-control and free will. Do we have free will or not? If not, this could bring into question not just the death penalty but all forms of sentencing whether it is capital punishment or not. New neurological research can now predict the likelihood of someone becoming violent and may help with future awareness on these issues.

From a global perspective, far fewer countries operate the death penalty when compared to countries that don’t. More importantly, there appears to be a general reduction in the number of death sentences even in the countries continuing to uphold the death penalty.

Conclusion

It is arguable that countries still using the death penalty do so purely in response to criminality and try to deter future criminals with it. Ironically, many of the countries that have the death penalty suffer from higher crime rates. The death penalty does not cause the problem but it is merely a response to it. And while the death penalty is usually implemented by autocracy or religious doctrine, it is almost never used in response to actual modern societal values.

Therefore, the case against the death penalty is much stronger than the case for it. This would be the same for anyone who believes that ethics are more important than any of the possible practical benefits.

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