Death Penalty Essays (Examples)

death penalty essays

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Capital Punishment Does it Reduce Crime Capital

Words: 1448 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 3911568

Capital Punishment: Does it Reduce Crime?

Capital Punishment is a social controversy that epitomizes the axiom "an eye for an eye."

In the United States there are 38 states that utilize the death penalty, and usually for select crimes, including treason, and mass murder. In 2002, 71 inmates were executed, which was 5 more than 2001, and of these 71 inmates, 53 were Caucasian, and 69 were male (Capital Punishment Statistics, 2003).

Capital Punishment has been in effect since the 1970s, despite cases and controversy that it goes against a person's 8th Amendment rights. Nevertheless, there has been changes in Capital Punishment laws and "in 2002 the Court barred the execution of mentally retarded offenders, overturning its 1989 ruling on the matter. In the same year the Court ruled that the death penalty must be imposed through a finding of a jury and not a judge" (Columbia, 2003). In 2002,…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Capital Punishment Statistics

Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2003.

Printable copy at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cp.htm

Study # 3667: Capital Punishment in the United States 1973-2000
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Capital Punishment the Use of

Words: 858 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 99242292

It is important to note that though the victim's family also does suffer, the accused could be somebody's mother, father, spouse or even best friend. In such a case, it becomes hard for many to come to terms with death as a form of punishment for a loved one. Thus though capital punishment may be viewed as a symbol of justice by the victim's family as well as friends, it surely does cause pain to the wrongdoer's family and friends who may have had nothing to do with the offense committed.

In recognition of opposing views, it is important to note that over time, those in support of capital punishment have often cited cost considerations. Here, they argue that through the long-term imprisonment of criminals, who would have otherwise been on death row, the government wastes funds which should ideally be used for other more worthy needs including but not…… [Read More]

References

Banks, C. (2004). Criminal Justice Ethics: Theory and Practice. California: SAGE.

Gaines, L.K., & Miller, R.L. (2011). Criminal Justice in Action: The Core. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Souryal, S.S. (2010). Ethics in Criminal Justice: In Search of the Truth (5th ed.). Burlington, MA: Elsevier.
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Capital Punishment the Pros and

Words: 2096 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 28952904

life imprisonment, we must follow common sense and assume that if one punishment is more fearful than another, it will deter some potential criminals not deterred by the less fearful punishment" (p. 282). In an effort to deconstruct the tenability of van den Haag's assertions, eiman takes the deterrent analogy to an extreme and suggests that the death penalty is insufficient and that death by torture would serve as an even more effective deterrent.

While some observers might suggest that this is precisely what is happening to internees at Guantanamo Bay detention camp, eiman's extreme position concerning capital punishment does serve to highlight the moral and legal ambiguities involved in assessing the value of the death penalty for a modern society. Notwithstanding these moral and legal ambiguities, though, in the case of capital crimes, there is far too much at stake to allow such heinous acts to go unpunished, and…… [Read More]

References

Black's law dictionary. (1991). St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co.

Cahn, S.M. & Markie, P. (1998). Ethics: History, theory, and contemporary issues. New York: Oxford University Press.

Reiman, J.H. (2000). Justice, civilization and the death penalty. In White at 273-283.

A van den Haag, E. (1978). In defense of the death penalty: A practical and moral analysis.
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Death Sentence Capital Punishment and

Words: 1655 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 57043786

The death penalty is therefore morally and ethically necessary not only for an ordered society but as a necessary means to protect the innocent from evil.

Secondly, from a Catholic point-of-view this stance is supported by centuries of Church doctrine and by references to iblical test, as discussed above. This also refers to the view that many modern Catholics take; which in turn refers to the contemporary emphasis on the right to life as a sign of the decline of religion and the growth of secularization. This reflects the view that the growing opposition to the death penalty"… has gone hand in hand with a decline of faith in eternal life." ( Dulles)

4. Conclusion

The above discussion has outlined the two central arguments for and against the death penalty from a Catholic perspective. There is little doubt that this topic has also crested intense debate within the Church. This…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Dulles A. Catholicism & Capital Punishment. Sunday. 3 Oct. 2010

(http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/religion/re0461.html).

