Modes of punishment for heinous wrongs, capital punishment and life imprisonment
Thesis: United States should not ban the death penalty due to its great benefits associated with the sentence such as cost saving, deterrent to other criminals as opposed to life imprisonment.
Form of Deterrent which is fair and just
Increase in heinous crimes
Death sentence discourages other criminals
Atrocious criminals deserve to die as they have killed innocent people
Death penalty is Economical
Citizens are taxed to maintain criminals in prisons
Many costs in maintaining criminals facing life sentence
Rehabilitation do not work as criminals return to society and continue committing crimes
The need to uphold a moral code
Death penalty is justified by the crime committed
Death penalty is a retribution
The US constitution and society upholds death punishment as being just
Controversy of Death penalty
Death penalty goes against God’s commandment,
It is biased, since not all races administer the death
it does not deter crime
It is not morally correct as innocent people are killed
Capital punishment enhances the view of how one’s life is valuable as illustrated by those on death row
It is critical that the death penalty is maintained as a mode of punishment for capital offenders
Since time immemorial death penalty has been the most severe form of punishment for atrocious crimes, especially crimes against humanity such as homicide and murder. It is also known as capital punishment and it is normally decided upon by the judiciary, and is done through hanging or other means deemed appropriate; moreover, it is the most painful form of punishment ever devised. United States should not ban the death penalty due to its great benefits associated with the sentence such as cost saving, deterrent to other criminals as opposed to life imprisonment.
With the increased cases of crime in society, people have lived in so much fear as they fear any impending attacks and bombings, which lead to many people dying. Through the increase in the number of criminals, imprisonment is not only enough to deter the criminals and that is the reason why the judiciary enforced the death penalty and enacted it as a way of eliminating permanently the criminals and reducing their numbers. Many of those who get out of prison after long years of imprisonment often commit other bigger crimes and hence, it would be better if they were killed, because they end up killing even more people. Therefore there is need to protect the innocent and wipe away the perpetrators of crimes to humanity. The best way is through the death penalty, as other forms of imprisonment are not deterrent enough. In addition, death penalty will enable people to be more careful and appreciate the right to life for every citizen. Additionally, the sanctity of life will be maintained, as they will strive to preserve their own lives and avoid capital punishment. Therefore, it is a punishment for those who take away the lives of others, since the same measure needs to be taken against them, and i.e. they are to be killed too (Mandery and Mandery, 2011).
Furthermore, various huge taxes are used to finance prisons and feed murderers in prisons, which are not fair at all since the money needs to be channelled to improve the lives of the poor who are at the mercy of the criminals. In carrying out life imprisonment, the society has to bear high costs with regard to maintaining prisoners with long imprisonment terms for crimes that prompt capital punishment. There is no doubt that the up-front costs of death sentence are relatively low, however, the alternative fronts significant maintenance costs over time (Guernsey, 2009). The financial and economic costs of maintaining a prisoner serving life are astronomical to the tune of $50000 a year, which is more than an individual spends in their normal day to day life outside the prison, as some earn even less than that (Smith, 2012). As such, sentencing such a person to death is easier for the society, as it does not have to shoulder the costs of providing for the needs of the inmates. In addition, the death sentence is more suitable as those sentenced to life in prison are at times released under the context of rehabilitation and overcrowded prisons. This allows them to return to the society and continue with their criminal activities despite the claim of serving time for the same, which is illustrative of a collapsing rehabilitation effort (Huffman, 2009). This way, taking the life of a criminal, ensures with maximum certainty that the crime will not be committed again, but by the same person.
