Argumentative paper on Should the death penalty be abolished

Death penalty is a concept that has been in existence for a very long time. Death penalty entails the execution of a criminal for committing offenses which are categorized as capital offenses. Though, this kind of punishment has been in existence for a very long time, it has always been surrounded by controversy. In the context of this paper I am going to explore this issue in detail. I am going to first come up with the thesis this will then be followed by the anti-thesis which highlights the objections to the thesis. I will finally explore the synthesis which will be my personal opinion on the issue.

The debate about the abolishment of the death penalty still rages. Death penalty has always been part of the legal system since the pre-civilization day of mankind. Death had always been chosen as a way of punishing offenders who had committed crimes which were considered serious. The concept had been conveyed into the legal systems in the course of civilization and had been part and parcel of many societies. Over time a number of countries have denounced the practice with some still enforcing it in their penal system. With the continued growth of the population, especially in the United States, we realize that we have to contend with career criminals. As a society we have to agree on the best way to punish criminals who have committed serious offenses like murder. It is important to note that more than two thirds of the countries in the world have abolished death penalty either in their legal systems or in their practices.

To begin with I will have to base myself on religion. Most religions respect the sanctity of life. They feel that life is given by God. For this reason it is not right for any human being to take the life of another person. The government is often given the power to decide whether a person should live or whether he should die. This is playing the role of God and should never be the case. There may be an argument that the criminal must have taken the life of another person, but must we revenge by taking his life This can be deemed to be doing the same thing we are trying to discourage. From a philosophical perspective, it is not right to punish a crime by committing the same crime. The sanctity of life ought to be respected. Since the process is irreversible, then we should explore other methods that can allow us to reverse situations when we realize that the suspect is actually not guilty. The other thing to consider is the fact that for capital punishment to lead to deterrence, the prosecution is supposed to be carried out with an immediate effect. This leads to higher possibilities of executing innocent people. There is no way we can use something wrong to correct something wrong, in the long run we end up with two wrongs.

The irreversibility of death penalty is an issue on its own. Sometime, errors are inevitable in the trial process. This leads to the susceptibility of prosecuting an innocent person. A number of occasions have been documented where suspects have been rescued a few days to their prosecution when it is realized that they were indeed innocent. If the person has already been executed, then it becomes pointless and the whole process is brought to question. It is very bad to execute an innocent man. It is unfair from all perspectives but nothing can then be done, instead there is a likelihood that the actual criminal, if later apprehended will go through a similar process. Thus we will have to contend with loosing two lives.

Death penalty is supposed to be abolished. Death penalty is often deemed to lead to deterrence. This based on the presumption that a potential criminal is bound to be deterred if he knows that the crime he is contemplating is punishable by death. Capital punishment in this context may be deemed to be able to deter premeditated murder. If a criminal is likely to have a feeling that he will never get caught, then the deterrence is cancelled. There is also the possibility that the crime is committed in an emotional situation, in this case, there will be no deterrence. If capital punishment could have been effective in leading to deterrence, then there could have been a sharp decline in serious crimes instead it has been noted that these crime continue to prevail even in cases where capital punishment is strictly enforced. Also from a more philosophical perspective, this can be deemed as using a person as a means to achieve an objective. It is not right to use a person for a goal which is not of his benefit without his consent.

It is true that death penalty has been in practice for a very long time. It is also a fact that we are more civilized than the societies which felt that capital punishment was an appropriate way of punishing dangerous criminals. We are able to come up with more effective ways of punishing such criminals without interfering with their lives. Most of the laws which insisted on capital punishment in the historical times were often based on religion alone. Our legal system today is so advanced that it also takes other factors into consideration in addition to religion. There are occasions whereby a person who did not believe in a certain god was to be punished by death. This was deemed to be violating an individuals freedom of choice and worship. This could be equated to forcing someone to believer in something which has already been determined for him. That is undermining an individuals freedom.

If the offender has been established to be a criminal who cannot live with the others in the society, then the best way to punish him is through isolating him permanently from the other members of the society. This can be done by means of life imprisonment. This means that life imprisonment serves the same function as capital punishment. The only difference means that the life of the criminal is not interfered with. This kind of punishment is also very severe in its nature but it is reversible in case new evidence can arise that can establish that the convict is actually innocent. It is very selfish and bad to justify the killing of a person by claiming that it saves money. Proponents of capital punishment often feel that life imprisonment places an extra financial burden on the members of the society as they have to sustain the livelihood of the rather unproductive member of the society.

It is necessary to note that capital punishment leads to deterrence to some extent. It is often noted that potential criminals often tend to shy away from crimes which are likely to attract capital punishment. The opponents often argue that death penalty can only deter premeditated crimes, but even to that extent is good enough. If we abolish death penalty, what will deter pre-meditated crimes The criminals will be very free knowing that even if they take the life of another person, their lives will be guaranteed. If we are realistic enough, we will r4ealize that any criminal fears engaging in crimes which will attract capital punishment.

