Custom «Death Penalty» Essay Paper Sample

Death Penalty

Death penalty should be adopted as a necessary means of punishment for crimes committed and also as a means to curb future crimes. As McAdams states if murderers are executed and there is no deterrent effect, then in essence a bunch of murderers have been killed. In the same breath, if murderers are not executed when doing so would have in fact deterred other murders, then in essence, we would have let the killing of a bunch of innocent victims to happen. It thus makes sense to settle for the former rather than the later.  

Personally, I think this shouldn’t be a tough call.. In this paper I will seek to prove that death penalty should be adopted and preserved as a suitable means of crime deterrence of serious crimes in the world. In addition, the essay will further examine the role that death penalty plays in preventing crime in the future and also its effect on the society at large.

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History of the Death penalty

The evidence of the death penalty laws can be traced back to the Eighteenth Century B.C, where it was applied by people like the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Romans and even Babylonians. This capital punishment was most used to punish all crimes regardless methods of execution included beating to death, burning alive, crucifixion, impalement and drowning.

By Twentieth Century A.D, other forms of death penalty as a form of capital punishment were introduces and they included hanging, beheading, facing a firing squad, boiling and use of lethal gases like the cyanide gas. The crimes punishable through these methods also changed and minor offences were no longer to be punished through death. Instead crimes like robbery with violence, murder, treason and rape the ‘serious crimes’ as they are known were still to be punished through death, until today in the countries that death penalty has not been abolished.

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In the mid-Nineteenth Century however, states started to experience pressure of abolishing the death penalty as a means of capital punishment. According to Oracle Foundation Think Quest the most renowned denunciation of death penalty’s unfariness is put forth by Italian jurist Cesare Beccaria, whose literary work; Dei Delitti E Delle Pene (1764) highlights its ineffectiveness as a preventive strategy for crimes; citing the possibility of juridical errors. He thus calls for its abolition.

Arguments supporting Death Penalty

In my view by giving death penalties should mostly be used in more serious crimes against humanity like murder, robbery with violence or rape. By using this capital punishment, it deterrence effect will help reduce such future crimes. In other words, when a murderer is sentenced to death and executed, future potential murderer will have to think before killing anyone, because they know that they will lose their lives to on being sentenced. Death penalty is the harshest form of punishment there is and once given it is irreversible. By carrying this capital punishment, it helps do away with the existence of the offenders, instead of imprisoning them temporary. According to Weisberg and Huddleson (“Death penalty when life generates death (legally): from Middle Ages to today.”, new emerging econometric studies that are using panel data techniques and that report findings of insignificant deterrence, have indicated that up to 18 lives are saved for each execution.

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By carrying out an execution instead of life imprisonment retribution is another reason why death penalty should not be abolished. When the criminal is made to suffer the same level of suffering they caused the victims, this move gives a closure to the victims’ families. Those for the anti-death penalties argue that the suffering by criminals sentenced to death is not justified as they suffer more than their victims. However the argument is based on the fact that this form of punishment is not to make up for the victim’s suffering for we cannot tell how much they suffered and above all they did not deserve to suffer, but the best form of delivering justice.

No matter how gross and inhumane death penalty appears to be, it is a guaranteed means of preventing future instances of recidivism. If criminals get escapes from prison or are given paroles there is no evidence that they won’t commit other crimes again. In addition, even if they are sentenced for a life imprisonment, they might not be any more danger to the public but are a high risk for their fellow inmates and the prison staff. Therefore, if they are sentenced to a death penalty right away this will prevent cases of recidivism in the future.

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Death penalty most times leads to spiritual rehabilitation, because as we known capital punishment does not rehabilitate criminals at all. By spiritual rehabilitation, we see that after they have been sentenced the offenders are given time before they are executed to repent and ask for forgiveness to those they have offended. This might not be a strong argument for death penalty but the main goal is usually achieved because these offenders take their executions as a way of making up for their evil actions

Arguments disapproving Death Penalty

Death penalties do not rehabilitate the criminal. While some of this offenders can be imprisoned with a possibility of parole and hence a chance to be rehabilitated, death penalties do not give them a chance to change and stop committing the crimes. In addition this form of punishment does not solve the crime problem. Instead it ignores the underlying causes of crime leaving them unaddressed and therefore they can be committed again.

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Capital punishment is always irreversible, a move that denies due process of law to take place. With this move, the offenders are forever denied the chance to represent new evidence them an opportunity to reversal of their death sentences conviction.

The methods used in execution of these prisoners are very barbaric especially in the current civilized society. Use of lethal injection, gas chambers, hanging, electrocution or even firing squad is very cruel and violent means of killing someone. American Civil Liberties Union states that delight in brutality, violence, pain and death may be a constant trait of humankind. However, it is for everyone’s benefit that the law declines to encourage such impulses. This is because, when the government commands, sanctions, and ceremoniously conducts the execution of a prisoner, it contributes to supporting this destructive aspect of human nature.

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Capital punishment is more expensive when compared to life imprisonment. Messerli states that this has to do with additional required procedures, legal wrangling, and endless appeals that drag the process out. Substantial amount of taxpayers’ money will be used to maintain the staff involved in this case like the Judges, lawyers, court clerks and reporters.


In conclusion, in order to achieve society’s stability and fair justice and stability there is need for the complete elimination of criminals who destroy the society through crime and death penalty is the best. It eventually ensures that no criminal will ever harm a member of its society and above all acts as a means for preventing future crimes. It would be interesting to compare the rate of crimes in nations that still practice death penalties with those that do not and  observe who this capital punishment affects crime rates. In addition, further research into whether death penalties deter cases of recidivism is necessary, in order to see how this factor affects criminal rates.

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