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The death penalty is also a death sentence, capital punishment or execution. This is a legal process where the state puts an individual to death as punishment for a crime. The crimes resulting in the death sentence are capital offenses or capital crimes including aggravated murder, drug trafficking and crimes related to homicide (Moore 17).
Most societies have been practicing death penalty in the past, but most have abolished the practice due to controversies fueled by religions, political ideologies and laws concerning the protection of human rights. The societies that still apply the death penalty to date are China, the United States, India and Indonesia. In the past, the execution has been through beheading while lethal injection is increasingly preferable in recent decades. This paper is going to argue the grounds on why the death penalty should be practiced.
Death penalty is an issue that a number of people found controversy and have differing opinions. There is the person that firmly support the death penalty especially the victims of violent crimes whereas another feel that the government should abolish it (Moore 18). On the other hand, there is a club of individuals that feel the death penalty should be applied in only specific cases. I am such a person, and am of the opinion that the death penalty should only be incorporated in the case of an unforgivable crime such as serial murderers, rapists, and coldly premeditated murder. However, there is a need to be aware that crime is evident in the society we live in, and everyone is aware that it should be stopped at whatever cost and that not every crime should be punished by the death penalty (Radelet 19). The death penalty has been there since the Babylonian times, and most countries have adopted it, abolished and others have decided to apply it in specific instances.
Those supporting the idea of the death penalty argue that it is aimed at deterring future criminals who might be thinking of committing monstrous crimes. The deterrence is important in the society as a person will think twice before he or she commits premeditated murder (Moore 22). The person will undoubtedly know and understand the consequences that await him or her. Therefore, the probability of such a person will commit the crime decreases as they understand the harsh consequences they face when they commit a crime.
It is of the essence to concede that while attorneys protect the rights of the murderer, the victim’s family is in many cases forgotten. All the family gets is sympathy from the media and pretend politicians. In most cases, the victim’s family receives inadequate compensation for the loss. However, through the death penalty, the family is assured the murderer will never commit a crime again (Moore 45). They receive the justice that they deserve.
Therefore, those in support of capital punishment feel, it should always be there and be effective. In many cases, death penalties turn to be a life sentence or the criminals are condemned to die in death row rather than by execution. The effectiveness of the death penalty relies on the willingness of government officials who are in charge of it to use liberty. If exercised, the penalty is likely to stop criminals from committing a monstrous crime thus restoring justice.
If the penalty were used frequently then, people would avoid violent crimes. Monstrous criminals would think before committing a crime that is consequences are death (Moore 65). Because of this penalty the society would gain security. An illustration is in the Roman Empire where death penalty was effective and efficient than spending the tax payer’s money in maintaining the criminals in prison cells. People capable of brutality should be prevented from repeating the same crime and act as a lesson to those intending to do so. Therefore, the death penalty is the best way to go in the protection of the society.
For one to be sentenced to the death penalty then, they must have committed a crime in a clear state of mind. The full process of the law should take place, and there is a need for a full investigation in order to ensure that an innocent man is not sent to death (Moore 43). The law should take its full course, and the courts should ensure that indeed they look at all the possible perspectives in the case before capital punishment can be handed out.
There are those that are against capital punishment, and they have different reasons for supporting the abolishing of the death penalty. They first argue that death penalty executions require extremely high costs. Estimates show that it is more costly to execute people than sentence them to life imprisonment. The states impose heavy taxes to their citizens in order to maintain the capital punishment system (Radelet 18). They argue that it is so expensive because death row inmates require exceptional cells, unique dining arrangements, exercising, medical care and distinctive guards.
The legal costs are the greatest where the government must pay attorneys to prosecute the appeal cases for the death row inmates. However, should the society put a cost on the life of an innocent girl in the streets? If these criminals are not removed from the streets, they might be the ones to defile a young girl or commit premeditated murder on the bread-winner of the family (Radelet 22). For this purpose, there is a need to teach these criminals a lesson in a bid to deter crime in the society. In fact, no price should be given to securing the nation. The government spends billions in military equipment that is obsolete in a few years (Radelet 94). Therefore, it should not put any restrictions when it comes to the protecting of its citizens by eliminating elements that are hell-bent on destroying them.
Those in favor of abolition argue that costs are not the only issue to contend with in the debate over the death penalty. Innocence has been an equally thorny issue. There have been executions of innocent people where the governments are unable to prevent such accidental executions. Wrongful execution is injustice towards the people and cannot be reversed. A person can face the death sentence when innocent of any crime. There have been people released from the death row minutes before their execution.
