Capital Punishment In The United States Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Criminal Justice Type: Research Paper Paper: #29768807 Related Topics: Death Penalty, Death With Dignity Act, Life After Death, United States Constitution
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Capital Punishment in the United States

Capital punishment is one of the comprehensive, but debatable punishments given to criminal offenders in the U.S. And many other nations across the globe. Capital punishment involves the issuance of the death penalty because of committing serious crimes like crime in the society. Capital punishment has received tumultuous public support touching both ends of the society with its authorization in thirty-seven American states. It is widely used by the federal system of government and the military. The essence of capital punishment or the death penalty was directed at ending or terminating acts of violent behaviors among U.S. citizens. Many people support this form of punishment while others view it as unfair, unconstitutional, and sheer breakage of human right to life. Based on the connotations laid out by the U.S. state and other nations supporting the elimination capital punishment, capital punishment should be eradicated in the human society (Palmer, 2008).

Although capital punishment appeals to some members of the public, it does not hold water. Even when committed or done by the Federal Government, this punishment does not meet its intended purpose in the society. As such, it turns out to be against the wishes and rights of the afflicted. There are numerous evidences, which have been mounted to prove that this form punishment does not work: it should be eradicated in the U.S. And the world as a whole. Death penalty is discriminatory in nature. No human is accorded the constitutionally right to take away the life of another citizen. Capital punishment has often been used disproportionately in the U.S. government and the world at large. It is often used against the poor people. Against the minorities who have no sound arguments and abilities to defend themselves. It has often been racially used. Ethic inclinations have been observed while offering this form of punishment in the U.S. And the world at large. Religious communities have suffered since the government and the U.S. military have often been accused of religiously executing criminals using this penalty without according some form of equity.

In the U.S., there is the variance by jurisdiction in the appointment of the council of defense. There are cases of patronage since the judges might have to appoint attorneys who have a positive perception and belief in capital punishment. This will appear to skew the entire conclusion of any case, which is presented before him, or her. Most attorneys are inexperienced, insufficiently paid, and lack enough data and investigative results to pursue a client's case (Dike, 1982). These problematic legal fragments do not support and elicit a concrete case whose finality is capital punishment.

Within the position of execution in the court, the criminal justice system appears unique. This has often led to restructuring of capital punishment in a sense of the procedures that are useful while obtaining the sentence. This is done contrary to the need of validity of the actions, which have been committed by an individual and warrant capital punishment. Under the eighth Amendment of the United States of American constitution, there is cruelty and unusualness in capital punishment since the court recognizes a maturing society whose components keep growing from one level of development to another.

According to the United Nations Assembly and its adoption of the Second Protocol to the ICCPR, there is a need to abolish capital punishment in light of the need to appreciate human progress. According to the first sentence of the following protocol, "Abolition of capital punishment contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights," (Bedau et al., 1976). As such, the Second Option Protocol never expected the United States government to sign the death sentence act since the UN expects all nations to make equitable reservations over any Optional Protocols. As such, there is no validity on the belief by the U.S. Federal Government and the military to pursue the death penalty among the citizens of the United States of America. The U.S. is part of the UN cooperates and hence should


There is often the risk of executing the innocent in the society. Death, which ends the life of the executed, appears serious and inconsiderate to human life and existence. As such, when an individual is sentenced to death and capitally punished, this does not serve a different purpose as the initial life imprisonment or life sentence. However, the former serves to give a second chance to the afflicted in the society. Measures of rehabilitation, which are often aimed at establishing a transformation of life among the sentenced individuals, will prove to serve and benefit such individuals. Capital punishment is illogical and must be eradicated in the U.S. government as is in some countries. It is unconstitutional (Vila, 1997).

The U.S. government has spent a considerable amount of money in trying to fulfill capital punishment. The astronomical costs involved are often very high. The costs associated with sentencing someone to a death row are extremely very high. The criminal investigations and the lengthy trials coupled with appeals that have to be met before concluding and deciding on the act are costly compared to capital punishment. Besides, the general trauma that has to be inflicted on the relatives surpasses the punishment. Many states in the world are reconsidering capital punishment based on these facts; the cost of accomplishing capital punishment has often consumed a considerable amount of money from the state budget. As such, basing on the fact that even the act has never stopped crime in the society, capital punishment is just like any other form of punishment in the legal systems and fragments of justice. The system is flawed and unjust. It is conducted as a final verdict to individuals sentenced to life.

The theories of deterrence and retribution serve to support the aspect of capital punishment in the society. According to Bye (1919), capital punishment is deterrent to homicide. This serves to assist them in justifying their support. According to many Americans, it is better to support capital punishment only if it does not involve murder. Violent crime is still existent in some states, which allow capital punishment in the U.S. However, this does not mean that capital punishment has failed in one way or another compared to other punishments. Capital punishment ends people's lives without attaining its intended purpose.

The American theory of retribution bases its argument on the fact that any crime committed by an individual should be payable on the same amount. This course takes action of the fact that an eye should be paid for an eye. This has often been the case for imposing the death penalty. This is right and with no decimal doubt. However, the question remains on how, where, and for how long should a case be in the court before arriving at capital punishment. In many cases, the jurisdictional rights and principles of the offender are thwarted throughout the course of action. In similar cases, the principle of retribution rests its argument on action for action without considering the essence of life. The capacity to measure any crime together with the lethalness of the justice system does not fully warrant capital punishment. Cases of innocent imprisonments have been widely reported in the U.S. state. In case retribution was to be followed with the falls in the justice system concerning the punishment of criminals, capital punishment should then be outlawed (Zimring, 2003).

Based on the contributions and oversight perception of the principle of retribution, it is wrong for a society to kill as is wrong for an individual to kill. This rightfully opposes the principle of retribution. In most cases, the innocence and sanctity of an individual should be protected as the principle preserves life. Other forms of punishment are equally beneficial to an offence by an individual. For instance, life imprisonment could turn out to be of benefit and change of life to an individual. From the number of individuals the state has punished through capital punishment, none of them has resulted in any positive change in fighting against crime in the society. One of the factors, which should be considered, is that capital punishment goes against the principle, which guides it. Since none is allowed to kill, who then gives the Federal Government and the military to execute capital action? In fact, they are committing the same crime as the individual facing capital punishment did.

The death penalty robs the society of its developmental and growth avenues. For instance, North Carolina alone spends a considerable $2.16 million in every execution, more than any other none-death penalty. Therefore, it is not logical enough since its fundamental principles and objectives are far much ahead of being attained even after executing an individual.

The religious connotations and groups in the U.S. have not been left alone since they have come out pegging for an end to capital punishment. According to their…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bedau, H.A., Pierce, C.M., & American Orthopsychiatric Association. (1976). Capital

punishment in the United States. New York: Published for the American Orthopsychiatric

Association [by] AMS Press.

Bye, R.T. (1919). Capital punishment in the United States. Philadelphia, Pa: Committee on Philanthropic Labor of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Friends.

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