Gonzales A. Pro-life and Pro-Capital Punishment Contradiction in Terms? 3 Oct. 2010

http://www.roman-catholic.com/Roman/Articles/CapitalPunishment.htm )
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Capital Punishment the Argument Over

Words: 1965 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 43729847

Therefore, even staunch proponents of capital punishment share the concern that it be (1) imposed only where extreme punishment is appropriate to the nature of the crime, and (2) applied in a manner that does not cause unnecessary pain or prolonged suffering. Assuming those elements are satisfied, capital punishment is warranted in certain situations.

The prospect of conviction in error is one of the strongest positions against capital punishment, precisely because the concept of valuing the preservation of the freedom of the innocent from wrongful conviction over the value of ensuring punishment for the guilty is fundamental to American justice. By extension, one could argue convincingly that protection against wrongful execution is even more important than wrongful criminal conviction in general. However, it is possible to establish more stringent standards of proof, judicial review, and myriad other conceivable procedural safeguards short of abolishing capital punishment altogether. Therefore, that approach would…… [Read More]

References

Dershowitz, Alan, M. (2002) Shouting Fire: Civil Liberties in a Turbulent Age. New York: Little Brown & Co.

Friedman, Laurence, M. (2005) a History of American Law. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Hall, Kermit, L. (1992) the Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.

Nowak, John, E., Rotunda, Ronald, D. (2004) Nowak and Rotunda Hornbook on Constitutional Law, 7th Edition (Hornbook Series). St. Paul, MN: West
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Capital Punishment Is Barbaric the

Words: 1839 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 24257241

And such an event, unfortunately, is all too possible, as evidenced by a review done by Bedau and adelet in 1987. The authors used a variety of published and unpublished sources to locate information on potential capital cases in the United States during the twentieth century. Of the cases identified, Bedau and adelet found 350 persons who had been wrongfully convicted of potentially capital offenses between 1900 and 1985. Of these, 139 were sentenced to die (Haines, 1996, p. 87-88). Thus, it is evident that capital punishment can end up reflecting very poorly on a society that practices it, in more ways than one.

The other reason why capital punishment can be said to be socially unjust is because, all too often, it is imposed indiscriminately against the poor and underprivileged sections of society, who also lack the means of better representation. This fact has been addressed in a wide…… [Read More]

References

Borg, M.J., & Radelet, M.L. (2000). The Changing Nature of Death Penalty Debates.

Annual Review of Sociology. P. 43.

Fattah, E.A. (1981). Is Capital Punishment a Unique Deterrent? A Dispassionate Review of Old and New Evidence. Canadian Journal of Criminology. Vol. 23:3, p. 291-311.

Haines, H.H. (1996). Against Capital Punishment: The Anti-Death Penalty Movement in America, 1972-1994. New York: Oxford University Press.
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Capital Punishment the Issue of

Words: 2158 Length: 7 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 84771615

What happens at this point is the issues are then prioritized, and the death penalty can potentially be considered less important than personal taxes, abortion, or whatever other issue the voter deems as important. This results in an extremely clouded concept of what the majority of the population actually supports in this country -- not just on the death penalty, but any issue. Ultimately this point of this argument, though not invalid in a humanistic point-of-view, is invalid because of its lack of solid, empirical ground to stand on. In fact, it is in danger of being ignored all together if we are to take a macrocosmic view of the country in terms of the constitution and the freedoms from religious policy that we enjoy. Of course if we take this point-of-view then we have to ask how we come to any decisions about our laws at all if not…… [Read More]

Comparative Studies Show There is No Effect. Econometric Models, In Contrast, Show a Mixture of Results. Why the Difference? And Which is the More Reliable Method?" Skeptical Inquirer Jul.-Aug. 2004.

