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A Contentious Issue In US Society. Art History Essay Help

A contentious issue in US society

Capital punishment has been a contentious issue in US society. arguments surrounding the subject matter are caused by proponents and opposers of the practice, which leads to the question, is capital punishment effective insofar as deterring criminal activities is concerned? In an attempt to answer this daunting question, the present study leverages various literature to prove the hypothesis that capital punishment is not a crime deterrence strategy. Herein, the history of capital punishment in the US and various issues arising from the application of capital punishment are discussed. Moreover, capital punishment is an antithesis of the democratic ideal that the US society pursues. Capital punishment is not a crime deterrent strategy but a pernicious practice in the Justice system that perpetuates social revenge.

History of Capital Punishment. apus history essay help: apus history essay help

History of Capital Punishment

The death penalty is a practice that has resulted in numerous discussions in various societies, especially in the United States. The death penalty was introduced in the US by the British when they inhabited the new world. in the early days, capital punishment was used by authoritarians to silence people that were deemed to be a problem in society. In that regard, the first recorded death penalty in the new world was that of George Kendall in 1608 who was killed for being suspected to be a spy for Spain. Capital punishments were executed for various reasons in the early days. In other words, it was a system of punishment that was used by traditional regimes to deter criminal activities. Notably, most ancient societies carried out capital punishment through beheading but this has never happened in the US. In the US, the criminal justice system has used strategies such as electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, poison gas, and shooting. While some states have continued to practice it, capital punishment has proven not to be a solution to criminal activities.

Capital Punishment as a Human Rights Issue. history assignment help in uk

Capital Punishment as a Human Rights Issue.

The death sentence is a human rights issue that started after the 1950s and 1960s public protests against the increasing rate of the practice in US society. In that regard, the Furman v. Georgia initiated the discussion that capital punishment was a practice that worked against the constitution of the US. The practice violates the Eighth Amendment which prohibits federal governments from imposing harsh penalties against criminals. The deliberation of the case mentioned above was that new laws were required to determine categories of criminals that could undergo capital punishment, this was an indication that in itself, the death sentence was a violation of human rights. Moreover, the United States prides itself on being a democratic nation. Given that democracy concerns its self with ensuring human beings exercise their basic rights, capital punishment is a practice that works against what the US system demands. Furthermore, capital punishment deprives criminals of their most basic human right—the right to life.

Besides, the United States helped to create the Center for Constitutional Rights that was formed after World War II, with an intention to protecting human rights, as described by the Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The right to life is considered a basic human right according to article 3 of the UDHR. Thus, the US judicial system should shun capital punishment because it works against assuring all citizens their basic human rights.

Capital Punishment as Social Revenge. history assignment help and resources: history assignment help and resources

Capital Punishment as Social Revenge

The death sentence can be regarded as a practice that has perpetuated racism in the US. In that regard, capital punishment in US society has mostly affected people of color since 1976. In the aforementioned duration, 43% of people of color were executed and 55% awaiting execution. Given that people of color constitute only 27% of the US population, capital punishment raises fundamental issues regarding equality in US society. Besides, the US is a party to the International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial discrimination. Moreover, the US ratified another international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The two engagements dictate that the US should not delve into activities that perpetuate discrimination. In that case, capital punishment seems to act as a practice that aims at encourages and continues social injustices that have historically existed against people of color. Moreover, the UN Human Rights Committee established in 2006 that the US should consider discrimination issues indicated by statists from the justice system that people of color were the most affected by capital punishment. Given that the issue remains in the justice system is an indication that it is more of a social revenge endeavor than a criminal deterrent intrigue.


Capital Punishment does not Deter Criminal Activities. art history essay help

Capital Punishment does not Deter Criminal Activities.

Proponents of capital punishment argue that the practice is vital insofar as preventing the occurrence of criminal activities in a society, which is not the case. In fact, since 1990, studies have indicated that the crime rate, particularly murder was higher in states that adopted capital punishment as a strategy to punish criminals charged with murder. Though not in an even manner, the rate of murder-related crimes has reduced significantly in states that had abolished capital punishment. In that regard, many states have opted out of the capital punishment practice through federal government legislation. Still, on murder-related crimes, a survey conducted by the New York Times found that states without capital punishment in their justice systems performed better in terms of homicide crimes. Also, ten out of the twelve states that abolished capital punishment had their homicide rates below the national average. On the contrary, 50% of states that held on death sentence had homicide rates higher than the national average. Interestingly, in the past decade, the rate of murder has decreased while the rate of executions has gone higher. While in this case, capital punishment proponents may argue that the rate of murder crimes has reduced as a consequence of the increased rate of executions, it is not true because states without capital punishment faired better. Therefore, capital punishment is not a solution to violent activities in US society.