Two Wrong Side Of The Chair Essay

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Two Wrong Side Of The Chair Essay, Research Paper Two Wrong Sides of the Chair In society today there are many unavoidable issues that can change the way life is lived. One that comes to mine is crime, and with crime has to come some type of punishment. Generally there are three purposes distinguished for punishment: deterrence, retribution, and rehabilitation. In the case of capital punishment only the first two apply. There has been extensive research into the issue of weather capital punishment served a deterrent function (Neapolitan 195). Thus, there has been a growing interest in capital punishment. Research. There are two different views a person can have on this they can be for or against capital punishment. Then again, people have different views for different types

of capital punishment. Research in this area is few and far between. However, the study that has been done provided a great deal of information about differences between supports and opponents of capital punishment with respect to demographic variables such as age, gender, and religion, and with respect to personality variable such as dogmatism and conservatism. In addition, it has been found that much of the variance in support of, and in opposition to, capital punishment can be accounted of by the variance in perception of capital punishment as an effective deterrent. There has been very few empirical study of the difference between supporters and opponents whose positions are based on the perception of how well capital punishment serves the retributive function, even though

there has been much speculation and theoretical argument about this issue. Neapolitan gave three functions of retributive punishment: ?Punishment also defined social boundaries, vindicates norms, and provides an outlet for the psychological tensions aroused by deviant acts? (196). Those who argue that capital punishment serves and is at least in part justified by its retributive function maintain that it serves these functions. They say it reaffirm and strengthens the value place on human life and that supports for capital punishment stems from respect for life. Many supporters also clain that capital punishment generally reinforce and vindicates some against interpersonal violence at other levels, and thus supports stems from opposition to violence and respect for the law.

Finally, many supporters argued that capital punishment provides an outlet for the anger of people who have sympathy for the victims of murder (Neapolitan 196). Opponents of capital punishment often argue that capital punishment functions in ways opposite to those sustained by supporters. They maintain that capital punishment lessens the value placed on human life and that opposition stems from respect for human life (Neapolitan 200). Many opponents also argue that by modeling and legally sanctioning violence capital punishment encourages violence and that opposition stems from opposition to violence. Opponents also maintain that opposition to capital punishment does not represent to encourage disrespect for the law, because genuine respect for the law is based not on fear of

punishment but on internalized norms and values. Finally, opponents maintain that they have sympathy for victims of murder and are angered by murder, but that the violent expression of anger is not a necessary or appropriate response (Neapolitan 207). METHOD In the winter of 1981 Jerry Neapolitan published a one of a kind article titled ?Support For Opposition To Capital Punishment?. To investigate the issue of capital punishment Neapolitan utilized a sample of college students divided into those who (1) oppose capital punishment (2) support capital Punishment only if it deters murder, and (3) would support it even if it did not deter murder. A questionnaire was administered to 366 students enrolled in eight sections of Introductory Sociology at a university in the middle