Trollinger, William. "My Friend's Execution -- Witnessing an Execution Confirms

Feelings About Capital Punishment." Christian Century 11 Nov. 1998. A strong telling of the moral side of the debate against the death penalty. Also an intimate portrait of a Death Row inmate.
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Capital Punishment the Issue of Whether Capital

Words: 1376 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 36582072

Capital Punishment

The issue of whether capital punishment is justified in a civilized world that is progressively concerned with achieving human rights and dignity for all its citizens is a subject that challenges the very scales of justice. On the one hand, the imposition of the death penalty prematurely terminates a human life and precludes any chance of rehabilitating criminals as productive members of society. On the other hand, abolishing the death penalty implies endangering society with the presence of known, dangerous anti-social elements who may one day become eligible for parole or worse escape from prison. Thus, the scales need to be weighed taking into consideration that society's primary responsibility is to ensure that its honest and upright citizens are able to lead a secure and safe life. Indeed, it is the purpose of this paper to demonstrate that the scales of justice need to necessarily be tipped in…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Jacoby, J. "When Murderers Die, Innocents Live." The Boston Globe.

Sept. 28, 2003. Accessed Feb. 29, 2004: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2003/09/28/execution_saves_innocents/

Kane, G. "To murder victims' families, executing killers is justice." The Baltimore Sun. Feb.5, 2003. Accessed Feb. 29, 2004: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-md.kane05feb05,0,6385621.column

Murdock, D. "A sure way to prevent prison escapes." Mar 30, 2001.
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Capital Punishment Analysis of The Death Sentence

Words: 564 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 49455016

Capital Punishment

Analysis of "The Death Sentence" by Sidney Hook

Sidney Hook's analysis of the capital punishment and its effect and implications in the society are outlined in his article entitled, "The Capital Punishment." In his article, Hook discusses the different perspectives wherein the debate over the implementation or abolishment of capital punishment is discussed. Hook contends that individuals and groups that favor the implementation of capital punishment tend to subsist to the 'retributive theory,' whose primary aim, according to Hook, is to "desire for revenge," and not justice, as what many proponents for capital punishment claim. Similarly, Hook also criticizes the proponents against the implementation of capital punishment, who are popularly called as the "Abolitionists." The abolitionists contend (against the pro-capital punishment groups) that capital punishment is inhumane, and society must give the criminal a chance to reform his/her self primarily because the criminal's behavior and acted may have…… [Read More]

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Capital Punishment Nowadays the Crimes

Words: 2589 Length: 9 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 17388602

Through which he concluded that each execution prevents around seven or eight people from committing murder (Worsnop 402). In 1985, an economist from the University of North Carolina by the name of Stephen K. Layson published a report that showed that every execution of a murderer deterred eighteen would be murderers (Guernsey 68). While the numbers from these studies seem quite low as compared to the large number of murders committed every day in the United States, the numbers become quite large when discussed in the terms of every year executions. (Guernsey 65)

The opponents of capital punishment here give different points which are also quite true. According to the critics of capital punishment many of the people who commit acts of murder are either retarded or are immature. Capital punishment doesn't have an effect on the youth and immature people. As Richard L. Worsnop writes in his article entitled…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Worsnop, Richard L. Death Penalty Debate Centers on Retribution. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, Inc., 1990.

Guernsey, JoAnn Bren. Should We Have Capital Punishment? Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Co, 1993.

Van den Haag, Ernest, and John Phillips Conrad. The Death Penalty a Debate. New York: Plenum Press, 1983.