In addition, there exists the need to uphold a dignified moral code within the society in order to preserve core values and prevent a plunge into anarchy. As such, legally abiding punishment should be accorded to convicted persons depending on the nature of their crime. This acts to serve justice and presents crucial lessons to individuals who tend to bear similar trends in criminal activities, which is in line with deterring and correcting social ills. The death penalty is associated with serious criminal activities such as rape, murder, treason, larceny among others. This is a key aspect in the justice system considering the high crime rates in the US and the extent of the violence elicited during the crimes. To the victims and their families, capital punishment is seen as retribution for the harm inflicted during a crime spree (Johnson, 2011). In this manner, the death penalty is a deserved punishment that protects the society by maintaining justice by ensuring the perpetrator of a crime pays the price for his action. However, retribution should not be regarded as revenge since they both have different motivating factors. In relation to the death penalty, retribution is illustrated as the key purpose of imposing punishment for crimes committed, which ranges from rehabilitation to deterrence. Moreover, the society in the United States offers overwhelming support for the death penalty as the public believes that those engaged in heinous crimes are shipped off for incarceration where they live in isolation while taxpayers pay for their stay (Henrichson and Delaney, 2012). As such, the society prefers the cancellation of the criminals as they indicate their lack of tolerance towards others. Similarly, the constitution in most states provides the death penalty as a form punishment for serious crimes such as murder, treason, kidnapping, perjury that result in death among others. In this manner, the law protects the perpetrator from public lynching and extrajudicial killings by providing a humane mode of justice (Steiker, 2010).
However, despite the above benefits of death penalty, it is morally controversial to take away the life of another, despite the heinous mistakes performed by the individual. Capital punishment is always the verdict so long as there is solid evidence, against the accused. The accused needs to prove the evidence null and void if they are to remain alive, no mercy is offered to such individuals. As such, jail sentences are seen as a lesser deterrent to potential criminals compared to death penalties. The death penalty ensures a secure and safer environment for everyone since it eliminates criminals. Moreover, death penalty goes against God’s commandment, whereby, we are commanded not to kill. The Human Rights commission supports the sanctity of life and therefore it advocates for other alternative means of punishment apart from capital punishment. Since, not all races administer the death penalty; therefore, it is discriminatory in term so of racial basis and hence not fair. It still does not deter crime, in that, much as many are given the death penalty, crimes against humanity are on the increase, hence, it is not deterring enough. It also costs more than life imprisonment, since an amount of taxes will not be paid and still it is a loss to the population number and the able workforce. Some of those killed using these methods are often innocent and therefore, it is not morally correct; thus, most of the people prefer the perpetrator to be imprisoned for life.
In conclusion, as the debate on which form of punishment should be carried for the various crimes and it is moral as well as the economic viability prevails, controversy will always arise. The death penalty remains the viable option owing to opportunities it offers to the society, victims as well as criminals. The death punishment exists to uphold the dignity within societal moral code, which recognises the seriousness of a crime. In addition, the implementation of capital punishment enhances the view of how one’s life is valuable as illustrated by those on death row, who spend most of their resources appealing the death sentence. Therefore, considering the benefits like associated with death penalty despite the loss of life of the subject criminals, it should not be abolished, as it acts as a perfect deterrent to atrocious crimes.
Guernsey, J. (2009). Death penalty: Solution or Moral Failure? London: Twenty-First Century Books.
Henrichson, C. and Delaney, R. (2012).The Price of Prisons What Incarceration Costs Taxpayers. Retrieved from http://www.vera.org/sites/default/files/resources/downloads/Price_of_Prisons_updated_version_072512.pdf
Huffman, G. (2009).Do US prisons really rehabilitate criminals? Retrieved fromhttp://www.helium.com/items/1614487-prison-rehabilitation-failure
Johnson, D. (2011). American Capital Punishment in Comparative Perspective. Journal of the American Bar Foundation: Law & Social Inquiry. Vol. 36, Issue 4, 1033–1061,
Mandery, E. J.(2011). Capital punishment in America: A balanced examination. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Smith, M. (2012). Society Benefits from Death Penalty. Retrieved from http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/mailbag/society-benefits-from-death-penalty/article_49fd3983-8881-5db4-bde4-8f58fdac87cd.html
Steiker, C. & Steiker, J. (2010). Capital Punishment: A Century of Discontinuous Debate. The Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. Vol. l0l, No.3 643-689
Capital punishment enhances the view of how one’s life is valuable as illustrated by those on death row. (March 21, 2021). Retrieved from /essay-samples/capital-punishment-enhances-the-view-of-how-ones-life-is-valuable-as-illustrated-by-those-on-death-row