Capital Pun Essay

Length: 4 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Essay Paper: #17632885 Related Topics: Capital Budgeting, Restorative Justice, Death Penalty, Capital Punishment
Excerpt from Essay :

Death Penalty

Of the major forms of punishment meted out by the criminal justice system in the United States, the death penalty seems the most severe. Fines, probation, restitution money, community service, and even incarceration all offer the potential for the accused to rehabilitate, or perform restitution in the form of service to the victim. This may be why the United States and Japan are the only modern industrialized democracies to have the death penalty: it may be perceived as overly harsh by some other cultures ("Death Penalty Fast Facts," n.d.). In spite of some problems related to its use, the death penalty remains in place in the United States for several reasons. For one, the death penalty is not used often and is applied judiciously due to "declining support," (Mears 1). It is a severe option that is taken seriously and invoked only to serve the fundamental core values of the nation as a whole, such as the need to incapacitate dangerous individuals who have no hope for rehabilitation, to protect the public, and deter others from committing crimes. Second, the death penalty creates stability and consistency in the system. This is particularly true for situations in which the race of the victim is different from the race of the perpetrator. Third, the death penalty may provide a vengeful comfort to the victim's family and members of the community. Finally, the death penalty fulfills one...

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As a specific deterrent, there is nothing better than death to prevent a person from reoffending. As a general deterrent, other would-be offenders will fear the state and become law-abiding citizens knowing that their life is on the line. Because of these primary reasons, the death penalty is a valid form of restorative punishment.

In spite of declining support for the death penalty and having some states recently withdraw their support for it, capital punishment remains salient at the national level and within many states with strong criminal justice systems. The death penalty is not used haphazardly. On the contrary, there are clear patterns in the methods used to determine sentencing. The death penalty is more expensive overall than incarceration, which is why most states that use capital punishment do so with great deliberation and concern for their budgets (Sarisky). Nor is the death penalty "cruel and unusual," and therefore disallowed under the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the death penalty is not "cruel and unusual," and that the Eighth Amendment applies to such things as "crucifixion" and "burning at the stake,' but not lethal injections (Sarisky 3). States have the right to determine whether the death penalty will remain a sentencing option for judges in their circuits, and some states have opted out of the death penalty in spite of its many benefits. It would, however, be preferable to mandate all states to embrace the death penalty due to the importance of maintaining consistency in the system.

Capital punishment ensures consistency throughout the judicial system, in spite of the fact that several states have withdrawn complicity in the death penalty. The death penalty is one of the oldest types of punishments, with roots extending to Hammurabi's Code. The death penalty ensures the solidarity of the state, and strengthens the institutions of the law by preventing weakness of any type to emerge in the system. Capital punishment allows for specific retribution in cases in which the victim was white. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, over 75% of the murder victims in death penalty cases were white, which is much higher than the average of 50% of murder victims in total being white. In some states, the death penalty also allows the judicial system to perpetuate racial bias given that black defendants are up to three times as likely to be given…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

"Death Penalty Fast Facts." CNN. Retrieved online: http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/19/us/death-penalty-fast-facts/

Death Penalty Information Center. "Facts About the Death Penalty." 2014. Retrieved online: http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/FactSheet.pdf

Mears, Bill. "Death Penalty in the United Stats Gradually Declining." CNN Politics. 19 Dec, 2013. Retrieved online: http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/19/politics/death-penalty-us/

Sarisky, Kenny. "History and Controversies of Capital Punishment." Retrieved online: https://www.csustan.edu/sites/default/files/honors/documents/KSarisky.pdf


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