Read full document

Death Penalty

  • By
  • November 4, 2014
  • 3192 Words
  • 1 View
  • Course: English Comp 101
Page 1 of 4

Flaws of the Death Penalty
The death penalty has been around since the beginning of civilization. Over time, the crimes and actions that are deemed punishable enough fit for the death penalty have changed with every new generation and century. These heinous crimes change with society’s standards of what is bad and what is “evil.” As time goes on, human beings’ since of what is evil changes. What was evil four hundred years ago is not even enough to go to jail for a night in the year 2014. If these crimes are fit to change from evil to bad at any time by a group of people’s standards, how is it possible for them to say one human being’s life is deserving of death? No one is in control of another’s fate, especially when it comes to their life. If one thinks about it, this is exactly what the death penalty is. It is punishment by government, and the government is simply a group of people elected. What makes it okay for these people to say what is right and what is wrong? There are crimes that should be punished, but not at the expense of a human beings life. There are too many factors that come into play with the death penalty and the process of it that interferes with true punishment. The death penalty has countless flaws that never will be solved by any single group of people and should ultimately be abolished and replaced. As stated, the penalty of death has been used among most civilizations since ancient times. Executions were usually made for the public eye to see, and the barbaric way of putting these people to death varied. From 1805 to 1810, England courts had executed between 2,000 to 3,000 people for such minor crimes as cutting down a tree in a park to shooting a rabbit. In England, clergymen were subject to lighter penalties except in cases of treason or arson. Eventually this benefit was granted to anyone who could read. As a result of this new benefit, executions never exceeded seventy a year after 1817, even though all felonies carried a mandatory...
Flaws of the Death Penalty
The death penalty has been around since the beginning of civilization. Over time, the crimes and
actions that are deemed punishable enough fit for the death penalty have changed with every new
generation and century. These heinous crimes change with society’s standards of what is bad and
what is “evil.” As time goes on, human beings’ since of what is evil changes. What was evil four
hundred years ago is not even enough to go to jail for a night in the year 2014. If these crimes are fit
to change from evil to bad at any time by a group of people’s standards, how is it possible for them
to say one human being’s life is deserving of death? No one is in control of another’s fate,
especially when it comes to their life. If one thinks about it, this is exactly what the death penalty is.
It is punishment by government, and the government is simply a group of people elected. What
makes it okay for these people to say what is right and what is wrong? There are crimes that should
be punished, but not at the expense of a human beings life. There are too many factors that come
into play with the death penalty and the process of it that interferes with true punishment. The death
penalty has countless flaws that never will be solved by any single group of people and should
ultimately be abolished and replaced.
As stated, the penalty of death has been used among most civilizations since ancient times.
Executions were usually made for the public eye to see, and the barbaric way of putting these
people to death varied. From 1805 to 1810, England courts had executed between 2,000 to 3,000
people for such minor crimes as cutting down a tree in a park to shooting a rabbit. In England,
clergymen were subject to lighter penalties except in cases of treason or arson. Eventually this
benefit was granted to anyone who could read. As a result of this new benefit, executions never
exceeded seventy a year after 1817, even though all felonies carried a mandatory death sentence.
In the early American colonies, crimes that required capital punishment varied from one thing to the
next. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, crimes included witchcraft, blasphemy, murder, assault,
sodomy, adultery, rape, man stealing, perjury in a capital crime, and rebellion. In the Pennsylvania
Colony, however, the death penalty was limited to crimes of treason and murder. During England’s
Enlightenment period, the number of people sent to death was reduced to 15 by 1834. In 1845, the
Abolition of Capital Punishment was organized in America. Abolition bills were constantly passed
before state legislations and eventually the death penalty was only used for murder, treason, and
two other offenses (Caldwell 598). In current society, the death penalty is used only for serious
offenses such as murder or crimes against the security or integrity of one state. It protects most
minors and those of mental incompetence. There are thirty-two states in the U.S. that allow the
death penalty. The methods of death vary in each state. In all thirty-two of these states, lethal
injection is the most common method. Electrocution is allowed in eight of these states, the gas
chamber in three, death by hanging in three, and firing squad in two states. All of these are options,
but lethal injection is the primary method in the thirty-two states that allow the death penalty (Death
Penalty Information Center).
With the death penalty being one of the most controversial topics known to date, there are very
diverse opinions on the subject. Some believe it is fully justified and others are dead set against it.
There are the few who are in between believing it is only one or the other. To view the opinions of
my peers, I took a survey on if they thought the death penalty was right or wrong and to explain why
they are for or against it. Out of sixteen total, ten said they supported the death penalty and six were
against it (“Death Penalty Opinions). According to the comments section in the survey, the
participants who were for it gave two main reasons why they believe it is right. One was the cost of
the death penalty. Many believe that it was cheaper to kill someone off than to pay for them to sit in
prison for the rest of their life. The second reason was deterrence. This means that if these criminals
are killed immediately, it will decrease crime rates and potentially scare future criminals from
committing crimes. These are valid points that most people justify the death penalty with but will be
backed up with counterpoints and research. Out of the six who are against the death penalty, only
1 / 4