On discussing the appeal of the highly-rated CBS television show, “Survivor,” host Jeff Probst said the “appeal of the show lies in the idea that it is truly a human experience” (Mason par. 3). Now imagine a show in which American television viewers are permitted to watch the live execution of a Death Row inmate. Would broadcasting a live execution have the same “appeal” as “Survivor”? Or would televising an inmate’s execution have horrific and harmful consequences on the American public, putting the issue of capital punishment, as well as their ethical standards, in jeopardy?
Televisions are present in 98-99% of American households, (comma splice) basically they are present in every American house. American viewers watch televisions frequently and for a long duration of time, regarding what is seen on television as the most “credible, complete, intelligent, and unbiased source of news” (Leighton par. 10). Therefore, because of this fact, proponents of televising executions believe that in doing so, the public creates a deterrent, allowing the whole process of the United States criminal justice system to play out in front of the American public via the most popular medium for doing so, the television (“Debate Lives On” par. 3). A deterrent is a notion that the pain of punishment, (in this case, the pain of execution), will prevent human beings from committing crimes. Therefore, if the American public could bear witness to the execution of a convicted man or woman, the image would be so shocking to that viewers mind that the ability or desire of that person to commit a “death penalty” crime would decrease. In essence, proponents of te…
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White, James. Contempory Moral Problems. Fifth Edition. West Publishing Company.
Death Penalty Essay: The Barbaric Practice of Capital Punishment
The Barbaric Practice of Capital Punishment
Rarely has any issue across the world faced such fierce debate as the practice of sentencing convicted persons to death. Capital punishment, or the death penalty, was until the last few centuries, a widespread and common event, applicable for even a minor offense. As society and culture have evolved, however, the barbaric practice has come under close scrutiny. Today, many first-world countries have outlawed the death penalty in all but the rarest instances, such as treason during wartime.
The United States, however, which has stood at the forefront of the fight for global human rights, still uses the death penalty liberally, and can apply it for a great many crimes. This archaic and primitive practice rightly leads other nations to question the United States’ self-appointed leadership for global human rights. As many have that have closely examined the practice have concluded, this practice in the United States is not only impractical, immoral, but also fraught with error to such a degree that it could be easily outlawed. The unfortunate part, as many inside and outside our great nation believe, is that it is not.
The development of societies and their governments lead naturally to systems of laws and punishments. Originally, there were far more illegal acts than exist today, and the punishments were harsher, since an advanced prison system had not been developed. The basic premise of any legal system worldwide has always been simple, however: to take those who pose a threat to society and to remove them from it. The next act of choosing to actually kill these people was never a necessary act for society. Instead, it was a form of retributive justice,…
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Campaign to End the Death Penalty: Illinois Moratorium, “Moratorium Victory In Illinois” 13 Dec 2000 http://www.nodeathpenalty.org/ilmoratorium.html
Dieter, Richard C., The Death Penalty in Black