In order to ensure that justice prevails, it is worth noting that death penalty should be maintained. Is it really just for a person who has killed another person or a number of people to continue to be alive If this criminal had the audacity to take the life of an innocent victim, why should we be so considerate with him as to spare his life We need to be realistic enough to agree that some people ought to be punished for the crimes they commit due to the gravity of such offenses. Justice will only be deemed to have prevailed if the criminal goes through the same fate he pushed his victim into. We should not even contemplate sparing his life once we have established that he is actually guilty of the offense. What is good for one person should be good for the other, if only the criminal had some sense of humanity within him to spare the life of his victim, and then the same could be extended to him. Some of the criminals advance very heinous activities.

It is not fair to force the society which has suffered the criminal activities of a given criminal to sustain his livelihood. Most societies are often characterized by some financial needs which have never been met due to inadequacy in their finances. Why should the society channel some of his finances to benefit the very people who have been a blockade to the development of the society If these people are executed, their will be no financial burden on the part of the society, instead the move would be deemed as a step towards ensuring the safety of the members of the society.

Death penalty serves as a very powerful means of retribution. Since it is not very easy to determine another punishment that can best suit a criminal who killed someone, it is necessary that we establish a fair measure for him. The only way we can be sure that the criminal suffers the same fit his victim suffered is to execute him. In fact, execution in the modern context has been advanced to the point whereby the criminal undergoes a painless death. This is even a favor they are extended, since these are people who killed their victims ruthlessly. If the mode of execution was to be fair enough, then the criminal is supposed to be executed in the same manner he killed his victim, but this is not usually the case since the aim of the execution is not usually to inflict pain upon the criminal but to deny him the right to life as he did to his victim.

Death penalty prevents the possibility of a given criminal committing the same crime again. It is often noted that people who have been convicted with murder always commit the same offense when they are freed. When these criminals are still alive, even if they are isolated in prison, the society still worries about the likelihood of the same crime being committed by the criminal. There have been a number of cases whereby prisoners have been reported to have escaped. Being with such a criminal always poses a danger to the society and his continued existence can be equated to sitting on a time bomb. Death sentence is always set aside for very heinous criminal activities. This means that a criminal sentenced to death is one who has committed a very serious offense like murder and rape. These are people who have been proved to be beyond rehabilitation. What is the use of allowing these people to continue to exist amongst us lest they continue to kill other innocent members of the society How will the family of the victim cope with the knowledge that the person who killed their loved one continues to enjoy life.

Having considered both arguments, I feel that death penalty should be abolished. While it is argued that death penalty guarantees that the criminal will not be able advance his heinous acts, it is also worth noting that they will also not engage in other productive activities in the society. This means that the proponents of death penalty ignore the other perspective of eliminating the existence of the criminal in question. There is also the feeling that execution leads to saving money. This is because it is always deemed that the criminals are dependent on the society and thus deprive the society of its hard earned money. This is should not be the case, because it seems very selfish to execute a person to realize monetary savings. Secondly, it is possibly to ensure that these criminals engage in money-generating activities which can sustain them so that the burden placed on the society for their upkeep can be lifted.

It is evident that death penalty does not produce any deterrence. If this could have been the case, then countries which are very strict on conducting such executions should be having very few people to be executed but that is not usually the case. Capital punishment fails to show any consistency in producing deterrence. There may be arguments that it is just to execute a criminal who killed an innocent victim. Just in this context becomes a very complicated matter when closely considered. If we insist that we have to realize justice, then it would only be just to execute the criminal the same way he did to his victim. If he shot the victim he should be shot, if he strangled him to death, then the same should be done to him. The moment you try to ensure that the criminal does not feel pain then the whole process is rendered unjust. This makes it equal to finding another effective punishment for the offender, since execution does not appear to constitute justice.

It is also necessary to note that executing the offender will not bring back the life of his victim or relieve the crime he has already committed. Executing him will only lead to the existence of two families without their breadwinners if the criminal and the victim were both breadwinners. Even the strong proponents of death sentence are always afraid of its implementation. Capital punishment has always led to the execution of innocent people. The process is irreversible and once it has taken place, any mistake realized can only contribute to the sense of guilt.

This paper focused on the issue abolishing death penalty. It explored the reasons why death penalty should be abolished in the thesis part. The reasons why death penalty should not be abolished were explored in the antithesis section and finally my opinion on the issue was explored in the synthesis section. I felt that death penalty should be abolished because of its irreversibility. Human beings are bound to making mistakes and such mistakes can lead to the execution of an innocent suspect. Death penalty does not lead to deterrence as had been thought earlier. It does not make sense to support the execution of a person citing the need to save money. Why should we claim that killing is bad and punish such offense by killing This creates a controversy.


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