The Death penalty essay


It's crucial to have harsh penalties for serious offenses in a community full of weirdos. Serious crimes can range in severity, but those who break fundamental societal norms and laws often end up paying the ultimate price—their lives—in some societies. People ultimately decide to either oppose or back such consequences as a result of various circumstances. Given that it is an irreversible action designed to preserve social order, the death penalty is a particularly delicate legal problem when it comes up for debate. For a very long period, there has been discussion surrounding the death penalty. In the past, people viewed the death punishment as a norm to the degree that the execution of sentenced individuals was done out in the open. Society at the time considered this penalty to be ethically right because religion supported it as well. However, society has developed from that point in numerous angles, and the level of progress of humanity is the principle component that is pushing individuals to examine the morality and effectiveness of the death penalty.

Severity of Punishment

There is no doubt that a man who has committed a capital crime should receive a more severe punishment than one who has committed a minor crime such as pickpocketing. The question is whether any crime deserves the death penalty. The death penalty is a legal procedure whereby an individual is executed as punishment for committing a crime. Typically it occurs due to a reprisal of a monstrous murder such as contract killing, serial murders, and aggravated murder. Each state decides what technique to use to kill a person as indicated by their state laws whether by electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, or gas chamber. In 1976, the U.S reintroduced the death penalty in the wake of having repudiated it in 1972 because it disregarded the Constitution's restriction on cruel punishment. The death penalty cannot be ethically justified because executing a person as punishment is morally wrong and it could lead to wrongful executions.

Wrongful Executions

The main flaw with the death penalty is that it leads to wrongful executions. Lawfully, offenders are "innocent until proven guilty," yet they are frequently "guilty until proven innocent." Sadly, our legal framework is often inaccurate, and innocent individuals are sometimes convicted. "Our (criminal) procedure has always been haunted by the ghost of the innocent man convicted. It is an unreal dream" (Gross, O'Brien, & Hu, 2014). These errors can occur because of many reasons; jury/judge prejudice and bias, defendant's socioeconomic status, inconclusive evidence, among other components. A convicted criminal who is imprisoned and afterward found innocent can be released. Such is not the case with the irreversible death penalty. It is certain that there had as of now been many individuals that received the death sentence and executed regardless of the possibility that they were innocent. Studies show that out of the total number of people sentenced to death, about 4.1% were not guilty (Drehle, 2014); tragically, the necessary proof that would have demonstrated their innocence was obtained after their execution. It is mainly because of wrongful executions that the death penalty must not be actualized. It is additionally difficult to accept for families that lost one of their members to a wrongful execution. This event is one that has a permanent effect. Clearly, individuals who are wrongfully executed cannot be brought back. Since the courts cannot be expected to make the correct decisions every single time with respect to people who merit conviction or quittance, it is hard to ensure that wrongful executions can be totally ceased. More so because "the rate of exonerations among death sentences in the United States is far higher than for any other category of criminal convictions" (Gross, O'Brien, & Hu, 2014). If a single guiltless individual is wrongfully executed, how is it justice?

Value of Life

Moreover, a society and legal system that values life do not deliberately execute people. As individuals from a civilized society made up of ethically responsible people, we are required to value each and every human life. There can be no "reasonable" judgment of which lives have more worth than others and thus cannot state that it is not right to kill and in the meantime threaten people that on the off chance that they do, they will lose their life as well. The presence of the threat itself within the legal framework contradicts the esteem that it is intended to uphold (Roy, 2014). In actuality, the death penalty is a traumatic instance of premeditated murder that has been endorsed by the legislature. The young will grow up knowing that the government is okay with executing individuals who have abused the law. "The death penalty violates the right to life" (King, 2007), it negates the ethical convictions and claims of a fair and just government. The U.S. must join its political partners that have annulled the death penalty. Some support the death penalty as a viable deterrence of crime; be that as it may, states with the death penalty have higher murder rates than those without (Radelet, 2009). Studies show that our country does not require this extreme punishment to counteract wrongdoing. "The death penalty does not add any significant deterrent effect above that of long-term imprisonment" (Radelet, 2009); all it does is degrade the value of human life. In this way, there is no sense to execute the death penalty.


In conclusion, the death penalty should not exist. I believe that it is not a conventional path as innocent individuals could be wrongly indicted and executed. There is no confirmation about the decrease in crime rates because of capital punishment and as such, it is not a real deterrent to crime, at least not any better than life imprisonment. Since it is not a hindrance against the wrongdoings that it rebuffs; it fails to promote the common good in any capacity. Some might believe that the criminal's murders are irreversible and that such a wrongdoing merits an equivalent punishment. These same individuals would refer to the scriptural section that urges "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." However, if a wrongdoing merits equal punishment, then why are rapists not raped in return and arsonists burned? A moral society must be founded on principles and values that are higher than those it condemns. Execution generates a violent culture and supports retribution which can increase crime rates. Criminals should be rehabilitated and educated rather than face execution. Numerous legislatures still trust that they can take care of dire social or political issues by executing detainees. Many individuals everywhere throughout the world are ignorant that the death penalty offers society no further protection but rather promotes brutalization. The death penalty, completed for the sake of the country's whole populace, influences everybody. Everybody ought to know about what the death penalty is, the way it is utilized, how it influences them, and most importantly, how it is a violation of fundamental human rights.


Drehle, D. V. (2014, April 28). More Innocent People on Death Row Than Estimated: Study. Retrieved from Time U.S:

Gross, S., O'Brien, B., & Hu, C. (2014). Rate of false conviction of criminal defendants who are sentenced to death. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (pp. 7230-7235). PMC.

King, R. (2007). How the death Penalty Violates the Constituional Rights of the Family members of Death Row Prisoners. Public Interest Law Journal, 195-253.

Radelet, M. (2009). Do Executions Lower Homicide Rates: The Views of Leading Criminologists. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 489-508.

Roy, G. (2014). Is Capital Punishment Acceptable. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 95-98.

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