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Death Penalty

Essay by   •  October 7, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,166 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,857 Views

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Thesis

It is more reasonable to utilize the death penalty than to abolish it. The death penalty should not be abolished because (1) it deters people from committing murder and (2) because the death penalty gives peace of mind to the victims and their families and puts an end to the crime.

Arguments for the thesis

(1) The death penalty should not be abolished because the fear of the highest form of punishment will keep potential victims alive.

(2) The death penalty should not be abolished because the families of the victims can only begin the healing process once the murderer is put to death.

Response to objections to the thesis

(1) Objection: The death penalty should be abolished because even the highest form of punishment will not remove the evil from society.

Response: If the death penalty was abolished, the convicted murderer has the potential to escape and kill again. This will spread more evil and give the option to kill again to the murderer.

(2) Objection: The execution of a convicted murderer will never bring the victims back to life. Therefore it serves no purpose other than to kill.

Response: Resurrection has never been the purpose of the death penalty. The family members just want to start healing and they can't while the perpetrator is still alive.

Bibliography

Van der Haag, Ernest and John P. Conrad, The Death Penalty: A Debate (New York: Plenum Press, 1983).

Arlen Specter, "Congress must make Death Sentences Meaningful Again" (Human Events, July 1994).

Hugo, Adam Bedau, Ed., The Death penalty in America: Current Controversies (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997)

Blumstein, Cohen, Nagin, Deterrence and Incapacitation (National Academy Press January 1978)

It is more reasonable to utilize the death penalty than to abolish it. The death penalty should not be abolished because (1) it deters people from committing murder and (2) because the death penalty gives peace of mind to the victims and their families and puts an end to the crime.

The death penalty deters some people from committing heinous crimes and thereby also saves human lives. Not everyone will be deterred from committing heinous crimes because of the death penalty. However, since the death penalty is the highest penalty for crimes it will obviously evoke the most fear in a human being. This fear will save human life. As legal expert Ernest van den Haag explains:

The threat of 50 lashes deters more than the threat of 5: a $1000 fine deters more than a $10 fine; 10 years in prison deters more than 1 year in prisonÐ'--just as, conversely, the promise of a $1000 reward is greater than the promise of a $10

reward, etc. (1) Most murders happen in the passion of the moment, however, serial killers, burglars, gang members, and others who plan their crime in advance can and do think of the possibilities. Many criminals don't carry weapons while committing crimes, for example, to keep from killing, as Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania recalls:

My twelve years' experience in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office convinced

me that the death penalty is a deterrent to crime. I saw many cases where professional burglars and robbers refused to carry weapons, for fear that a killing would occur and they would be charged with murder in the first degree, carrying the death penalty.(2)

Because the death penalty is final and more feared than imprisonment, it deters some prospective murderers not deterred by the thought of imprisonment.

Abolitionist's main argument is that capitol punishment can't remove the evil from society. No matter what the juridical laws that a country holds, heinous crimes will haunt and spread fear throughout as long as mankind is on this earth. There have been numerous studies that have concluded that the death penalty is not a deterrent. One of which is from the National

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