Against Death Penalty Debate Essay

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 My personal stance on the death penalty is that it is an outdated and ineffective punishment, serving no true benefit to society and causing more harm than good to society as a whole.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. 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. The consequences of their actions are not at the forefront of their minds while they’re in the midst of carrying out those actions. 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. And, in the cases where innocence was discovered in time, we can only be thankful that it wasn’t too late. There are definitely cases of people being wrongly accused and convicted, and for each case that’s brought to light, we must keep in mind that there are likely more that we’ve never – and will never – hear about. Having even one innocent person put to death wrongly is a crime unto itself.

We must also look at the mental competence of the individuals being convicted and sentenced to this punishment. If a person is not mentally capable of processing and understanding the actions they have committed, it is ethically wrong to execute them for this.

When looking at the ethics of capital punishment, it’s also essential to assess whether or not it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. There have been advancements in the technologies being used to enact the death penalty that are designed to lessen the pain and suffering a person endures. But, in reality, the only individuals who can attest to their effectiveness are those being executed. We cannot say for certain whether or not someone suffered unduly while they were being executed, whether everything worked as it should to ensure a quick and painless death.

And, yes, there are those who will argue that a death marked by pain and suffering is a part of the justice being served. But, as we try to hold ourselves as a nation to a higher standard than our worst criminals, we should at the very least allow our justice system to work as it should, according to the Supreme Court. And, nowhere in history has the Supreme Court ever advocated for the use of cruel and unusual punishment. We would like to think that we have more compassion and humanity than those who have committed such horrendous crimes, and as such, we should demonstrate this by showing them the humanity they denied someone else, not by sinking to their level.

The argument for or against the death penalty has been passionately argued throughout our nation’s history, with each side having their own strong viewpoints. When we look at the evidence from around the world on the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent, as well as the ethical dilemma of potentially executing innocent or mentally incompetent individuals, it is easy to see that the practice of capital punishment offers no benefits to our society.

Essay on I Am Against the Death Penalty

787 Words4 Pages

I Am Against the Death Penalty

The death penalty is the worst that can happen to a criminal if he is tried for murder, treason, or airplane hijacking. This is a very touchy subject for politicians also. Many politicians will not even speak about it for fear of looking too soft on crime, or, if they are in favor of it they will look too barbaric and uncivilized. A recent poll shows that the American population is split nearly half-and-half on the topic. In the poll, 41% preferred the death penalty, 44% were against it and 15% were unsure (Death Penalty Info). Of the fifty states, thirty-eight states use the death penalty plus the U.S. Government and Military (Death Penalty Info). Twelve states plus the District of Columbia do not…show more content…

There are many instances where the criminal has needed more than one jolt of electricity in order to kill the person. In between each time they send the electricity the body needs time to cool down before the physicians could check to see if the condemned person still was still alive. Lethal injections can also have problems as shown by the death of Raymond Landrey. ?Pronounced dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney and 24 minutes after the drugs first started flowing into his arms. Two minutes into the execution, the syringe came out of Landry's vein, spraying the chemicals across the room towards witnesses. The execution team had to reinsert the catheter into the vein. The curtain was closed for 14 minutes so witnesses could not observe the intermission.? There have been accounts where witnesses have fainted, and suffered from insomnia after viewing an execution that went wrong.

One of the prime reasons that people support capital punishment is because of the deterrence factor involved with the death penalty. Four authors looked into the deterrence factor of capital punishment in Texas and their findings were very intriguing. The authors examined the patterns of executions and murders and found that there was no deterrent effect (Death Penalty Info). This also was true in Oklahoma. The author William Baily researched the

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