• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Capital Punishment

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Capital Punishment Capital punishment is a government's response to what society considers the maximum crime. The crimes that are usually deemed the worst are usually limited to intentional murder or treason. However, not all governments consider capital punishment appropriate, and a number of countries do not provide for it. Capital punishment is a nice way of saying execution or retaliatory murder. Simply put, a person who is sentenced for a capital offense faces execution. While the method differs according to what state you live in, the result is nevertheless the same. The larger question concerns the morality of government-sponsored killing. An examination of the issue reveals valid arguments on both sides of the debate. The issue has faced man since society began to develop. It is very likely that the debate will endure long beyond our lives. Those that support capital punishment use a variety of arguments. Some of these begin with the very traditional-the Bible. "An eye for an eye" is often used as an appropriate argument. "The punishment should fit the crime" is another one. ...read more.

Middle

When they leave prison will they be able to function in society in a law-abiding way or not? In capital cases, where the prisoner would not be released, it almost doesn't matter what happens to the criminal. The U.S. Constitution prohibits 'cruel and unusual punishment". Is not an execution "cruel and unusual punishment"? The Supreme Court says that it is not, and for years has allowed for executions. Texas and Florida are two leading states in the area of executions. Yet the result of those states' activities is meager. If advocates of capital punishment believe that it is a deterrent, why is it that the murder rate in these states continue to climb, while in states where there is no capital punishment (Vermont, Massachusetts) the murder rate has actually decreased. Aside from the deterrent debate, there is the moral one. As stated above, does a civilized society have the right to take a life? How can a culture that preaches forgiveness and the value of life, argue in favor of executions? Isn't it interesting that those who generally oppose abortion (basing their argument on the sanctity of life) ...read more.

Conclusion

Yet those who argue for it have not all lost a loved one to murder. Even in the case of Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma bomber, a number of relatives of the victims oppose his death. Yet McVeigh himself has dropped his appeals and has asked to be executed as quickly as possible. I find that the entire issue of deterrence is flawed. Murder, by definition, is an irrational act. An irrational person who does not stop and think of the consequences of his action certainly does not stop and think of the possible punishment. In addition, the lack of statistical evidence merely adds to my feelings. With murders continuing to rise in states with plenty of executions, how can one argue that it is acting as a deterrent? As long as we claim that we live in a civilized society, the government must set the standard of our civility. Permitting executions is wrong on its face. We do not prevent murder and we do not promote morality; we merely give in to our weaknesses and uncivilized past. Capital punishment may have been acceptable years ago, but it no longer can be considered civilized. It leaves us no better than the criminal, only with a moralistic excuse for revenge. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Capital Punishment section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Capital Punishment essays

  1. The Punishment must fit the crime

    must be dealt with in the knowledge that on the Day of Judgement each human being will stand before Allah. It is because of this that some Muslims think that people should be given another chance and so believes in reformation by punishment.

  2. Capital Punishment

    He saw this as a moral fact, as pleasure and pain identified what we should and shouldn't do. As a hedonist, Bentham believed that pleasure was the sole good and pain the sole evil. He then developed the utility principle, whereby the rightness and wrongness of an action is determined by its utility or "usefulness."

  1. Free essay

    "Death is nothing to us." How good are the Epicurean arguments for this ...

    own fault for embedding fear in you thoughts making it an obstacle in achieving your happiness.

  2. Capital Punishment Workshop.

    SECTION TWO When writing this section I am going to write about various characters and how they feel and are coping with the different circumstances under capital punishment. The first task I am doing is Chris Craig with his physiatrist.

  1. Capital Punishment, is it an effective or ineffective deterrent?

    It would occur that people are convicted of murder when they should really have only been convicted of manslaughter as happens now but without the execution. There are the feelings of the condemned's family, it is hard enough accepting the death of a loved one in normal circumstances, but one

  2. Analyse the philosophical principles of at least one ethical theory and evaluate its application ...

    Murder, unlike assault and battery, demands exact retribution, the death penalty, because no amount of jail time or other punishment can be realistically equated with the loss of the victim's life. The murderer is executed, and the principle stands. What happens, then, to a man convicted of rape, torture, and murder?

  1. Capital Punishment Amendment Act 1868

    What is important to remember is that to an extent this was an assumption based upon the noise and conduct of the lower classes, something which McGowan believes may be distorted due to a certain degree of derision by those who considered themselves better9.

  2. Capital Punishment debate

    Virtually all of those on death row suffer from some form of psychological damage, which puts them at a disadvantage in the legal system. It has also been suggested that the reason for the vast numbers of poorer people convicted of murder is simply that incompetent lawyers are hired to

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work