Is capital punishment
This topic is important because it
can be argued as a method that is going against the constitution.
The death penalty can be seen as a
reassuring, well-deserved and comforting method of punishment for the heinous
crimes committed by the convicted. But it is also seen as going against the
Statement: Many people believe that the death penalty is inhumane, ineffective,
and unconstitutional; however, it deters crime and comforts the family of the
Background about issue
topic, it’s seen as immoral, unfair and unjust by some but justified, deserving
and as a form of retribution for the family.
The first recorded execution in the
new colonies, since the arrival of European settlers, was of Captain George
Kendall in the Jamestown colony in 1608, Virginia. He was executed for being a
spy for Spain (“Introduction to the Death Penalty”).
In 1767, the essay written by Cesare
Beccaria called On Crimes and Punishment strongly impacted the world.
Beccaria philosophized that there was no
justification for the state’s taking a life (Beccaria 59). This essay gave
abolitionists a stronger voice and renewed energy. This resulted in the
abolition of the death penalty in Austria, Tuscany and gave rise to attempted
reforms in America, with the introduction given by the famous Thomas Jefferson.
It was proposed that capital punishment should only be used for crimes of
murder and treason, sadly however; it was defeated by one vote.
1. The Governor of Virginia, Sir
Thomas Dale, created the Dale’s code, also known
as, Lawes Divine, Morall, and Martial (Tarter “Lawes Divine, Morall
Maritall”). The death penalty was in play for even minor offenses
such as stealing, killing chickens, and trading with Native Americans. These
days, the death penalty is given to more horrific crimes such as; murder, rape
that leads to death, genocide, espionage, treason and basically anything that
leads to murder.
2. Capital punishment has always been a controversial subject,
but lately the abolishment of it has been gaining more support. So much support
that it has become an official Democratic Party platform in 2016 in which they
support abolishing capital punishment. So far there has been mixed result for
example; Utah passed legislation that abolished it, but other states like
Nebraska and Delaware who have tried, failed.
Seen as unjust, cruel and goes
against the constitution given to citizens.
Capital Punishment deters crime.
It is fair to the victims and the
family’s victim who suffered due to the monstrous crime. The family deserves
some form of retribution.
1. Americans who say they support the death penalty
have given a variety of responses over the years, but the biblical phrase
“an eye for an eye,” or retaliation, consistently has been named as
the No. 1 reason why the death penalty should be applied. However, this
reason’s pre-eminence has waned since Gallup first asked this question in 1991,
when half of Americans who favor the death penalty mentioned it (Art Swift,
“Eye for an Eye”).
2. The thirst for justice and
fairness is what fires up those who have had the misfortune to have their loved
ones lost. Thus resulting in favor of the infamous biblical phrase “an eye
for an eye”.
idea of retribution is not only for the offender’s family but mainly for the
victim, the victim’s family, and the community.
1. “The late British legal philosopher H.L.A. H art, a
retributive theory of punishment contains three elements: 1) a person may be
punished if and only if he has voluntarily done something wrong; 2) the
punishment must match, or be equivalent to, the wickedness of the offense; and
3) the justification for punishing persons is that the return of suffering for
suffering for moral evil voluntarily done is itself just or morally
2. According to Merriam-Webster,
“Retribution is defined as; something given or exacted in
recompense; especially: punishment.” This means that the idea of
retribution is not to fill the whole of the offender’s family but the victim’s
“There is only one argument in
favor of capital punishment it instills fear into the hearts of would be
murderers and thus, prevents crime”(Crowe 228). Therefore, lowers the
crime rate and eases the tension of the common peoples’ heart, consequently
improving producing productivity and government revenue.
1. Statistics show that executions have decreased and decreased
throughout the years specifically the years 2015 to 2016(“Capital Punishment: Should Capital Punishment Be
Allowed in the United States?”)
2. “Our recent research shows
that each execution carried out is correlated with about 74 fewer murders the
following year… The study examined the relationship between the number of
executions and the number of murders in the U.S. for the 26-year period from 1979
to 2004, using data from publicly available FBI sources… There seems to be an
obvious negative correlation in that when executions increase, murders
decrease, and when executions decrease, murders increase (Summers,
“Capital Punishment Works”)… With the increase of Executions and
decrease of crime, it is concluded that there is a correlation.
Capital punishment is seen by some
as a method of punishment that goes against the constitution.
The 8th amendment states
“nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” should inflict on any
citizen. Along with the 5th amendment stating that “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,