Essay about Death Penalty- 2000 Words - Essay Prowess

Essay about Death Penalty- 2000 Words


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Death Penalty


Death penalty is one issue that has the United States of America quite divided. There is a good number of supporters, as well as, opposition. Within 33 states death penalty is considered to be legal and 17 states do not practice it. This act is among the hotly debated issues in America for the past years. There is no doubt that murdering another individual is one of the atrocious crimes that a person can commit. Therefore, it is hypocritical when the central government states that death penalty is allowed since the subject did murder an innocent person (victim) and, as a result, she should be killed too (Healey, 8). There is also a notion that the death penalty will reduce the number of crimes of committed that are related to murder. However, this might not adequately justify doing the wrong thing. Therefore, I firmly believe that the death penalty is totally wrong and should not be legal throughout the country. Death penalty is considered to be mainly unethical in nature i.e. it is fundamentally wrong to murder and when one state kills it only conveys wrong messages to the entire nation. Again, the death penalty is wrong because it inhumane in nature and also a decent society should not punish an eye for an eye.

First Argument     

            Employment of the death penalty might end up making people believe that murdering other people is morally right. This will further be a distortion of self-defense when an individual life is in danger. The reaction is necessary for the purpose of one preventing death or injury. It would be morally wrong to kill such people who were only defending themselves. Self-defense might also apply when an adult is protecting children’s live who are not in a position to defend themselves from the immediate danger. In the trial, there is no indication the accused person will kill another time. Therefore, the states should reconsider the death penalty in order to avoid execution of innocent individuals who only reacted to an immediate danger posed to them or on behalf of defenseless children. In this case judges might be able to differentiate whether the accused person murdered in self-defense and a judicial error will occur. It would be morally wrong to punish a person for this heinous crime and was only responding to the immediate danger that was posed to him or her.

This is one of the moral problems facing the United States of America, as a result, of adoption of this form of punishment. The errors tend to be irreversible and thus innocent people like the one who acted on immediate danger will be killed. This is not morally right since people are not given fair trial based on the situation they were in order to commit that crime. This is among the ethical problems that are linked with the death penalty since it is irreversible. Unlike other punishments, this is final and once an innocent person is awarded death penalty and killed there is no going back. Even if the medical and forensic reports later shows later the in charge executor otherwise will not be in a position to give life back. Researches show that a good number of innocent people have been executed and were innocent. This taints the moral upright of the United States of America. In addition, when an innocent person is killed it deprives his or her right to live which against the law.

Second Argument     

            A civilized nation that is made up of morally upright persons should value the human life. There are no lives within a society that should be considered more valuable than others. This contributes significantly to the sentiment that some individuals are more worth than others in today’s society. Once individuals’ value life is lessened by this circumstance, it becomes morally wrong (Mitchell, 12). Therefore, as a society it is morally wrong to take another person’s life and issue threats that if one take another person’s life his or her will also be taken. Issue of threats of the death penalty within the society contradicts the legal system value that people’s work hard to uphold. For instance, Gandhi once said “Violence can never bring an end to violence; all it can do is provoke more violence. Therefore, no arguments that can outweigh the fundamental value of other people life. As a result, the death penalty should never be practiced since it fails to be morally right within the society, and it will only lead to more violence in the community.

More individuals will be killed some of which might be innocent but only to be discovered later when already executed. Therefore, the states should cease from subjecting people to the death penalty and look for other alternative means of punishing individuals. This would enable the society to remain morally right, and less violence experienced. It is also morally wrong since the families of the accused are profoundly affected by the killing of their loved ones (Banner & Stuart, 16). The message that is sent across the American and other nation’s society is morally wrong. For example, the country seems to be a nation that kills its people and a nation that enforces one of the barbaric types of punishment. This is because the majority of the arguments against this practice are ethical in nature i.e. it is morally wrong to kill and when the nation kills it conveys a wrong message the society.

Third Argument

The third crucial argument against the death penalty is that the act is morally wrong since it does not deter killings or violent crimes. If anyone is going to commit crimes he will commit with or without the death penalty. Therefore, it is morally wrong to subject people to the capital punishment as means of minimizing death rates. The misguided system might execute innocent people in order to try a control the rate of crimes (Baumgartner, Suzanna & Amber, 23). There are other means of deterring crimes and violence apart from the death penalty that seems useful and morally right when compared with the death penalty. Further, instead of deterring crimes it might channel collective hatred within the United States society. This would lead to unrest among different groups in the community hence the government needs to rethink and come up with morally right alternatives of punishing the accused people. Again, the lives of other persons do not belong to us and, therefore, we do not have the right to put other people under death penalty as a means of deterring rate crimes and violence.

