The majority of Americans have a clear and strong stance when it comes to the death penalty, no matter which side of the debate they sit on. Supporters of this punishment argue that it serves as a deterrent to crime, and that justice is being served. My personal stance on the death penalty is that it is an outdated and ineffective punishment, serving no true benefit to society and causing more harm than good to society as a whole. When looking at the argument that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to others thinking about committing the same crime, we need only look to other countries around the world as examples to disprove this.
Throughout the world, we are able to see that, in those countries where there is no death penalty, murders and other violent crimes happen at a much lower rate than in the United States.
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It does seem counter-intuitive, but the evidence is clear. We can also clearly see that, in the United States, many people still commit these horrendous crimes, knowing full well that capital punishment exists. In the heat of the moment, when a person is not thinking clearly and logically, the existence of the death penalty and the possibility that they could be facing this punishment does not typically cross their mind, and cause them to alter their behavior.
We can see this in the consistent, and increasing, number of violent crimes being committed year after year in this country. There have also been widely publicised cases of wrongly convicted individuals, who were either put to death or were awaiting their punishment, that were revealed to be innocent. In the cases where the death penalty had already been carried out, it was too late for those innocent people. Having even one innocent person put to death wrongly is a crime unto itself.
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We must also look at the mental competence of the individuals being convicted and sentenced to this punishment. Death penalty otherwise known as capital punishment is defined as the lawful practice of putting someone to death for crimes specified by the state. This form of punishment has been practiced by most societies in the past and still exists in some countries today. Death penalty is a very controversial issue in different states and countries with positions varying from one culture or political ideology to another.
The European Union and the Council of Europe have forbidden capital punishment within its member states.
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The United Nations on the other hand, have only conceded to pass a global moratorium on executions but with a future prospect of abolition. This is because four of the most populous countries in its membership — United States, China, India and Indonesia voted against the resolution and is still practicing capital punishment up until now. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing population in the prisons proves otherwise.
Somehow, just imprisonment is not enough for some people to stop them from committing a crime. The number of criminals is increasing every year.
Some criminals may think that they would never be caught, and just keep committing crimes. The perfect example for this would be serial killers. For such people, death penalty should be there, so that others, who even think about committing such crimes, learn a lesson that every criminal is eventually caught. Anti-death penalty advocates believe that death penalty is irreversible and may become a cause of irreversible mistakes.
Once a person has been sentenced to death and thus death penalty practiced, there is nothing that can be done to undo the punishment if the accused turns out to be innocent. I agree that death penalty is irreversible, but the chance of making a mistake in death penalty is extremely low. Death penalty is considered an extreme punishment and the judicial system takes a lot of care in finalizing the decision. There are several safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. For example, "Capital punishment may be imposed only when guilt is determined by clear and convincing evidence leaving no room for an alternative explanation of the facts", "Anyone sentenced to death shall receive the right to appeal to a court of higher jurisdiction", etc.
Capital Punishment: Life or Death, Internet. There are several other privileges provided to the convicted that assure that death penalty is given to the rightly accused person.
According to Haag, "Trials are more likely to be fair when life is at stake - the death penalty is probably less often unjustly inflicted than others" Statistics reveal that there is far less number of death sentences than life imprisonment sentences without parole given out every year. According to Federal Justice Statistics, in , there were approximately criminals sentenced to life imprisonment as opposed to 74 criminals sentenced to death Internet.
Capital Punishment Essay: Benefits of the Death Penalty
This shows that judicial system itself is very careful with death sentences. Even if we assume that there are chances that an innocent person is executed, it is the problem with the trial, not the punishment. When an innocent person is sentenced to death, it is not the fault of the punishment itself, but the trial that led to this punishment. There have been cases in which a person has been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole, and then after several years, it was revealed that the person was innocent.
No court or compensation in this world can return the horrifying years spent in the prison by that innocent person. If we stop giving life imprisonment sentences to criminals on this ground, then probably most of the criminals would be walking around free on the streets within ten to fifteen years. The fear and trust that the society has in the judicial system would be lost. The judicial system has minimized the chances of mistakes. It is almost impossible to sentence a wrongly accused person. Then, why cause death of several innocent victims just on the bleak assumption that some day we might make a mistake?
Death penalty is not advocated for all criminals. Those criminals, who commit murders during self-defense or during times of passion, do not deserve death penalty.
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However, those people who just do not seem to learn the lesson the first time, or those who kill for fun, definitely deserve death penalty. Defendants murderers are allowed to shield themselves from justice by pleading insanity. Insanity means a failure to respond to the usual sort of incentives in the usual ways. If insane people are completely unresponsive to incentives, then their profits serve no social purpose, thus leading to another beneficial factor of the death penalty. People who have no social purpose do not benefit society, culture of mankind, or the basic rules of humanity.
For example: This drug related brain-damaged killer barely knew his own identity when he murdered a mother and her daughter in front of a 3 year old boy.
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When he was finished raping the females and performed their deaths, he move on to sexually molest the boy in which he then left him to die. The retarded man then pled insanity, got to stay in jail for 22 years, eating three square meals a day, sleeping on a mattress with a blanket in air conditioned comfort and having a roof over his head Shapiro, Where do we draw the line between mentally incapable and criminally insane?
When are they going to learn to resume the responsibility for their actions? I am not saying that all mentally disabled people should be subject to death penalty because they are no good to the society. However, some people pose a great fatal danger to the society in such a cruel way as seen in the above example. In such cases, death penalty becomes crucial for the benefit of the society.
Thus, I do not advocate death penalty for people who have performed only one murder. However, there have been cases in which people have committed several murders e.
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