The Effect of Capital Punishment on Reducing Violent Crimes

 Julia Riesenbach Professor Billingsley SOC210 November 27, 2018 The Effect of Capital Punishment on Violent Crimes Introduction This research paper examines capital punishment and to what extent criminals consider it before committing a violent crime.  There is a common belief that people in society may think twice about a horrendous act of violence if … Read more

Replace Death Penalty with Life Without Parole in 31 U.S. States: Financial & Emotional Benefits

 Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense (Hood, 2017). Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is legal in 31 of the 50 U.S. states (Death Penalty Fast Facts, 2018). As of 2017, 106 … Read more

Racial Disparities of the Death Penalty in the US: An Analysis

 Gabbidon, S. L., & Greene, H. T. (2016). Race and Crime (Fourth ed.). Thousand Oaks: SAGE. In all the industrialized nations, America remains one of the few that use the death penalty. European nations such as Italy (1944), Britain (1969), Spain (1978), and France (1981) have abolished the death penalty (Zimring, 2003). Zimring tries … Read more

Examine Pros & Cons of Death Penalty in US Criminal Justice System

 The death penalty is a highly questionable use of punishment in our criminal justice system in the United States of America.  Certain states view this harsh punishment for criminals as deplorable, while on the other hand certain states are not for the death penalty.  The death penalty is the harshest punishment any criminal can … Read more

Religion’s Role in Death Penalty Viewpoints Around the World

 Religion plays a substantial role concerning how the death penalty is viewed and used in different countries. While the United States is a melting pot of religions, Christianity is the most predominant. The U.S. still uses capital punishment, but the population’s opinion is divided. Christians tend to justify their stance on the death penalty–whether … Read more

The Death Penalty and the 2016 General Election

The death penalty has long been a controversial issue of much debate among the American public. It has drawn support as well as opposition across the ideological spectrum, often resulting in contentious viewpoints. It is generally known that support or opposition to the death penalty aligns with ideological position. Unnever (2010) indicates that “conservatives are … Read more

History of the electric chair

The electric chair was invented by Dr. Alfred P. Southwick who was a steam-boat engineer, dentist and inventor from Buffalo, New York. In 1881 he conceived the idea of the electric chair after he had heard about an accident happen that resulted in an electrocution of a person, he then found this as a humane … Read more

The Death Penalty in the United States

Introduction Throughout history, as the world started to evolve, many different forms of punishment have been created to discourage criminal acts. The death penalty is probably one of the oldest forms of sentences employed to deter crime. Its first legal allusions date back to the Code of Hammurabi in 1750 B.C. when twenty-five crimes, such … Read more

Capital punishment should be allowed in the United States

No country incarcerates more people than the United States (U.S.). According to Prison Policy the U.S. American Criminal justice system holds more than 2.3 million people in prisons, jails, and correctional facilities. Due to the amount of prisoners, prison overcrowding has become a rising issue threatening the public safety as well as the state budget (Alec). … Read more

About the Death Penalty

How many countries still have the death penalty?

Of the 195 independent states that are UN members or have UN observer status:

  • 54 still have the death penalty in law and practice.
  • 26 have abolished it de facto, i.e. whilst it may still exist in law, they have not executed anyone in the last decade.
  • 7 have abolished it de facto, but have retained it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime).
  • 108 have abolished it for all crimes.

Of the 35 independent states in the Americas that are UN members:

  • 12 have retained the death sentence in both law and practice.
  • 1 has retained it for ordinary crimes in some areas and also retained it nationwide for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances.
  • 1 has abolished it de facto, i.e. whilst it may still exist in law, they have not executed anyone in the last decade.
  • 5 retained it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances.
  • 16 have abolished it.

(as of 29.01.22 – check here)

What are some arguments against the death penalty?

Some common arguments against the death penalty include:

  • Cost – it is usually more expensive to implement the death penalty than to send someone to prison for life.
  • Wrongful conviction – for example, since 1973, at least 186 people who had been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in the U.S. have been exonerated. If the death penalty is carried out, the individual is permanently deprived of the opportunity to benefit from new evidence or new laws that might warrant the reversal of a conviction, or the setting aside of their death sentence.
  • Ineffective – it is supposed to deter crime but it does not. A survey of police chiefs found they rank the death penalty lowest among ways to reduce violent crime. Further, the FBI has found the states with the death penalty have the highest murder rates.
  • Not much of a punishment – whilst some might consider that the death penalty is a life for a life (or an ‘eye for an eye’), the lethal injection process is usually fairly painless and might be considered less of a punishment than life in prison.
  • Botched executions – there are plenty of examples of botched executions, even with the modern-day lethal injection methods. These may be considered inhumane.
  • Discriminationpeople of colour are far more likely to be executed than white people, especially if the victim is white.
  • No equality – the outcome of the case and therefore the sentence can depend a great deal on factors such as the quality of representation in court, which may be less effective for poorer defendants. Uneducated or intellectually disabled defendants may may also fare worse. Whilst it would seem obviously unconstitutional to execute a intellectually disabled person, the courts nonetheless can and do permit this.
  • It has no place in our modern society – the death penalty dates back to times when slavery, branding, and other corporal punishments were commonplace.
  • It shows a lack of respect for life – some believe that since life is precious and death irrevocable, all murder is abhorrent, including state-authorised killings.

Writing an essay about the death penalty

The death penalty is a highly controversial topic that has been debated for centuries. It is a form of punishment for a criminal offense that results in the death of the criminal. It has been used in many societies throughout history, but it is still a hotly debated issue today. In this section, we will discuss the most important issues surrounding the death penalty that should be incorporated into any essay on the topic, including its morality, its effectiveness, and the alternatives.

First, let’s start with the morality of the death penalty. Is it morally just to take a life in order to punish someone for a crime? This is a difficult question to answer, as there are many different opinions on the matter. Some argue that it is necessary in order to deter crime and protect society. Others argue that it is a cruel and unusual punishment that goes against the human right to life.

The second issue that needs to be discussed is the effectiveness of the death penalty. Does it actually deter crime? Studies have shown that the death penalty does not have a significant effect on crime rates, so it may not be an effective form of punishment. Additionally, there is a risk of executing innocent people if the death penalty is used. This could lead to irreversible and tragic consequences that cannot be taken back.

The third issue to consider is the availability of alternatives to the death penalty. There are other forms of punishment that can be used to punish criminals that do not involve taking a life. For example, life imprisonment is a form of punishment that can be used to keep criminals off the streets without ending their lives. Other forms of punishment include fines, community service, and rehabilitation programs.

Finally, we need to discuss the financial costs of the death penalty. Executing a criminal is often more expensive than simply imprisoning them for life. This is because the process of carrying out the death penalty involves significant costs for the court system, and there is also the risk of costly appeals. In addition, the death penalty can cause emotional and financial costs for the families of the victims and the executed criminals.

These are the most important issues that should be discussed in an essay about the death penalty. Each of these topics is highly contested and deserves to be examined in detail. The essay should look at both sides of the argument and consider how the death penalty may or may not be beneficial to society. Additionally, the essay should explore the alternatives to the death penalty and the financial costs associated with it.