Get help from the best in academic writing.

Capital Punishment Essay: Just Do It

Capital Punishment: Just Do It

Capital punishment is a justified form of punishment for murderers and is enforced by most states in the United States. The death penalty is a fitting punishment for murder because executions maximize the public safety through a form of incapacitation and deterrence. When a person kills another person, their common sense and mental reasoning is lost. As a result of this, the murderer is no longer capable of a mentally stable life not only to himself but also society as a whole. In contrast, moral issues question the accuracy and the benefits of the death penalty as well.

Murder is defined as the crime of unlawfully killing a person with malice aforethought and to slaughter wantonly (Webster, 751). Capital punishment is the punishment by death involving execution (Webster, 162). Since ancient times it has been used to punish a wide variety of offenses. In the United States, the death penalty for murder was first abolished in Michigan (1847); Venezuela (1853) and Portugal (1867) were the first nations to abolish it altogether. Today, it is virtually abolished in all of Western Europe and most of Latin America. Elsewhere–in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (except Israel)–most countries still authorize capital punishment for many crimes and use it with varying frequency (Academic American Encyclopedia, UT CAT).

Methods of inflicting the death penalty have ranged from stoning in biblical times, crucifixion under the Romans, beheading in France, to those used in the United States today: hanging, electrocution, gas chamber, firing squad, and the lethal injection. Beginning in 1967, executions were suspended to allow the appellate courts to decide whether the death penalty was unconstitu…

… middle of paper …

…of criminal execution to set the limits of appropriate punishments. Not only is morality of the criminal an issue, what about the morality of the crime that the criminal committed? Premeditated and wanton murder is an immoral action. As was mentioned before, compassion is an admirable thing, but it need not blind us to the difference between right and wrong, or the desirability of deterring bad behavior.


“Capital Punishment.” Academic American Encyclopedia. (UT CAT PLUS). 1991 ed.

Hertzberg, Hendrick. “Premeditated Execution.” Time 18 May 1992:49.

Kramer, Michael. “Frying them isn’t the Answer.” Time 14 March 1994:32.

Landsburg, Steven E. “Just do it.” Forbes 21 Nov. 1994: 166.

Shapiro, Walter. “What say should victims have?” Time 27 May 1991:61.

Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. Mass.: G

Capital Punishment: The Correct Alternative

Capital Punishment: The Correct Alternative

Today there is a big controversy over capital punishment whether or not it works or if it is morally right. Before I go on capital punishment, in America, is only used in felony cases such as murder or a felony buglary, where there was a unintended murder because of a robbery. People who favor the death penalty say that the criminals deserve it and is the only way for justice to be served. People who are against it, the death penalty, say that it is immoral, that no person should be sentenced to death, it has no place in a civilized society, and that since the death penalty cannot be racially bias it should be banished. Capital punishment is justified by several means. First of all, it greatly discourages violent crimes like murder and rape. Many murderers are not serving most–if even half–of their sentences nowadays, due to early parole or overcrowded prisons. If a murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment, not only does it cost the taxpayers money to support them but often their life in the jail is often better than that which some citizens live everyday. These first two facts encourage crime rather than impede them. Also, a person who commits murder deserves a punishment that fits the crime committed. Premeditated murder, being the most vile crime committed, calls for the only fit punishment– death. I am referring only to murderers getting the death penalty, and not necessarily any other crimes like rape or buglary.

There are now currently thirty-seven states that have the death penalty. Even the military has the death penalty. The other states, most of them in the Midwest and Northeast have abolished it. The only two states to not ever have the death penal…

… middle of paper …

…manner that gives society the message that it is living in a just world. Moreover, the death penalty is not racially biased, it’s just that more minorities are being executed than Caucasians, because more minorities are committing more crimes. If capital punishment is taken away, we will not have an effective justice system and crimes against innocent citizens will continue. This is why capital punishment is necessary and needed in America.

Works Cited

1. ” The Death Penalty.” 3/01/95 (date retrieved).

2. Hugo Adam Bedau. “The Case Aginst The Death Penalty.”. July 1992.

3. “Double Justice: Race and the Death Penalty.”. 3/01/95 (date retrieved).

4. “Slaughterhouse Justice.” Village Voice 11 Oct. 1994: 23-24.

5. ” Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of those Facing the Death Pealty.”. 3/01/95 (date retrieved).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.