Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment Essay Sample

1. Morality
Professionals: “The offenses of colza. anguish. lese majesty. snatch. slaying. theft. and bearing false witness pivot on a moral codification that escapes apodeictic [ indisputably true ] cogent evidence by adept testimony or otherwise. But communities would immerse into lawlessness if they could non move on moral premises less certain than that the Sun will lift in the E and set in the West. Abolitionists may postulate that the decease punishment is inherently immoral because authoritiess should ne’er take human life. no affair what the aggravation. But that is an article of religion. non of fact. The decease punishment awards human self-respect by handling the suspect as a free moral histrion able to command his ain fate for good or for ailment ; it does non handle him as an animate being with no moral sense. ” Bruce Fein. JD

Constitutional Lawyer and General Counsel to the Center for Law and Accountability “Individual Rights and Responsibility – The Death Penalty. But Sparingly. ” World Wide Web. aba. org June 17. 2008

Con: “Ultimately. the moral inquiry environing capital penalty in America has less to make with whether those convicted of violent offense deserve to decease than with whether province and federal authoritiess merit to kill those whom it has imprisoned. The bequest of racial apartheid. racial prejudice. and cultural favoritism is inescapably apparent in the disposal of capital penalty in America. Death sentences are imposed in a condemnable justness system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are hapless and guiltless. This is an immoral status that makes rejecting the decease punishment on moral evidences non merely defendable but necessary for those who refuse to accept unequal or unfair disposal of penalty. ” Bryan Stevenson. JD

Professor of Law at New York University School of Law
“Close to Death: Contemplations on Race and Capital Punishment in America. ” from Debating the Death Punishment: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Best Case 2004

2. Constitutionality
Professionals: “Simply because an executing method may ensue in hurting. either by accident or as an ineluctable effect of decease. does non set up the kind of ‘objectively unbearable hazard of harm’ [ citing the sentiment of the Court from Farmer v. Brennan. 511 U. S. 825. 842. 846 ( 1994 ) ] that qualifies as cruel and unusual… Kentucky has adopted a method of executing believed to be the most humanist available. one it portions with 35 other States… Kentucky’s determination to adhere to its protocol can non be viewed as probative of the wanton imposition of hurting under the Eighth Amendment… Throughout our history. whenever a method of executing has been challenged in this Court as cruel and unusual. the Court has rejected the challenge. Our society has however steadily moved to more humanist methods of transporting out capital penalty. ” Baze v. Rees

US Supreme Court. in a determination written by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Apr. 16. 2008
Con: “Death is… an remarkably terrible penalty. unusual in its hurting. in its conclusiveness. and in its enormity… The fatal constitutional frailty in the penalty of decease is that it treats ‘members of the human race as nonhumans. as objects to be toyed with and discarded. [ It is ] therefore inconsistent with the cardinal premiss of the Clause that even the vilest felon remains a human being possessed of common human self-respect. ’ [ citing himself fromFurman v. Georgia. 408 U. S. 238. 257 ( 1972 ) ] As such it is a punishment that ‘subjects the person to a destiny forbidden by the rule of civilised intervention guaranteed by the [ Clause ] . ’ [ citing C. J. Warren from Trop v. Dulles. 356 U. S. 86. 101 ( 1958 ) ] I hence would keep. on that land entirely. that decease is today a cruel and unusual penalty prohibited by the Clause… I would put aside the decease sentences imposed… as violative of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. ” William J. Brennan. JD

Justice of the US Supreme Court
Dissenting sentiment in Gregg v. Georgia
July 2. 1976
3. Disincentive
Professionals: “Common sense. recently bolstered by statistics. Tells us that the decease punishment will discourage murder… People fear nil more than decease. Therefore.
nil will discourage a felon more than the fright of death… life in prison is less feared. Murderers clearly prefer it to execution — otherwise. they would non seek to be sentenced to life in prison alternatively of death… Therefore. a life sentence must be less deterrent than a decease sentence. And we must put to death liquidators every bit long as it is simply possible that their executing protects citizens from future slaying. ” Ernest Van Den Haag. PhD




Late Professor of Jurisprudence at Fordham University
“For the Death Penalty. ” New York Times
Oct. 17. 1983
Con: “ [ T ] here is no believable grounds that the decease punishment deters offense more efficaciously than long footings of imprisonment. States that have decease punishment Torahs do non hold lower offense rates or slaying rates than provinces without such Torahs. And provinces that have abolished capital penalty show no important alterations in either offense or slaying rates. The decease punishment has no deterrent consequence. Claims that each executing deters a certain figure of slayings have been exhaustively discredited by societal scientific discipline research. ” American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU )


