Argument Against the Death Penalty Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Josephson Howe

1444 South Pinnacle Drive

John McAdams

Head of Political Science

1250 W Wisconsin Avenue

Dear Mr. McAdams,

REF: The Case against the Death Penalty

The death penalty is a form of punishment used to punish offenders for capital crimes or capital offenses such as treason, murder, and armed robbery. This form of punishment is used by states to execute people who are found guilty of various crimes that are commonly known as capital crimes or offenses. However, the use of this form of punishment varies across countries and states depending on the existing regulations that define the type of capital crimes that are punishable by the death sentence or penalty. In the past few years, capital punishment has become increasingly controversial and attracted several debates between proponents (like you) and opponents (like me). Following an analysis of arguments and counter-arguments, I hold the view that the death penalty is not justifiable and should be abolished mainly because it violates the fundamental human right of every individual i.e. the right to life.

Arguments to Support Personal Stance

As one of the proponents, your perspective on the use of the death penalty has been based on several arguments and claims. These arguments have been used as the premise for building the case for the use of this form of punishment regardless of the serious flaws that have characterized as reflected in trends and statistics in criminal justice. However, it is increasingly clear that the death penalty is unjustifiable and immoral because of several reasons including

Failure to
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Deter Crime

Mr. McAdams, your side of the view has always supported the death penalty on the premise that it helps in deterring would-be capital offenders from involvement in capital crimes or offenses. Generally, the modern society has always utilized punishment (whose extent is determined by the nature, extent, and severity of the crime) to dissuade potential criminals from engaging in illegal actions or activities. In light of this trend, the death penalty has been considered as the most suitable measure for preventing murders. In this case, if convicted murderers are executed for their offenses, would-be capital criminals will think twice before committing murder because of the potential of losing their own lives if they do so (Death Penalty Information Center, 2000).

However, recent statistics and trends in criminal justice indicate otherwise i.e. the death penalty is not a deterrent to future murder offenses. The overwhelming conclusion or findings from years of studies and surveys regarding deterrence shows that the death penalty does not deter would be murderers as compared to other forms of punishment like life sentence. Criminologists have constantly maintained that capital punishment generates an opposite impact i.e. enhances the likelihood of murder by brutalizing the society. Currently, many supporters of the death penalty are increasingly convinced that it deterrence to crime is not a serious justification for its use because of the opposite effect it generates. For instance, various states in America that use the death penalty generally have high rates of murder crimes as compared to those that do not use this form of punishment.

Ineffective Retribution

Secondly, you have supported the use of the death penalty based on arguments and claims that it contributes to fair retribution or justice. On this premise,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Center for Constitutional Rights. (n.d.). The Death Penalty is a Human Rights Violation: An Examination of the Death Penalty in the U.S. from a Human Rights Perspective. Retrieved December 17, 2015, from

Death Penalty Information Center. (2000). Arguments For and Against the Death Penalty. Retrieved from Michigan State University website:

Cite This Essay:

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