Capital Punishment Argument

Topics: Death Penalty, Crime, Prison Pages: 4 (1292 words) Published: December 3, 2012
Capital Punishment: Never Indulge the Desire for Retribution The majority of American people strive to teach others important values such as the idea that “two wrongs do not make a right” and “an eye for and eye makes the whole world blind.” The intention of the death penalty was to deter crime; however, exponential amounts of evidence prove that crime rates have not gone down since the institution of this cruel and unusual capital punishment. In addition to the failure of crime deterrence, execution costs much more than life in prison, and innocent people may be wrongly sentenced to death row. All of these reasons create a formidable sense of immoral action that should persuade individuals, as well as nations, to abolish capital punishment. The belief that the death penalty “serves due justice” is all too common. There is never a justification for murder, which is the exact definition of capital punishment. Other reasons as to why the death penalty has yet to be abolished are superficial, eccentric, and unjust. Some believe that execution is not only a great way to ease the suffering of those who may have been harmed, but it also shows that we're tough on crime and surely “gets a bang for the taxpayer's buck” (Bedau). However, these excuses don't comply with the morals that America was founded based upon. The negative aspects of the death penalty far outweigh any and all pro death penalty arguments. The quote, “I have inquired for most of my adult life about studies that might show that the death penalty is a deterrent, and I have not seen any research that would substantiate that point” by Attorney General Janet Reno was a turning point for many of those who supported capital punishment (Donohue). Because such a respected and intelligent woman admitted to not being able to find any evidence supporting the belief that the death penalty deterred crime, people began to do their own research, only to come to the same conclusion. The idea that the...

Cited: 1) Bedau, Hugo Adam. The Death Penalty in America: Current Controversies. New York: Oxford UP, 1997. Print.
2) "Death Penalty: The High Cost of the Death Penalty." Death Penalty : The High Cost of the Death Penalty. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. <>.
3) Donohue, John, and Justin J. Wolfers. "The Death Penalty: No Evidence for Deterrence." The Economists ' Voice 3.5 (2006): n. pag. Print.
4) Hood, Roger G., and Carolyn Hoyle. The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective. New York: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.
5) Samuel R. Gross, Phoebe C. Ellsworth. "Hardening of the Attitudes: Americans ' Views on the Death Penalty." Journal of Social Issues 50.2 (1994): 19-52. Print.
6) "To Execute or Not: A Question of Cost?" NBC News 7 Mar. 2009: n. pag. Print.
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