The Death Penalty Capital Punishment Essay Research

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The Death Penalty Capital Punishment Essay, Research Paper The Death Penalty; Capital Punishment First Letter The most controversial punishment given in the United States today is the death penalty, capital punishment. It’s always interesting to read about the death penalty, but when I really think about it, that seems like an unjust thing to do. I feel that the death penalty does not deter people from committing capital crimes. Using the death penalty as a source of punishment can result in innocent people being executed. Let me explain why I feel very uneasy about the death penalty as means of punishment. The fundamental question that is raised by the death penalty is whether or not it is an effective deterrent to violent crime or whether it is more effective than the

alternative of long-term imprisonment. With the execution rate still on the rise, many people are still committing capital crimes. The average murder rate of the United States has increased by more than 5% within the past fifteen years (Sandholzer). For every person being executed, there is at least one other person committing another capital crime. This is why I believe that the death penalty is not a fear tactic for criminals. The death penalty is in effect in 39 of the 50 states and the murder rate is still on the rise. Don’t you think there is something wrong with this picture? The death penalty is not serving its purpose. . There are too many people out in society today that have been imprisoned for a capital crime, but some how they find their way out. Currently 500+

inmates held at San Quentin State Prison are on death row (Sandholzer). Also limitations have began to be placed on the number and the type of offenses for which criminals were put to death (Britanica). So when and where will the limitations stop? How will we know that the person being executed, is being rightfully executed? The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy states that those who argue against the death penalty as a deterrent to crime cite the following: Adjacent states, in which one has a death penalty and the other does not, show no significant long-term differences in the murder rate. For example, Iowa does not have the death penalty in their state, and their neighboring state, Illinois, does. The murder rate in Illinois is 4 times as large than the murder rate in Iowa

(State-by-State Review). States that use the death penalty seem to have a higher murder rate than those who do not use it. This just goes to show that the death penalty is not effective in deterring murders. No change in the rate of homicides in a given city or state seems to occur following a local execution. One of the greatest downfalls to the death penalty is the wrongful execution of innocent people. Families suffer the loss of a loved one just because of a wrongful law, the death penalty. But once a wrongful execution has been discovered there is no bringing back to life miracles. Hundreds of lawsuits are filed every year by the family members of the wrongly executed. How would you feel if one of your family members were executed with out just cause? Researchers Radelet and

Bedau found 23 cases of innocent people that were executed (”In Spite of Innocence”). These 23 cases are only some of many others that possibly have the same out come. There is no way that every single case will receive as much attention as these 23. It took an average of approximately six and a half years to determine the innocense of these wrongfully executed inmates. Crucifixion, boiling in oil, drawing and quartering, impalement, beheading, burning alive, crushing, tearing asunder, stoning, and drowning are just a few examples of the torturous acts that were used, and may still be used through out the world today. These cruel means of punishment are no way for a human to die, and even worse if he/she is innocent. I never really thought about the death penalty before, but