However, as explained earlier, this is extremely hard in this age of technology (Peterson 73). There is the use of DNA and other reliable methods that indeed show the criminal. Therefore, this issue can be described as a non-issue as the numbers in the Criminal Justice department are negligible to aid this argument (Peterson 37).
In the United States, majority like the death sentence, and often appears to be reasonably contented with the executions as seen in most surveys. For example in a poll carried out in 2008, 63% believed in capital punishment. However, those arguing against it looks at the ethical issues involved, the theoretical factor of the death punishment concerns whether criminal execution is ever a form of punishment that is morally defensible (Fridell 32).
They argue that death punishment is never ethically reasonable and, therefore, it should be illegal. One of the reasons they give is that death punishment is not morally justifiable because it is forced subjectively, as per the attitude of the judge, the prosecutor and the juror, and a person’s capability to meet the expense of a proper defense. However, hard evidence is hard evidence, whether it is published to a Harvard lawyer or a high school dropout.
The other argument against the death penalty is discrimination. Statistics shows that about eighty percent of all murder victims are said to be blacks while fifteen percent are said to be white. Those that do not back the death penalty, such as NAACP argue that the system favors the white as compared to the black. However, this is not a legitimate argument as it has been seen that if one commits a crime that deserves a death sentence, then the death sentence should be handed to him or her regardless of the race that they come from. Therefore, the death penalty should not be biased on race and should not go against cruel and unusual punishment clause.
Death penalty ensures safety of the society, and if that is the case then, the society does not need to complain of the expenses that come with it (Fridell 54). Human lives in the society including those of innocent children and hardworking fathers and mothers are important and should be protected from the serial killers, rapists and drug dealers that are determined to ruin the society, commit murder and rape women and small children. The death penalty should, therefore, be handed to the persons that deserve it.
In resolution, the death penalty is one of the major issues that different people have a different opinion about. There are some who favor it while others are against the idea of killing a criminal even if the person is guilty. Death penalty deters criminals from committing heinous crimes; it scares them as they know what they will face when they commit the crimes. Further, it eliminates the bad apples in the society that can cause rot to the whole society.
These people if allowed to live can commit more crimes in the prisons (Fridell 84). Further, there are those crimes such as premeditated cold murder that can only be punished by a death sentence. Any less than that will be an injustice to the victim as well as the loved ones of the family that the victim belonged to. Those against the death penalty argue that innocent people might die, however, this is a rare occurrence. They also play the human right card and cost. However, it is also not in the human rights to coldly take away the life of a person and the government has a role and duty to shield its citizens from this bad apples and elements in the society. In regards to cost, there is no price that can be put on the peace and tranquility of the citizens.
Fridell, R. Capital punishment. New York: Benchmark Books. 2004. Print
Moore, B. N. Making your case: Critical thinking and the argumentative essay. Mountain View, Calif: Mayfield Pub. Co. 1995. Print.
Radelet, M. L. Facing the death penalty: Essays on a cruel and unusual punishment. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. 1989. Print.
Peterson, Tim. The death sentence: why it is important: The University of Kentucky Press. 2014. Print
Murder is considered as the unlawful killing of another human being under conditions that are spelt out by law or constitution of a nation. A person who commits the action of taking away the life of another human being is referred to as a murderer. In most societies, murder is considered as one of the worst types of crimes and it is differentiated from the other types of homicides like manslaughter. A homicide is an act of killing another human being. Murder is considered as a form of criminal homicide, which means that a homicide covers a larger scope than murder. In United States of America, murder is considered as one of the most serious crimes. The sentence for murder is either life imprisonment or in some cases the death penalty.
In the state of Georgia, murder is considered a very serious felony. Murder can be classified as either voluntary or involuntary. However, as long as there is evidence that one committed the crime, the sentence is either a death penalty or a life sentence. Murder is divided into degrees which are: First degree murder, second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary. However, every state has its own jurisdiction and laws on how to handle murder. In Georgia, murder is not divided into the four degrees (Morris, 2011). One is charged with murder if they had the intention to kill another human being, if someone caused the death of another human while committing another crime like robbery or if they acted in a way that disregards human life.
Detectives in the state of Georgia and the United States as a whole take cases of murder very seriously. This is because the society is not safe if murderers are roaming the streets, rubbing shoulders with innocent citizens. The police with the help of detectives investigate murder cases with a lot of aggressiveness. This is because murder takes away family members and important people in the society. Therefore, it is quite unfair that one or more people are left free, yet they have taken away an individual from his or her loved ones. The US code for murder is Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 51, § 1111.
