The Death Penalty

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The Death Penalty

Capital Punishment is a very controversial issue that is sweeping the nation. While some feel that the death penalty serves as a rightful and just punishment to the crime that was committed, others feel that we as humans have the right to decide whether they die for the crimes they commit. The question at hand is does the death penalty serve a deterrent to crime? The death penalty does not serve as a deterrent to crime. “Capital punishment has always attracted controversy. Simply, the arguments for and against can be divided into four categories with a moral and a pragmatic argument on each side. The purpose of the death penalty is central to the debate. Punishment can be seen as serving three purposes: retribution, deterrence and reformation. The death penalty can have no reformative purpose in terms of re-establishing 'a good citizen'. Therefore, the case for it must rely on retribution and deterrence. The pragmatic justification for the death penalty sees it as a unique and effective deterrent, which therefore protects society” (Von Drehle, 2008, p. 38). According to Schaefer, “supporters of capital punishment insist that fear of execution will prevent at least some criminals from committing serious offenses.” He continues to mention that although it doesn’t serve as a deterrent, it is still justified. Many believe that the worst criminals deserve to die for what they did. Just because people are being threatened with capital punishment doesn’t necessarily change their mentality on crime. Some people truly don’t care about whether the death penalty is in effect or not. “Our death penalty's continued existence, countering the trend of the rest of the developed world, expresses our revulsion to violent crime and our belief in personal accountability. The endless and expensive appeals reflect our scrupulous belief in consistency and individual justice. This is also a nation of widely dispersed power--many states, cities and...
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