Maestro, Marcello T. A Pioneer for the Abolition of Capital Punishment Cesare Beccaria. [New York]: Journal of the History of Ideas, 1973.
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Capital Punishment Has Been Around

Words: 2108 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 50559175



Death penalty advocates rationalize capital punishment under the principle of an eye for an eye which is the belief that punishment should fit the crime. In particular, people who support capital punishment dispute that murderers should be put to death in retribution for their crimes and that such vengeance serves justice for murder victims and their survivors. Death penalty opponents stress the purity of life, quarrelling that killing is forever wrong whether by a person or by the state and that justice is best served by way of reconciliation (The Death Penalty: Specific Issues, 2010).

Opponents of the death penalty dispute that there is a hazard of putting to death innocent people, and cite real cases in which defendants were incorrectly convicted of, and occasionally put to death for, capital crimes. Death penalty opponents see current laws which limit the appeals process as equivalent to mounting the likelihood for putting…… [Read More]

References

Constitutionality of the Death Penalty in America. (n.d.). Retrieved from  http://deathpenaltycurriculum.org/student/c/about/history/history-5.htm 

Introduction to the Death Penalty. (2010). Retrieved from    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org /  part-

i-history-death-penalty#intro

Recent Legal History of the Death Penalty in America. (2011). Retrieved from http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/bldeathpenalty.htm
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Capital Punishment Criminal Justice and

Words: 2774 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 90115767

esearch reveals that those who kill white victims are much more likely to receive the death penalty than those who kill black victims. One study found that for similar crimes committed by similar defendants, blacks received the death penalty at a 38% higher rate than all others (Dieter, 1998).

It is significant to note that the death penalty is more likely to be imposed on men than woman. Death sentences and actual executions for female offenders are rare in comparison to such events for male offenders. Woman account for 10% of the murder arrests, 2% of the death sentences imposed at the trial level, 1.7% of the persons presently on death row, and 1% of the persons actually executed since 1973 (Streib, 2010).

States vary enormously in the quality of representation they provide to indigent defendants. The quality of legal representation is related to the arbitrary application of the death…… [Read More]

References

"Arbitrariness." (2010). Arbitariness. Death penalty information center. Retrieved March 19, 2012 from     http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org /  arbitrariness 

Bae, S. (2008, April). The death penalty and the peculiarity of American political intstitutions. Human rights review. Vol. 9, Issue 2, 233-240. March 19, 2012 from http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&hid=14&sid=2084aad1-6139-48ee-b3b3-c8fb24b54fca%40sessionmgr12

Baumgartner, F.R. & Richardson, R.J. (2010, October 10). The geography of the death penalty. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from  http://www.unc.edu/~fbaum/Innocence/NC/Baumgartner-geography-of-capital-punishment-oct-17-2010.pdf 

Dieter, R.C. (1998). The death penalty in black and white. Death penalty information center. Retrieved March 19, 2012 from  
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Capital Punishment the Legally Authorized

Words: 1889 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 41061456

e should be thankful for this amazing technological development," (Hatch, 2000).

The death penalty must be altered, not abolished. In all new cases, if DNA evidence is not provided as conclusive for the conviction of the arrested, then capital punishment should not even be a consideration. There are already appeals processes in place for those who presently serve on Death Row, and in many of these cases, the inmates have pleaded for DNA testing. This should be executed on a case-by-case basis, pending the jurisdiction of the local judicial system. It was found in the research for this analysis that many of the authors who approve of using DNA testing for exoneration, oppose DNA evidence that has been presented during the time of trial. Much like those who oppose the death penalty and those who support it, there will be continued debate over this new science, which is offering legendary…… [Read More]

Works Cited

American Civil Liberties Union. (2010). DNA Testing and the Death Penalty. Retrived April 16, 2010, from www.aclu.org.

Banner, Stuart. (2002). The Death Penalty: An American History. Cambridge, MA:

Hatch, Orrin G. (June 13, 200). Post-Conviction DNA Testing: When Is Justice Served?

Sinclair Billy Wayne, & Sinclair, Jodie. (2009). Capital Punishment: An Indictment by a Death-Row Survivor. New York, NY: Arcade Publishing.