Manslaughter is considered as the unlawful killing of another human being without malice. Manslaughter is classified into two classes, voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. The code for manslaughter is Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 51, § 1112. Voluntary manslaughter is the result of provocation: an argument, anger or a fight. Involuntary manslaughter is considered as the unlawful killing of another human being without malice. Involuntary manslaughter is distinguished from voluntary manslaughter through the absence of intention. Involuntary manslaughter is also divided into two types, constructive manslaughter and negligent manslaughter. Constructive manslaughter is the result of un-intended murder, which occurs in the way of another criminal act.
On the other hand, in the United States negligent manslaughter is also referred to as criminally negligent homicide. This is death which occurs as a result of recklessness or serious negligence. Criminal liability is approved when it comes to a high degree of negligence or recklessness. The negligence is because of the individual’s failure to perform a duty which they are supposed to, which leads to death. This crime is common to professionals since the state has no criminal liability over the failure to act unless for the case of a specific duty (Morris, 2011). A perfect example is when a doctor fails to put his patient to medication which leads to the death of the patient. The family of the patient can, therefore, sue the doctor for negligent manslaughter. The punishment for manslaughter in most cases is a sentence of twenty years for voluntary manslaughter. However, for involuntary manslaughter the sentence is less with a minimum sentence of 365 days.
The competency of a witness is measured through some aspects which include, mental power, and age. However, the most important aspect is for the individual to understand the nature of tests and an oath which are used to determine the competency of a witness. The most important rule for all witnesses is that one can testify only if they are willing and can only submit information that is true. A witness ought to submit information that is only true and relevant to the case being heard. A witness who a hospital has said to be mentally unstable does not qualify as a witness in the case. The legislature has the right to judge the age limit for witnesses especially when it comes to children. For a child to qualify as a witness, there are three essential things that the child must have the ability to do. One is to differentiate from the truth from lies.
The child must also be prepared to testify the truth and capable of remembering the events that pertain to the case. The code for the competency of a witness is Title 18, Part II, and Chapter 223. In conclusion, the law caters for all aspects of crime and provides a sentence that is just. The judicial system is used as a checker for the law, ensuring that anyone who breaks the law gets his or her due sentence and judgment.
Morris, T., & Blom-Cooper, L. J. (2011). Fine lines and distinctions: Murder, manslaughter and the unlawful taking of human life. Hook, Hampshire, United Kingdom: Waterside Press.
The essence of punishment is to correct someone so that the same mistake cannot be done again. However, the administration of capital punishment ruins the whole need for correcting someone. How is one supposed to change when he no longer exists? Human is bound to error, and punishment is a form of discipline. But death penalty is like a form of injustice towards the kith and kin of discipline. Imprisoning someone is already stigmatizing enough for the inmate to learn there are other better methods of punishment, as the objective of a legal way of punishment is to prevent crime. It should be noted that these crimes are mostly not committed out of self will, they are emotionally based and the doer is at times not aware of his intention until he does it.
Capital punishment is synonymously known as the death sentence or execution. It is defined by the consequential beheading of an individual’s head with prior permission from the state. The endeavors resulting in capital punishment include; espionage, military justice, treason and murder. Nevertheless, it can be a punishment for sexual and religious crimes like rape and apostasy, respectively (Rogers, 18). The utilization of capital punishment dates to historic and ancient periods.
A) Origin: 1. Historic documentation:
The movement towards human execution is documented in New England. It was characterized with gospel messages prior to taking an individual’s life. A significant exemplar of such an execution was documented in December 1803. In France, it was practiced prior to the 18th century. Capital punishment is also documented in early monastic and dynasties. For instance, it was depicted in ancient Rome at the colosseum. A striking exemplar is the execution of Christian martyrs by letting hungry lions feed on them in the arena. It was also depicted as a form of political assassination of eminent enemies.
2. Early methods:
The earliest form of execution was stoning. It is dated to the period of the Common Era. It was considered in ancient societies, which applied Moses, laws. Another archaic method is hanging the criminal by overturning the stool on which they stood upon. In the ancient times advancements were considered to fasten and ease execution. These led to the evolution of dropping an individual from a cliff in an attempt to dislocate their necks with the spinal cord. At the launch of the19th century, France adopted guillotine method for execution.