“The Death Punishment: Questions and Answers. ” ACLU. org
Apr. 9. 2007
4. Retribution
Professionals: “Society is rightly ordered when each individual receives what is due to him. Crime disturbs this merely order. for the condemnable takes from people their lives. peace. autonomies. and worldly goods in order to give himself undeserved benefits. Deserved punishment protects society morally by reconstructing this merely order. doing the wrongdoer wage a monetary value equivalent to the injury he has done. This is requital. non to be confused with retaliation. which is guided by a different motivation. In requital the goad is the virtuousness of outrage. which answers hurt with hurt for public good… Retribution is the primary intent of merely penalty as such… [ R ] ehabilitation. protection. and disincentive have a lesser position in penalty than requital. ” J. Budziszewski. Ph.d.


Professor of Government and Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin
“Capital Punishment: The Case for Justice. ” OrthodoxyToday. org Aug. /Sep. 2004
Con: “Retribution is merely another word for retaliation. and the desire for retaliation is one of the lowest human emotions — possibly sometimes apprehensible. but non truly a rational response to a critical state of affairs. To kill the individual who has killed person near to you is merely to go on the rhythm of force which finally destroys the retaliator every bit good as the wrongdoer. That this executing someway give ‘closure’ to a calamity is a myth. Expressing one’s force merely reinforces the desire to show it. Merely as showing choler merely makes us more angry. It does non run out off. It contaminates the otherwise good will which any human being demands to come on in love and apprehension. ” Raymond A. Schroth. SJ

Jesuit Priest and Community Professor of the Humanities at St. Peter’s College Email to ProCon. org
Sep. 5. 2008
5. Irrevocable Mistakes
Professionals: “…No system of justness can bring forth consequences which are 100 % certain all the clip. Mistakes will be made in any system which relies upon human testimony for cogent evidence. We should be argus-eyed to bring out and avoid such errors. Our system of justness truly demands a higher criterion for decease punishment instances. However. the hazard of doing a error with the extraordinary due procedure applied in decease punishment instances is really little. and there is no believable grounds to demo that any guiltless individuals have been executed at least since the decease punishment was reactivated in 1976… The inevitableness of a error should non function as evidences to extinguish the decease punishment any more than the hazard of holding a fatal wreck should do cars illegal…” Steven D. Stewart. JD


Prosecuting Attorney for Clark County Indiana
Message on the Clark County Prosecutor web site accessed
Aug. 6. 2008
Con: “…Since the reinstatement of the modern decease punishment. 87 people have been freed from decease row because they were subsequently proven inexperienced person. That is a demonstrated mistake rate of 1 guiltless individual for every 7 individuals executed. When the effects are life and decease. we need to demand the same criterion for our system of justness as we would for our airlines… It is a cardinal pillar of our condemnable justness system that it is better that many guilty people go free than that one inexperienced person should suffer… Let us reflect to guarantee that we are being merely. Let us hesitate to be certain we do non kill a individual guiltless individual. This is truly non excessively much to inquire for a civilised society. ” Russ Feingold. JD


US Senator ( D-WI )
presenting the “National Death Penalty Moratorium Act of 2000” April 26. 2000
6. Cost of Death vs. Life in Prison
Professionals: “Many oppositions present. as fact. that the cost of the decease punishment is so expensive ( at least $ 2 million per instance? ) . that we must take life without word ( ‘LWOP’ ) at a cost of $ 1 million for 50 old ages. Predictably. these dictums may be wholly false. JFA [ Justice for All ] estimates that LWOP instances will be $ 1. 2 million- $ 3. 6 million more than tantamount decease punishment instances. There is no inquiry that the up front costs of the decease punishment are significantly higher than for tantamount LWOP instances. There besides appears to be no inquiry that. over clip. tantamount LWOP instances are much more expensive… than decease punishment instances. Oppositions laughably claim that the decease punishment costs. over clip. 3-10 times more than LWOP. ” Dudley Sharp


Director of Death Penalty Resources at Justice for All
“Death Punishment and Sentencing Information. ” Justice for All website Oct. 1. 1997
Con: “In the class of my work. I believe I have reviewed every province and federal survey of the costs of the decease punishment in the past 25 old ages. One component is common to all of these surveies: They all concluded that the cost of the decease punishment sums to a net disbursal to the province and the taxpayers. Or to set it otherwise. the decease punishment is clearly more expensive than a system managing similar instances with a lesser penalty. [ It ] combines the costliest parts of both penalties: lengthy and complicated decease punishment tests. followed by captivity for life… Everything that is needed for an ordinary test is needed for a decease punishment instance. merely more so:

