The Death Penalty The first established death penalty laws date as far back as the Eighteenth Century. Although some may think the death penalty is a cruel form of justice, it has actually improved over time. Death sentences have been carried out by such means of crucifixion, drowning, burning alive, quartering, and even impalement - just to name a few. With that being said, some still disagree with means of today’s death penalty. Jack Greenberg, Professor of Law from Columbia University, believes there are much more effective ways of dealing with criminals rather than the death penalty. He goes on to defend his opinion in his article “Against the American System of Capital Punishment”, stating that racism could play a major role in capital punishment. Siding with Greenberg is author David Chandler, who also believes that the death penalty is an insufficient way of dealing with the worst of criminals. Ernest van den Haag, on the other hand, disagrees with Greenberg and supports the death penalty, which he makes very clear in his writing “The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense.” He believes that racism is not an issue and that the death penalty serves as an intimidation factor to deter criminals. Siding with Van Den Haag is Dr. Don Boys, author for Cornerstone Communications. He uses a religious aspect as to why man has the right to decide whether or not a man deserves to live. Although the death penalty has a few perks, it should be abolished for a few reasons. It has never proven to deter crimes more effectively than other punishments, there are serious economic consequences, and most importantly it denies criminals their natural born right to life. Greenberg and Van Den Haag have two very different opinions, but Greenberg is able to back up his opinion with facts, and makes it very clear as to why the death penalty should be abolished. There are multiple factors involving the death penalty that prove there are more effective ways of dealing with society’s criminals. First, the death penalty has never been shown to deter crimes more effectively than other punishments. David Chandler includes studies recently conducted in Oklahoma and California that have failed to prove that capital punishment has a deterrent effect on crimes in America. Oddly enough, it has been discovered that there is a significant increase in killing and homicide rates after the death penalty has been reinstated. The ideas behind capital punishment may have good intentions, but as Greenberg states,“Americas simply does not have the kind of capital punishment system contemplated by death penalty partisans” (Greenberg). Greenberg makes a valid point when he says the potential killers have most likely convinced themselves they will not be caught after they have committed the crime (Greenberg 37). He goes on to say the majority of people who commit murders either do not expect to be caught or do not carefully weigh the differences between a possible execution and life in prison before they commit the crime; these murders are most often committed in moments of blinding anger or passion. However, Van Den Haag still believes that capital punishment serves as a deterrence despite recent studies proving otherwise. Van Den Haag is convinced that the death penalty inflicts fear into hearts and minds of could-be criminals. He shares his views with Sir James Fitzjames Stephen who says,“Some men, probably, abstain from murder because they fear that if they committed murder they would be hanged. Hundreds of thousands abstain from it because they regard it with horror (Stephen 16)”. Van Den Haag also believes criminals would prefer imprisonment for life rather than receiving the death penalty. Later in his article he also states that even if the lives of just a few victims are saved due to deterrence of the death penalty, then it is doing its job. On the religious aspect, Dr. Boys quotes Genesis 9:6,”whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for
April 15, 2013
Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly?
The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is the punishment of execution, administered to someone convicted of a capital crime; it is the most severe form of corporal punishment. The death penalty in the United States has been an ongoing debate throughout history. Capital punishment has been banned in many countries, except in the United States; there are thirty-three states that currently…
What are the latest developments concerning the death penalty?
In June 2008, the Supreme Court held that it was cruel and unusual punishment to use the death penalty against individuals convicted of raping a minor. In April 2008, the Supreme Court has held that lethal-injection procedures in Kentucky do not violate the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. The action opens the way for an end to a de facto national moratorium on lethal injection executions that has…
Is the Death Penalty Just and Applied Fairly?
I. What is the death penalty?
a. Capital Punishment
b. Fifth Amendment
a. Babylonia B.C.
b. First execution in the colonies
c. First woman to be executed
a. Eye for an eye
c. Getting rid of evil
d. Deter crime
b. Risk of executing the innocent
a. By year
b. By state
VI. Alternatives to the Death Penalty
a. Life Sentence
VII. Death Penalty here to stay…
The Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty in America
The ’Death Penalty’ is a problem of much concern; many countries favor the ‘Death Penalty’ and apply that, while many other object strongly to this punishment. My opinion is that the death penalty should be banned as a form of punishment. What is Capital punishment? Capital punishment is the death penalty. It is used today and was used in ancient times to punish a variety of offences. The death penalty has no place in a civilized society…
Capital punishment is a prudent issue that creates a spectacle among those for and against the death penalty. From those that have lost loved ones from homicides to those that have committed murder and are then “lawfully”, according to the judicial systems, put to death. Although those for and against the death penalty may agree that there is a lawful and unlawful treatment of people, there is discern on who has the right to make the decision on who lives and who dies. Does man have the right to…
Lots of crimes happen throughout society but murder is the most harmful, not only to the victim but also to the victim’s family. The death penalty will bring justice to the victim and their family. Uma Kukaths said, “Death penalty supporters claimed that not only is the state justified in permanently removing a murderer from society, it is obliged to do so to protect its law-abiding citizens from harm”. The victim’s family would be happy to know that the murderer is gone and justice…
the capital punishment. Capital punishment is a life or death situation. It is the execution of people who have been found guilty of certain offenses. Many people in today’s society believe that a death crime is so severe that they deserve a punishment equal to their crime. In some people’s mind they believe in killing the killer, but how does that show us that killing is morally okay? There are numerous proven reasons why the death penalty should be abolished. The best reasons are to not violate…
The topic about whether or not the death penalty should be abolished has been a very controversial one for years. Dating back to the first English colonies in the 1600’s, the death penalty, or capital punishment as it is formally referred to, is a part of American history that never began to be questioned until the American Revolution in 1776. To this day, many people have mixed opinions on the matter. Some people strongly believe that the death penalty should be instituted, while others strongly…
This is a dossier on the effectiveness and the racially implicated sanctions for the application of the Death Penalty. This paper is a general indictment of the entire criminal justice system, and the faults that exist within. This is not an attempt to sway your opinion, but instead to raise the awareness of those of us who hold the creed of this Great Nation dear and the potential that it holds.
I think that in the terms of greatness there is a clause that as a people and a nation, we continue…
Life and death; the two things that all birthed beings are guaranteed. Two concepts that are understood to be normal and unavoidable. Our mortality, though deeply mysterious and uncontrollable, is something that we have come to accept on a basic level. We all know that to live, means to die. That once we are born into life, our fate has been inevitably sealed to a single future. That though the means and the details may vary according to the individual, we will all certainly die.…