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The Death Penalty Writing Assignment (Essay Sample)


Death penalty. Would you agree or disagree or in between. This is the topic and the question from the professor. And the sources you can find anywhere. Just include the work cited and don’t copy from others.


The Death Penalty
The Death Penalty
The topic of the death penalty or capital punishment has been one of controversy for a very long time now. The practice, which began many centuries ago, has seen various societies execute criminals for different capital offenses or crimes. In those countries where the death penalty is allowed, offenses such as genocide, war crimes, treason, crimes against humanity, espionage, and murder are considered punishable by death. While some countries still have the death penalty, there are those that have abolished it completely and others that only allow it under certain special circumstances. This paper argues that a death penalty is an appropriate form of punishment and therefore the practice should be upheld. The reasons for this are that, death penalty helps to control behavior through instilling the fear of pain in people, it ensures that the victims get justice, the maintenance and security costs are reduced for the government, and most importantly, it helps prevent repeat attacks in cases where a terrorist or hijacker has been imprisoned. However, in doing this, considerations have to be made about some special circumstances. Some of these include where the accused is a victim of circumstances like in the case of young children forcefully recruited into terrorism, or where a fair trial was not done to determine the connection of the victim to the crime.
The death penalty can instill the fear of pain in people and therefore help to control behavior. In other words, the penalty has a deterrent effect on capital crime. In his study, Ehrlich (1975) found out that there is a direct relationship between capital punishment and the reduction of capital crimes. The mere thought of the pain that has to be endured during an execution, usually makes most potential offenders to reconsider everything before committing similar crimes. Similarly, Block (2011) compares the effect of the death penalty to “the principle of downward sloping demand” in economics where he points out that, the fact that people have to pay for crime using their lives makes the tendency to commit the same to go down. Ideally, real executions do reduce the rates of murder. The fact that the death penalty is more severe and effective compared to a life sentence is evidenced by the numerous desperate attempts made by death-row convicts to either delay their executions or have them overturned. The two studies are further supported by the classical theory of criminology whereby the fear of pain is considered the best tool for controlling the behavior of human beings. When all these are put into consideration, the death penalty plays a big role in controlling the rate of crime.
Death penalty enables the victims of crime to get justice. One common and the often repeated argument is that a person who deliberately takes someone else’s life does not deserve to live. This is very true, especially in cases where the one committing the crime is in their right state of mind. For example, it would be very unfair for a murderer or rapist to be pardoned for their crimes given the effect such an act would have on the victims. Even though some studies have shown that the death penalty does not bring closure to the victims and their families, there is at least some amount of satisfaction that comes with knowing that the perpetrators of such crimes are not left to wander freely where they could commit the same crimes again. An example of such a case is the one about the brutal murder of James Byrd in the hands of Lawrence Rusell and the other two men in 2011. Given the gruesomeness of the murder,

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