• More pre-trial time…
• More experts…
• Twice as many attorneys…
• Two tests alternatively of one will be conducted: one for guilt and one for penalty.
• And so will come a series of entreaties during which the inmates are held in the high security of decease row. ” Richard C. Dieter. MS. JD



Executive Director of the Death Penalty Information Center
Testimony to the Judiciary Committee of the Colorado State House of Representatives sing “House Bill 1094 – Costss of the Death Penalty and Related Issues” Feb. 7. 2007

7. Race
Professionals: “ [ T ] he fact that inkinesss and Hispanics are charged with capital offenses out of proportion to their Numberss in the general population may merely intend that inkinesss and Hispanics commit capital offenses out of proportion to their Numberss. Capital felons don’t look like America… No 1 is surprised to happen more work forces than adult females in this category. Nor is it a daze to happen that this group contains more twenty-year-olds than septuagenarians. And if — as the left indefatigably maintains — poorness strains offense. and if — as it boringly maintains — the hapless are disproportionately minority. so it must follow — as the left wholly denies — that minorities will be ‘overrepresented’ among felons. ” Roger Clegg. JD

General Counsel at the Center for Equal Opportunity
“The Color of Death: Does the Death Penalty Discriminate? . ” National Review Online June 11. 2001
Con: “Despite the fact that African Americans make up merely 13 per centum of the nation’s population. about 50 per centum of those presently on the federal decease row are African American. And even though merely three people have been executed under the federal decease punishment in the modern epoch. two of them have been racial minorities. Furthermore. all six of the following scheduled executings are African Americans. The U. S. Department of Justice’s ain figures reveal that between 2001 and 2006. 48 per centum of suspects in federal instances in which the decease punishment was sought were African Americans… the biggest statement against the decease punishment is that it is handed out in a colored. racially disparate mode. ” National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP ) “NAACP Remains Steadfast in Ending Death Penalty & A ; Fighting Injustice in America’s Justice System. ” NAACP website June 28. 2007

8. Income Level
Professionals: “The following urban fable is that of the threadbare but gutsy public guardian contending against all odds against a squad of sleek. heavily-funded prosecuting officers with illimitable resources. The world in the twenty-first century is startlingly different… the past few decennaries have seen the constitution of public guardian systems that in many instances rival some of the best attorneies retained privately… Many elephantine silk-stocking jurisprudence houses in big metropoliss across America non merely supply pro-bono advocate in capital instances. but besides offer partnerships to attorneies whose exclusive occupation is to advance destitute capital defence. ” Joshua Marquis. JD

District Attorney of Clatsop County. Beaver state
“The Myth of Innocence. ” Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Mar. 31. 2005
Con: “Who pays the ultimate punishment for offenses? The hapless. Who gets the decease punishment? The hapless. After all the rhetoric that goes on in legislative assemblies. in the terminal. when the cyberspace is cast out. it is the hapless who are selected to decease in this state. And why do hapless people get the decease punishment? It has everything to make with the sort of defence they get. Money gets you good defence. That’s why you’ll ne’er see an O. J. Simpson on decease row. As the stating goes: ‘Capital penalty means them without the capital acquire the penalty. ‘” Helen Prejean. MA

Anti-death punishment militant and writer of Dead Man Walking
“Would Jesus Pull the Switch? . ” Salt of the Earth
1997
9. Attorney Quality
Professionals: “Defense attorneys… routinely file all mode of gestures and expostulations to protect their clients from strong belief. Lawyers know their test tactics will be exhaustively scrutinized on entreaty. so every attempt is made to avoid mistake. guaranting yet another degree of protection for the suspect. They [ decease punishment oppositions ] … have painted a image of incompetent defence attorneies. kiping throughout the test. or guiltless work forces being executed. Their accusals receive broad media coverage. ensuing in a near-daily onslaught on the decease punishment. Yet. through all the craze. jurymans continue to execute their duties and return decease sentences. ” California District Attorneys Association ( CDAA )



“Prosecutors’ Perspective on California’s Death Penalty. ” World Wide Web. cdaa. org Mar. 2003
Con: “ [ A ] shocking two out of three decease punishment strong beliefs have been overturned on entreaty because of constabulary and prosecutorial misconduct. every bit good as serious mistakes by unqualified court-appointed defence lawyers with small experience in seeking capital instances. How can we postulate that we provide equal justness under the jurisprudence when we do non supply equal representation to the hapless in instances where a life bents in the balance? We. the Congress. must bear our portion of duty for this distressing state of affairs. In short. while others. like Governor Ryan in Illinois. have recognized the defects in the decease punishment. the Congress still merely doesn’t acquire it. This system is broken. ” John Conyers. Jr. . JD