Again, deterrence should not justify the killing of the accused since it is morally wrong to take another person’s life. Researchers have indicated that the death penalty have the opposite effect since the society feels brutalized by being subjected to this act (Banner & Stuart, 15). In other words, the death penalty tends to bring the cycle of violence within the society through encouraging revenge. Consequently, this increases the likelihood of more crimes being committed within the society. Therefore, it would be morally wrong to justify that death penalty deters crimes and violence in the country whereas it increases the rate. For instance, States that do not use death penalty experience lower rate of murder than those that use it. Further, individuals who commit these heinous crimes do not anticipate to be trapped. Thus, the death penalty should be eliminated and should never be an alternative for the country since it is not morally upright. The country will never have peace when death penalty is employed as a means of deterring crimes and violence since it is not moral.

Counter Arguments

Those who support death penalty argues that once the accused individual is denied of his or her life s/he is stripped of the capability of harming other people within the society. However, if a person is deemed to pose any form of threat to other people within a society, life imprisonment would also guarantee the same in future (Cromie & Lynn, 7). This is considered to be more morally right and also psychologically useful as compared with the death penalty. Human beings being social creatures social, as well as, sensory deprivation that prisoners experience would be sufficient to change them completely.

Though, the murder case might increase within United States of America once the death penalty is eliminated, there is a need to consider other factors that might lead to this increase instead of focusing on one side. Therefore, it would be morally right to introduce other means of punishing individuals that commit heinous crimes instead o death penalty. There exists a number of means of punishing these people that are less controversial, efficient and reasonable (Kukathas, 16). Again, the victims of the death penalty might be scapegoats within the society for the social troubles experienced. In addition, this barbaric and archaic kind of punishment shows vengeance that is morally wrong. People within the society should learn to forgive one another.

Moreover, individuals supporting death penalty firmly believe that it is morally, as well as ethically right. They tend to quote the Old Testament that to some extent recommends use of the death penalty for certain crimes. Some individuals also quote the Sixth Commandment that says “Thou shall not commit murder”. The literal interpretation tends to be quoted out of context since Christianity focuses on forgiveness and redemption advocates humane and ways of handling violence and crimes. Therefore, it is morally wrong to justify why death penalty should be used in United States of America. It also goes against many religious groups in America who argues that the death penalty is morally wrong.

Further, the supporters of the death penalty indicate that the act serves as a warning to other criminals. They also argue that family members are deprived their loved ones and that killing the accused might bring an end of their mourning. Again, the death penalty is not appropriate since it fails to rehabilitate the defendant, and it does not deter people from committing murder (Zimring, 8). Therefore, it is only morally right to rehabilitate these people instead of subjecting them to severe punishment. Also, killing the accused serves as revenge that is morally wrong within the society of United States of America.

In conclusion, the death penalty is and will remain a highly debated subject in America and other parts of the world. Capital punishment should in the United States of America does not meet the moral standards and seems not to value life of accused people. Therefore, I firmly believe that the death penalty should be abolished. Other alternatives should be employed to punish the offenders. Some of the reasons why this should this be abolished is because innocent peoples may end being executed, and the process is irreversible. This will also distort the aspect of self-defense, and it would be morally wrong to kill such a person who only acted on immediate danger. Secondly, the death penalty makes the society not to value the human life. It is morally wrong to value some lives more than others. Thus, the death penalty should not be an option since it is morally wrong since a person’s life is taken. Thirdly, it is morally wrong to kill offenders on a notion that it will deter the rate of offenses and violence in the country. This is because killing offenders does not guarantee a decrease in the rate of offenses but on the other side it adds the number of offenses. It is also morally wrong to quote Bible out of context in order justify why death penalty is right since the Bible advocates for forgiveness.

Works Cited

Banner, Stuart, and Stuart Banner. The death penalty: An American history. Harvard University Press, 2009 print.   

Baumgartner, Frank R., Suzanna L. De Boef, and Amber E. Boydstun. The decline of the death penalty and the discovery of innocence. Cambridge University Press, 2008 print.

Cromie, Jenny, and Lynn M. Zott. The Death Penalty. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Print.

Healey, Justin. The Death Penalty. Thirroul, N.S.W: The Spinney Press, 2010. Print.

Kukathas, Uma. Death Penalty. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Print.

Mitchell, Hayley R. The Death Penalty. San Diego, Calif: Greenhaven Press, 2001. Print

Zimring, Franklin E. The contradictions of American capital punishment. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.