II. States without capital punishment:
The initial state to burn capital punishment was China. It banded it in the period of 747 and 759. Emperor Saga was responsible for its abolishment in Japan. Nevertheless, the abolishment was short-lived as it lasted until 1156. The official abolishment conducted during the modern period was by Leopold Peter. He abolished it in Tuscany. He was inspired by writings of Beccaria, an Italian novelist, on the inhuman and societal torture of execution. The Roman republic banned it in 1849. The endeavors to abolish the punishment spread to Venezuela, and it was implemented in 1863.
The Portuguese abolished it in 1867 after a series of legislative amends and controversy. Canada condemned the utilization of the form of punishment in 1976. In Australia and France it was abolished in 1973 and 12981, respectively. The United Kingdom did not entirely ban the practice, but they limited its implementation to treason, piracy and arson. Michigan was the first state to abolish it in the America states. In Africa, South Africa does not indulge or propagate execution of capital criminals. Gabon is documented to have abolished the practice in 2010, making it the most recent movement to abolish execution. The following states do not practice capital punishment; Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode island, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
The death penalty is a sentence given to offenders after conviction by a Court of Law, capital punishment is different from execution carried out by extrajudicial executions carried out without due process of the law. Crimes that attract the death penalty are referred to as capital offences (Mandery, and Evan 65). In 2010, the United Nation called out non binding resolutions calling for global moratoriums of executions.
Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) Act entitles every person has a right to life, liberty and security, Article 5 stipulates that no person shall be subjected to torture, cruelty, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Everybody is entitled to life as it is a fundamental right according to the human rights watch, and although it is not clear on to everybody as also in the article it does not speak against death (Mandery, and Evan 65).
The United States of America is the only European Country practicing the execution punishment despite controversies over its merits and its effectiveness as a measure of deterrence over serious crimes by nature. According to the law capital punishment is a legal sentence. Amnesty Intentional strongly disapproves of death penalty regardless of the crime committed together with the method used in executing an individual, according to Amnesty 140 countries have abolished the death penalty (Mandery, and Evan 65).
This sentence is carried out in various lawful ways; lethal injection, electrocution, hanging, firing squad and a being placed in a gas killing chamber. The first infliction of the death penalty took place in Jameson an American colony in 1608 during Revolutionary War, at this time it was widely accepted.
A National Moratorium placed in 1967 as the United State considered its constitutionality in the case of furman v. georgia, 408 U.S. 23l8, 92 S. Ct. 2726, 33 L. Ed 2d 346 the death penalty was considered to have ended declaring it unconstitutional and cruel to the society, words of the juries (Mandery, and Evan 65). However in 1976 Florida drafted its own death penalty and the Supreme Court of united State upheld them without any repudiation, capital punishment ha survived regardless of the controversies made about it, out of nine judges’ only two judges such as Thurgood Marshall and William J Brennan Jr opposed the death penalty claiming it to be unconstitutional
A senior judge once stated, “If death penalty is not a deterrent, and it is not, and if the death penalty does not make us safer, and it does not, then it is only high-cost revenge.”
In reality the costs of life imprisonment may appeal to a whole lot of people compared to death sentence due to the cost incurred while executing death sentence, the cost of death penalty amounts to the net of taxpayers, it involves more pre-trials, more attorneys, and more experts with a series of appeals once the inmate discovers they are on the death parole (Rogers 335).
Molesters, serial killers, rapists, would rarely consider their potential demise prior to committing crimes, since criminals normally operate on the hope that they won’t be caught. Thus the death penalty would not deter any offender considering long term imprisonment (Rogers 335). It is proven on record that states that have death penalty don’t have less criminal records indicating no lower rates in crimes thus deterrence has been discredited by social and science research over the past years.
The possibility of having innocent people put on these death paroles is scary and inhumane, and some might even go mental nut case on the idea of going on the death penalty, this is so because since the modern death penalty 87 people have been freed that were mistakenly convicted and sentenced on death penalty, it is better 5 guilty people to go free than have one innocent life taken (Gershman 250). Mistakes made on death penalty are never revocable and the society might have to live with the guilty of killing an innocent life, let us pause and be civilized and not risk innocent lives.
Punishments are supposed to rehabilitate someone. Ironically, death extinguishes the person. Therefore there will be no correction done on the criminal. Moreover, it is claimed that by executing someone, it would make others fear death and hence not commit such acts. Most of the times, murder is committed out of passion, anger, rage and emotional imbalance. Many people kill as a form of revenge. Therefore, when one is overcome by the “heat of passion,” where will he get the time to fear death? Those who commit stone cold murder usually have nothing to do. An example is sending a survived suicide bomber for execution. He wanted to do that to himself! So in essence, you will be just fulfilling his dreams. They have no regard for life, not even theirs. The serial killers too are not afraid of death. Therefore those who would be afraid of death even in their normal self are killed because of other murderers who would care less.
