capital punishment is defined as the legal infliction of the death penalty and has been part of the criminal justice system since the earliest of times. Over the years, there have been many standards for the execution of the death penalty. In modern law the death penalty is corporal punishment in its most sever form. Today, the common arguments for the death penalty are that, it is a deterrent. It goes along with the bible. It satisfies the public?s need for retribution. Popular author John Grisham even states that the death penalty can relieve the anguish of the family. However, because it does not do these things, the death penalty is racist, barbaric, and in violation with the United States constitution, as ?cruel and unusual punishment.? Although laws governing the death penalty have undergone many changes since the biblical times, the punishment stands, and controversy has never been greater. The first main thing that I am going to argue is that the death penalty serves as a deterrent. This is perhaps, for advocates of the death penalty, their favorite argument. Just the thought that you could receive the death penalty is supposed to be enough to stop someone from murdering another individual.
In a report for congress, Suzanne Cacanaugh said that many people have attempted to prove this theory, but there is no evidence to show that capital punishment deters crimes any more than long prison terms do. In another argument advocates of the death penalty also refer to the bible. Genesis 9:6 states, ?whoever sheds man?s blood, by man shall his blood be shed.? This classic argument in favor of the penalty has usually been interpreted as a proper and moral reason for killing a murderer. Those who are for the death penalty, also often quote ?An eye for an eye.? Both of these quotes imply that it is the murderers own fault for being on death row and he or she deserves to die. Supporters of capital punishment would say that this alone is reason enough for the death penalty. However, if these people would read on they would find that the New Testament states otherwise. ?Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto to you, That Ye resist not evil: but whoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also? (Mathew 5:38-39).
... savage and irreversible act as capital punishment. The death penalty becomes a degrading act when used. State sanctioned executions expose more of the ... happen again (Bedau, 1999, November 10). One argument the supporters of the death penalty use is that it is a good deterrent ... close its eyes to all the moral violations that take place when retribution is received. When the death penalty is carried ...
Advocates to the death penalty even argue that it satisfies the public?s need for retribution. Even oppositions agree that the punishment should fit the crime. But ?Revenge is an unworthy motive for our society to pursue?(Whittier 1).
One cannot confuse revenge with retribution and gratification is not a logical reason for giving someone the death penalty. If safety is the issue a murderer can be sentenced to life without parole. That is just as safe for society as the death penalty. The notion that the death penalty relieves the families anguish is just as immoral. Society places an expectation on the victim?s family to pursue vengeance to the highest degree. By forcing the families to do this, their consciences are being burdened by the death of the killer. However they look at it, ?killing him will not bring back your son? (Grisham 420).
For years people have been saying that death penalty lessons prison costs. This is commonly thought throughout society. However, executions do not save money. There are those who complain that we, the taxpayers shouldn?t have to ?support? condemned people for an entire lifetime in prison. We should just ?kill? them instead. However, in Robert Long?s Criminal Sentencing, he says that the truth is that the cost of state killing is up to three times the cost of lifetime imprisonment.
... societies over the course of humans history” (Garland 30). The website Introduction to the Death Penalty states that the death ... biggest problems with the death penalty. “How many innocent people will the United States execute before we stop ... death penalty for crimes deters crime because they think people are scared of punishment; however, the death penalty does not deter crime. The death penalty ...
Unfortunately the death penalty isn?t flawless. The key part of the death penalty is that ultimately it involves death. I agree with Ronald Tabak when he stated that this creates a major problem when ?there continues to be many instances of innocent people being sentenced to death. Long also stated that according to a 1987 study, between 1900 and 1985 there was twenty-three incidents where people were proven innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, after they were executed. These death penalty errors are irreversible. Until human judgement becomes infallible, this problem alone is reason enough to abolish the death penalty at the hands of the state more dedicated to vengeance than to truth and justice. One the main objections to capital punishment is that it has been used unfairly. The death penalty even seems to have racist tendencies. A disproportionate number of nonwhites are sentenced to death and executed. ?A black man who kills a white person is 11 times more likely to receive the death penalty than a white man who kills a black person? (Gross 47).
?In Texas in 1991, blacks made up 12 percent of the population but 48 percent of the prison population and 55.5 percent of those on death row are black? (Gross 84).
Another issue one has to look at is ?Natural Law.? The Natural Law is that people must be treated like human beings. One fan of this was Supreme Court Justice William Brennan. He said that Execution of the State “treats members of the human race as non-humans. Even the vilest criminal remains a human being possessed of common human dignity? (Hentoff A15).
Brennan?s definition of constitution was that the protection of the dignity of the human being and the recognition that every individual has fundamental rights which government can not deny him. Looking at the idea that the death penalty discriminates or violates the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution, it would be impossible to administer the death penalty fairly. Stephen Flanders , author of Capital Punishment, showed through the grotesque killing of Robert Harris by the state of California on April 21,1992, and similar reports of witnesses to hangings and lethal injections that there should be no doubt that the dying process can be- and often is -grossly inhumane, regardless of method. In a 1994 issue of Crime magazine David Seideman showed us many cases where executions went wrong and where very grotesque. With all of this in mind one can see why this process has to be changed and eventually eliminated. In earlier times–where capital punishment was common, the value of life was less, and societies were more barbaric–capital punishment was probably quite acceptable. However, in today?s society, which is becoming ever more increasingly humanitarian, and individual rights and due process of justice are held in high accord, the death penalty is becoming an unrealistic form of punishment. Also, with the ever-present possibility of mistaken execution, there will remain the question of innocence of those who are put to death. Finally, man is not a divine being. He does not have the right to inflict mortal punishment in the name of society?s welfare, when there are suitable substitutes that require fewer resources. I ask society, “…why don?t we stop the killing? (Grisham 404).
... rid of capital punishment has now been overturned, and more and more states implement capital punishment for serious offenses. The abolishment of the death penalty is still ... social issues.Many people support this form of punishment, while others are against practicing death penalty. Every human being has the right to live and ...
The New American Bible: Church and School Edition. Wichita, Kansas: Fireside Pub. 1994 ? 1995. Cavanagh, Suzanne and David Teasley. ?Capital Punishment: A Bief Overview.? CRS Report for Congress (1995): 4. Flanders, Stephen A. Capital Punishment. New York, NY: H.W. Company, 1991. Grisham, John. The Chamber. New York, NY: Island Books, 1994. Gross, Samuel R. Death and Discrimination: Racial Disparities in Capital Sentencing. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1989. Hentoff, Nat. ?Brennan: A Legacy of Liberty.? The Washington Post 29 July 1997: A15. Long, Robert Emmet. Criminal Sentencing. New York, NY: H.W. Company, 1995. Seideman, David. ?Crime: A Twist Before Dying.? TIME 23 May, 1994: Volume 143, No. 21. Tabak, Ronald J. ?Report: Ineffective Assistance Counsel and Lack of Due Process in Death Penalty Cases.? Human Rights 22. Winter (1995): 36. Whittier, Charles H. ?Moral Arguments For and Against Capital Punishment.? CRS Report for Congress (1996): 1
... powers in Europe to abolish capital punishment. The postwar movement to end capital punishment, beginning in Italy and Germany ... to criticize government practices they considered unjust, including capital punishment. The controversy and debate over whether governments ... and Torture.New York: Seabury Press, 1979. Outrageous Atrocity or Moral Imperative?: The Ethics of Capital Punishment in Studies ...