Capital Punishment or the Death Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The death penalty may exact a high cost but so does remaining behind bars for life imprisonment (Haag 1986). But righting wrongs in a society has a higher option than entailing the costs. Penalties are also acts of social retribution to restrain personal or private vengeance aimed at vindicating the law and social order, which has been injured or violated by a crime. Proponents or advocates of the death penalty emphasize on this viewpoint. They also see that executing a murderer, though unpleasant, is lawful as against the unlawful and undeserved killing, wherein the criminal's life must be taken away. They also view the death penalty as not unjust as it is necessary in deterring crimes and in instituting justice. It may, at times, be inappropriate but the punishment of the guilt is not viewed as unjust. By committing a crime, the person takes the risk of acquiring that punishment for his free and knowing act. The needed facts are firmly and convincingly established in criminal court before he is sentenced to death and during which he is thoroughly given the chance to defend himself through the due process of law (Haag).

They also perceive the death penalty as neither excessive nor debasing (Haag 1986). Philosophers maintain that the deserved execution of a convict restores or repairs his own humanity by affirming what is rational and responsible in his actions and by imposing the extreme penalty precisely for his dignity. This philosophy also sees life imprisonment as less than human in allowing the convict to go on living without the freedom and autonomy of peaceful members of society. To them, the convict's voluntary self-degradation by committing a crime is what is inhuman and degrading, not the death penalty. Society's recognition of this self-debasement is itself the essence of execution, rather than execution itself (Haag).


1. Haag, Ernest van den. The Ultimate…

Sources Used in Document:


1. Haag, Ernest van den. The Ultimate Punishment: a Defense. Harvard Law Review Association, 1986

2. Hood, Roger. The Death Penalty: a Worldwide Perspective, revised edition. Clarendon Press, 1996

3. New Abolitionist. Campaign to End the Death Penalty, CEDP Fact Sheet, 2000.

4. Wikipedia. Capital Punishment. Media Wiki.

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