Death sentence does not deter individuals from committing crimes in the society compared to the life imprisonment sentences. The practice does not deter violence and instead results to greater probability of doubling the rates of homicide. Therefore, it does not protect society from crimes as it portrays the law to be harsh and in support of murder because it shows injustice.
There are some alternatives for the death penalty which are just to the humanity. This includes life sentence, which allows new, evidence or correction of mistakes to take place. This is effective in protecting the society by preventing offenders from committing crimes again. It does not entail inhumane acts of killing the criminals. The life sentence is cheaper than the death penalty in terms of maintenance costs for the criminal.
The quality of the representation provided for the capital crimes determines their chances of receiving the death penalty (Adams 82). In most capital cases, the defendants cannot afford attorneys. There have been cases of inexperienced, overworked, underpaid lawyers. Such lawyers are not ready for the sentencing phase during the trial which results to sentencing of criminals to the death penalty.
There are many human rights activists and groups that argue against death sentence because this contrasts the government’s commitment to protecting human rights. The state should stop crimes against humanity and support moral code. Death sentence shows torture of human to death and is a form of injustice which is wrong.
The capital punishment may be surrounded by issues such as fraud, racism, discrimination against the poor, religious minorities, the mentally ill, children and women. This is unfair and unjust because it entails taking advantage of the less fortunate in the society.
Capital punishment sends the wrong message of killing. Why kill people when you ask them not to commit murder. It is barbaric and outdated shame and ridicule is brought to countries that still practice it. It emotionally drains the family as they suffer from watching their loved one undergo the death penalty (Gershman 250). It defeats logic, and actually amounts to a defeat and mockery of the legal system that seeks to rehabilitate individuals instead of instituting such punitive measures as a means to deter other individuals from committing any heinous crimes. The message sent to the members of the society is that the legal system can at instances, play God, having the power to determine who lives and who is destined for the gallows (Melusky 82). The outcry of the right groups that seek to abolish the capital punishment clause is spurred not by individual interests but by the longing to have equality of the legal system, an equality that does not draw its efficiency by intimidating individuals into submission but which rehabilitates individuals via the adoption of humane actions.
The ultimate income created by the poor who die for this country after all the rhetoric that takes place in the legislative assemblies, when the net income is cast out (Adams 432). The poor lads in the society are the ones who suffer because of their inability to employ competent attorneys for their defense thus leading to the suspects being convicted of death sentence.
In conclusion, the death penalty is also the death sentence, capital punishment or execution. This is a legal process where the state put an individual to death as punishment for a crime. The crimes resulting to the death sentence are capital offences or capital crimes including aggravated murder, drug trafficking and crimes related to homicide. Most societies have been practicing death penalty in the past, but most have abolished the practice due to controversies fueled by religions, political ideologies and laws concerning the protection of human rights.
The societies, which still use, the death penalty to date are China, United States of America, India and Indonesia. In the past, the execution has been through beheading while lethal injection is common in recent decades. There are different reasons that support the abolishing of the death penalty. The death penalty executions require extremely high costs. Estimate show that it is more expensive to execute people than sentencing them for life imprisonment. The states impose heavy taxes to their citizens in order to maintain the capital punishment system. It is so expensive because death row inmates require exceptional cells, unique dining arrangements, exercising, medical care, and distinctive guards. The legal costs are the greatest where the government must pay attorneys to prosecute the appeal cases for the death row inmates. There have been executions of innocent people where the governments are unable to prevent such accidental executions. Wrongful execution is injustice towards the people and cannot be reversed. A person can face death sentence when innocent of any crime. There have been people released from the death row minutes before their execution.
Mandery, Evan J, and Evan J. Mandery. Capital Punishment in America: A Balanced Examination. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2011. Print.
Siegel, Larry J. Introduction to Criminal Justice. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Melusky, Joseph A, and Keith A. Pesto. Capital Punishment. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood, 2011. Print.
Rogers, Alan. Murder and the Death Penalty in Massachusetts. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008. Print.
Gershman, Gary P. Death Penalty on Trial: A Handbook with Cases, Laws, and Documents. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2005. Print.
Adams, W R. Viewpoints: Readings Worth Thinking and Writing About. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2010. Print
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