Capital Punishment Essay

Capital Punishment Discursive essay Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a person as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. In some countries death penalty can only be used to punish people for wilful murder. In other countries it is also used as punishment for other crimes, such as dealing drugs or in some countries even for adultery. When it comes to executions and other types of physical punishment, there has been no limit to the imagination of man.

The most famous execution is undoubtedly the crucifixion of Jesus. Another historic execution took place in the ancient Greece, where Socrates was forced to drink the poisonous juice of hemlock flowers. In the Roman Empire thousands of slaves and criminals were killed by lions or other predators, to the great delight of thousands of spectators. Hangings, burnings, decapitations and shootings have also been events that could draw huge crowds of joyful spectators. Another biblical form of execution is to be stone to death, a type of execution that has been used as late as the 20th century.

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The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nation proclaims the right of every individual to protection from deprivation of life. It states that no one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment. The death penalty violates both of these fundamental rights and perpetuates a cycle of violence.

It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and has no place in a modern criminal justice system. Over two thirds of countries in the world – 137 – have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Since the beginning of the United States government, the death penalty has brought controversy. The people of the United States remain divided upon the need for capital punishment. Those who support the death penalty  believe those who kill should receive death in return. Others believe it is not our place to take a life, claiming it to be cruel and unusual punishment.

In 36 years, 131 death row inmates were found innocent DNA testing alone has proven 234 people innocent . Many wrongly convicted individuals received life sentences, so those who received a death sentence prompt us to ask if the death penalty is truly necessary now that so many innocents have suffered. Many factors contribute to a wrongful conviction such as insufficient evidence, false confessions, and mistaken identity. There are times when law enforcement will use coercion to illicit a confession and purposely lie to a suspect in hopes of gaining a confession.

False confessions are on the rise due to long hours or even days of interrogation. Why allow this treatment when all suspects are innocent until proven guilty? Most people don’t realize that carrying out one death sentence costs 2-5 times more than keeping that same criminal in prison for the rest of his life. How can this be? It has to do with the endless appeals, additional required procedures, and legal wrangling that drag the process out. It’s not unusual for a prisoner to be on death row for 15-20 years. Judges, attorneys, court reporters, clerks, and court facilities all require a substantial investment by the taxpayers.

The state of California, in one year, uses over $250 million on death penalty, and just $11. 5 million on life in prison. Do we really have the resources to waste? Recent polls show that 75 percent of U. S. citizens favour the death penalty. Yet the U. S. Catholic bishops, along with many other Christians and Jews, have spoken out against capital punishment. Is not a deterrent; crime rates have not gone down. In fact, the murder rate in the United States is 6 times that of Britain and 5 times that of Australia. Neither country has the death penalty.

Texas has twice the murder rate of Wisconsin, a state that doesn’t have the death penalty. Texas and Oklahoma have historically executed the most number of death rate inmates, yet in 2003 their state murder rates increased, and both have murder rates higher than the national average. Life in prison also guarantees no future crimes. This sentence does not exist in all countries. However, where life imprisonment is a possible sentence, there may also be formal mechanisms to request parole after a certain period of imprisonment. This means that a convict could be entitled to spend the rest of the sentence outside of prison.

Early release is usually conditional depending on past and future conduct, possibly with certain restrictions or obligations. In contrast, in jurisdictions without life imprisonment, a convict who has served the given prison sentence is free upon release. The length of time and the modalities surrounding parole vary greatly for each jurisdiction. In some places convicts are entitled to apply for parole relatively early, in others only after several decades. However, the time of legally being entitled to apply for parole does often not tell anything about the actual date of being granted parole. Harry ConwayCapital Punishment


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