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Essay/Term paper: Capital punishment: for

Essay, term paper, research paper:  History Essays

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Capital Punishment: For

"execution prevents eighteen murders per year."(Hirsch, 122)

Opponents argue that capital punishment is immoral. But if you follow
the Old Testament, it is moral. In one passage from Genesis, "Whoever sheds the
blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed." Another from Exodus, "Eye for an
eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for
wound, stripe for stripe" (Samaha, 440). It was not very moral of the prisoner
to commit a murder in the first place. Why should it be immoral to execute a
prisoner, but moral to kill an innocent person. "It is as morally right to
punish criminals for their wicked deeds as it is to praise heroes for their
heroic deeds. If it is noble for soldiers to give their lives for their country
in wartime, then it is morally right to claim the lives of murderers for killing
innocent people in peaceable society(Samaha, 441)." According to Professor
Ernest van den Haag: "The life of each man should be sacred to each other man...
it is not enough to proclaim the sacredness and inviolability of human life. It
must be secured as well, by threatening with the loss of their own life those
who violate what has been proclaimed as inviolable-the right of innocents to
live" (Haag, 67).
Other opponents argue that there is the chance of executing an innocent
prisoner. Hugo Adam Bedu and Michael L. Radelet collected evidence of every
capital punishment case after the 1930's. They concluded that 23 innocent
people, out of several thousand cases in the twentieth century, were convicted
and executed, but all of these mistakes were made because there was a "forced
confession, suppression of evidence, and perjury" (Samaha 442). That means not
one of these persons was actually innocent they just had bad lawyers, or no
lawyers when they had their trial. The last time a truly innocent person was
executed was before the 1930's.
The biggest argument for capital punishment is retribution. The victims
family often feels relieved when the prisoner has been executed. "Retribution
satisfies the demand for justice. It channels public outrage into the acceptable
form of the criminal sentence. If criminal sentences do not satisfy this demand
for justice, angry citizens may lose respect for law and even, on occasion, take
it into their own hands (Samaha, 414)." The punishment handed out should fit
the crime committed, if a murder is committed then he or she deserves to be
executed. The best solution to the problem is to execute the prisoner right
away, eliminate the nine appeals that the prisoner has a right to. This way it
cuts down on the crowded prisons and saves the government a lot of money. It
will open up more room for the criminals who are not in prison and allowed to
stay on the streets. These convicted murderers should have no right to be
allowed to live any longer than after they are convicted. Do it quickly and
ease the pain.
Those who oppose capital punishment are in the minority today in the
United States. "By 1989 more than 80 percent of Americans favored the death
penalty (Samaha, 437)." So with support for capital punishment on the rise, why
doesn't the government do what we the people want and endorse capital punishment
in every state.
So what is the rest of the country waiting for? I have given many good
reasons for the death penalty to be enforced. It seems that people are
hesitating for no good reason the Supreme Court has ruled it is constitutional,
and support for it has risen, and will continue to rise. Studies have proven
that capital punishment does deter crime. It will make the United States a
safer and better place to live. Capital punishment is the ultimate way to rid
America of its waste.


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