Death Penalty Paper Soc 101

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Death Penalty: For or Against?
Tinsa Lyn-Scot Kamp
SOC101: Introduction to Sociology
Professor Rachael Horn
February 14th, 2011

Death Penalty: For or Against?
I have to admit, I did have a preconceived idea of how I felt about the death penalty before reading the article in our textbook, (p.175-177), The Death Penalty in the United States and Worldwide. (Schaefer, 2009) This article really sheds some light on the whole idea of sentencing death as a punishment for a crime committed. After reading this and a few other articles, I found myself changing my opinions quite rapidly. Many reasons are the reason for this quite positive yet hasty change.

Many people, sometimes especially the victim’s family members, feel that the death penalty should be reinforced for such crimes as murder, rape, and child molestation. Perhaps this very strong feeling is due to the pain and anger they feel for the loss of their loved one(s)? Perhaps this is the way they would feel whether or not they had been a victim of such a horrible situation and loss? In whichever circumstance, it is a very hard decision to make. According to journalist Cathleen Kaveny, “hard cases keep ethical reflection honest.” (2010) In our society, being for or against the death penalty is most likely, always going to be a debatable decision for punishment in our society. It is a decision and/or belief that should not be made easily or taken lightly. We are talking about taking the life of another human being for a crime they have been convicted of and found guilty of. This is certainly not a stress-free type of judgment to make; as it should never be very tranquil to come to the conclusion that taking someone’s life is the best route for a punishment. Many questions are raised when it comes to the death penalty. First and foremost, does it serve as a deterrent to crime? In my own opinion, it does not. Most criminals, especially those who commit most heinous crimes, stare death in the face every day...
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