Death penalty is a legal process through which, as a punishment a person is sentenced to death for a criminal offense by the state. Criminal offenses punishable through death penalty are referred to as capital offenses or capital crimes. The death penalty proponents, pro-capital punishment argues that it is an important aspect for deterring crimes, preserving law and order, and is less expensive compared to life imprisonment. They also claim that it is in the honor of the victim to award the death penalty. This is because it ensures the offenders of the heinous offenses do not get another chance to commit such crime again. In addition, the death penalty consoles the victims grieving families. Those opposed to death penalty, abolitionists argue that there is no deterrent effect on crimes, and government wrongly uses it as power to take life. They claim that it is the death penalty is a means to bring about social injustices through targeting people who cannot afford good attorneys, and people of color disproportionately. They argue that life imprisonment is less expensive and more severe than the death penalty. With all these arguments, we are left to decide on what course to take, assess the pros and cons of capital punishment and decide to support or oppose it. Questions relating to who deserves the death penalty and who does not have been raised by both the advocates of death penalty and those opposed to the death penalty (Zimring 91-93). Should death penalty be introduced? This is the argument of this paper. Capital punishment, in many countries, cultures and societies, throughout the human history has been applied in the justice system; the question that arises is that is it morally acceptable? Is it justified? Both the advocates for death penalty and the opponents of death penalty have valid arguments to back up their reasons. Those for the death penalty argue that the act of capital punishment is a deterrent to crime. However, those against argue that the death penalty is only a life imprisonment and not a deterrent to crime. It is however evident that the deterrence from the perspective of capital punishment is about the murderer’s mind involving the existing psychological processes (Haag 70-71). Not everybody deserves the death penalty. However, some people earn capital punishment. A person who breaks into a grocery store and steals bread definitely does not deserve the death penalty. In addition, people who commit murder for self-defense or during moment of passion. Such people according to me do not deserve death. On the other hand, a serial killer after the lives of innocent people for fun and personal gains deserves capital punishment. I support the proponents of capital punishment. This stance is informed by a number of facts and reasons. Death penalty is a deterrent to crime. Even though the death penalty is irreversible, convicted persons are often given numerous chances to prove their innocence. Capital punishment assures societal safety through elimination of criminals. A life for a life is a sensible and credible assertion. Deterrence is punishing someone to create fear among people for punishment. Capital punishment is a punishment creates fear, especially in the minds of sane persons. Haag (2003) in his article On Deterrence and Death Penalty, people refrain from dangerous and harmful acts because of inchoate, vague, habitual, and most importantly preconscious fear (Haag 72). Everyone fears death, and most criminals would have a second thought if they were aware their own lives would be on the line. There are not so many justifications and evidence of death penalty to effectively deter crime than the usual long term imprisonment. The countries or states with the capital punishment has no lower rates of crime or rates of murder than those countries and states without those laws. On the other hand, the states or countries that campaign against capital punishment have not shown any...
Cited: Haag, Ernest Van Den. On Deterrence and Death Penalty, Reserved reading for Philosophy, 2(3)
Zimring, F. E. The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment, New York: Oxford
University Press. 2004. Print.
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