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Death Punishment Essay Example

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Death Punishment

This resulted to a more than 130% increase in murder cases; from 9000 in 1960, 15000 in 1969, 21000 in 1975 and more than 23000 in 1980 (Burkhead 20). This shows that there is a correlation between execution and rate of murder.Opponents of death penalty argue that life imprisonment is the best way to deter crime and therefore it should be abolished (Gerber 50). However true this might be, criminals such as murderers will kill whether in prison or outside prison. This is due to the fact that once faced with life imprisonment, a person has nothing else to lose if that is the maximum punishment they can get. As such, they will not think twice about killing a prison guard, an inmate or accessing the services of assassins from the outside to exterminate witnesses in their cases or to revenge. Furthermore, there is no absolute guarantee that they will not at one time find a way to escape from prison and continue terrorizing innocent citizens. This implies that a murderer in prison is as dangerous as one roaming on the streets and therefore, the only sure way to incapacitate him is through death. In addition, one needs to ask himself why most criminals will utilize all the resources at their disposal to be served with life imprisonment. Logically, it is because they fear death more than life imprisonment. Majority of criminals do cost benefit analysis on the crime they want to commit. The possibilities of being caught and the consequences inform them on whether the risk they are taking is justified. The lower the consequences, the higher the justification they have of taking the risk. Therefore, in order to deter crime, such as murder, a severe punishment must be put in place to ensure that someone thinks twice before acting.Death penalty is a form of retributive justice. Retribution is a principle in law which dictates that response to crime should be proportionate to that crime (Gerber 61). In other words, the person who commits a crime should be made to undergo the same ordeal as the victims of his criminal acts. Human beings have animal instincts which compel them to respond to violence with violence, in what can be termed as the need for revenge. If these instincts are not satisfied in one way or another, then the society can possibly turn into anarchy, whereby people may start taking the law into their hands. However, retribution is different

Works Cited

Burkhead, Michael. A Life for a Life: The American Debate over the Death Penalty. McFarland & Co. 2009

Bedau, Hugo. Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment. Oxford University Press, 2004

Gerber, Rudolph. The Top Ten Death Penalty Myths: The Politics of Crime Control. Praeger Publishing, 2007

Vartabedian, Ralph. “Related story: Gun violence at U.S. schools continues to grow sharply,” Los Angeles Times. (11 June 2014). 18 November 2014 <http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-gun-violence-schools-20140610-story.html>

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preview essay on Death Punishment
  • Pages: 5 (1250 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Law
  • Level: Undergraduate
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