Death Sentence

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Philosophy ・MLA ・3 Sources

The death penalty is a form of capital punishment that entails the execution of individuals who have been sentenced to death by a court of law. According to Banner and Stuart (2009) in their book The Death Penalty: An American History, the death penalty is a contentious and divisive topic because some people believe executions are immoral while others support it. As a result, this paper focuses on arguments against the death penalty, as well as why it should be abolished in all countries due to its immorality.
When the death penalty was first introduced, it sparked strong emotions in many societies and countries. Many politicians together with their governments make their arguments in favor of this capital punishment. During election campaigns, politicians have actively encouraged the ruling for a death penalty if the offender is found guilty by the court of law. The death sentence is supported by many people who believe that by executing the criminals, it will help to deter people from committing crimes. These groups of individuals believe it is the only effective and efficient way of reducing the rate of crimes in the states. In support of the mentioned argument, recent studies using various statistical models indicate a good correlation between the number of murder cases and the executions.
Also, it has been argued that the death penalty provides justice to both parties. For justice to be administered to the victims of the offender, then, the only penalty that is satisfactory is the death penalty. The capital punishment satisfies the desire for justice and vengeance that is felt by members of the public, and the victims loved ones (Levinson et al. 5). Nevertheless, the death penalty as many people will argue out is less costly since instead of keeping a convicted criminal in prison for life sentence, the individual should be executed to save on the cost of feeding him or her. The supporters of the death penalty view it as unwise to continue feeding a convicted murderer in prison while serving a life sentence. They also support the saying that goes "death for death" for appropriateness just like the famous quote "an eye for an eye."
On the other hand, there are some people who believe the argument by individuals supporting the death penalty is not satisfactory and thus they are against the passing of the death sentence. Therefore, they do not justify the support for the death sentence as a punishment to the convicted criminals. Also, there is no enough and satisfying evidence that the capital punishment deters individuals in the society from committing a capital offense like murder. To effectively prevent anyone from committing crimes, then, long prison sentences should be imposed instead. The quest for vengeance is unnecessary and is a primitive desire in a civilized society. Therefore, these groups of people propose a long prison sentence to be considered as an alternative instead of the death penalty.
On the contrary, the death penalty should not be used as a form of punishment in states because it inflicts pain and suffering to the offender and their loved ones. Despite the fact that the pain will be offset by the people who believe that justice has been achieved, it is so painful for a society to believe in paying death with death. Thus, people should be given a second chance to correct their mistakes and be role models in the society (Davidson 7).
The execution of convicted offenders through death penalty is another act of violence hence it should be abolished by the states. The death penalty paradoxically makes murder more likely in the states across the world. The death penalty is also viewed as an enticement of murder, since an individual who knows that they will be executed after being caught, has nothing to lose which makes them more callous. Besides, the death penalty also devalues life. Any society that executes some of its members, who are convicted by the courts of law, reduces the values it places on an individual's life. The death penalty, as a sanctioned violence makes the culture of the society to be more violent.
The death penalty should be abolished in all countries because it ignores the sacredness of life. The fundamental principle that life is sacred provides the basic platform of respecting the life of any individual, but the death sentence violates this principle. Death sentence is regarded as an unusual and cruel punishment to humanity which is prohibited. Also, the different ways used by the government to execute a criminal are cruel and inhuman. In this regard, the Roman Catholic Church has always been on the fore front to fight the abolition of the death penalty in the world.
The death penalty should also be abolished since it is a practice whose acts are irreversible especially when an innocent person is wrongly convicted; states tragically kill individuals who are innocent through the death penalty sanction (Davidson 3). The condemned person suffers injustice which is so irreversible, and this can be avoided by long imprisonment punishment where they will later be released with compensation.


The death penalty is a cold-blood and premeditated killing of people by the state in the name justice. This practice of capital punishment violates the principle of the sacredness of life and degrading the value of life. Therefore, justice can still be achieved using other forms of punishment but not only by a death sentence. The public should also the taught on the act of forgiveness, since it has been found out that at times murder can be accidental. The death penalty is biased in terms of racial disparities in many nations and thus it should be abolished (Levinson et al. 15). Future research should be focused on alternative punishment instead of the death penalty as a punishment for the offender.

Works Cited

Banner, Stuart, and Stuart Banner. The death penalty: An American history. Harvard University Press, 2009.
Davidson, Mark. "Compassion and the Death Penalty." Journal of Theoretical & Philosophical Criminology 7.2 (2015): 1-20.
Levinson, Justin D, Robert J. Smith and Danielle M. Young. "Devaluing death: An empirical study of implicit racial bias on jury-eligible citizens in six death penalty states." NYUL Rev. 89 (2014): 1-65

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