US Congressman ( D-MI )
Hearing for the Innocence Protection Act of 2000 before the Subcommittee on Crime of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives June 20. 2000
10. Doctors at Executions
Professionals: “Accepting capital penalty in rule agencies accepting it in pattern. whether by the manus of a doctor or anyone else… If one finds the pattern excessively barbarous. one must either reject it in rule or seek to extenuate its ferociousness. If one chooses the latter option. so the engagement of doctors seems more humane than deputing the title to prison wardens. for by excusing the engagement of untrained people who could bring down gratuitous enduring that we doctors might hold prevented. we are merely every bit responsible as if we had inflicted the agony ourselves. The AMA [ American Medical Association ] place should be changed either to allow physician engagement or to recommend the abolishment of capital penalty. The hypocritical attitude of ‘My custodies are clean — let the spectacle proceed’ merely leads to goad human agony. ” Bruce E. Ellerin. MD. JD


Doctor of Oncology Radiation at Sierra Providence Health Network Response missive to the New England Journal of Medicine sing an article titled “When Law and Ethics Collide — Why Physicians Participate in Executions. ” by Atul Gawande. MD July 6. 2006

Con: “The American Medical Association’s policy is clear and unambiguous… necessitating doctors to take part in executings violates their curse to protect lives and erodes public assurance in the medical profession. A doctor is a member of a profession dedicated to continuing life… The usage of a physician’s clinical accomplishment and judgement for intents other than advancing an individual’s wellness and public assistance undermines a basic ethical foundation of medical specialty — foremost. make no injury. The guidelines in the AMA Code of Medical Ethics reference physician engagement in executings affecting deadly injection. The ethical sentiment explicitly prohibits choosing injection sites for executings by deadly injection. get downing endovenous lines. ordering. administrating. or oversing the usage of deadly drugs. monitoring critical marks. on site or remotely. and declaring decease. ” American Medical Association ( AMA )

“AMA: Physician Engagement in Lethal Injection Violates Medical Ethics. ” imperativeness release from the AMA web site July 17. 2006

Reasons For Capital Punishment
1. Prison: There are three intents for prison. First. prison separates felons for the safety of the general population. Second. prison is a signifier of penalty. Third and eventually. the penalty of prison is expected to rehabilitate captives ; so that when captives are released from prison. these ex-convicts are less likely to reiterate their offenses and hazard another prison sentence. The logic for capital penalty is that prisons are for rehabilitating inmates who will finally go forth prison. and hence prison is non for people who would ne’er be released from prisons alive. 2. Cost of Prison: Typically. the cost of incarcerating person for life is much more expensive than put to deathing that same individual. However with the expensive costs of entreaties in tribunals of jurisprudence. it is arguable if capital penalty is genuinely cost effectual when compared with the cost of life imprisonment.

3. Safety: Criminals who receive the decease punishment are typically violent persons. Therefore for the safety of the prison’s guards. other captives. and the general populace ( in instance a decease row inmate flights prison ) . so logic dictates that safety is a ground for capital penalty. 4. Deters Crime: There is no scientific cogent evidence that states with capital penalty have a lower rate of offense. therefore the hazard of the decease punishment does non look to discourage offense. 5. Extreme Punishment: The logic is that the more terrible the offense. so the more terrible the penalty is necessary. But what is the most terrible penalty: life-time in prison or executing? I am non certain that anyone alive is qualified to reply this inquiry. 6. Appropriate Punishment: It is normally believed that the penalty of a offense should be the offense. if possible. This is besides known as “an oculus for eye” justness. Therefore utilizing this logic. the appropriate penalty for slaying is decease. 7. Vengeance: Some offenses are so hideous that some people think that retaliation or requital is the lone option. This logical thinking is non based on logic ; but instead. it is based on emotions. Therefore. this ground should non be deemed a valid justification.

Reasons Against Capital Punishment
1. Prison: It is frequently believe that prison is a feasible option to put to deathing a individual. However as mentioned above. even imprisonment for life with no opportunity of word still has issues. 2. Not Humane: Killing a individual is non humanist. even if the felon is non humanist. What is humane is subjective to a person’s upbringing. instruction. beliefs. and faith. Therefore different people interpret what is humanist otherwise. For case. some people consider seting a favored asleep is humanist if the animate being is in great hurting. but making the same thing for a individual is frequently non considered humane. Other people would non kill an carnal even for nutrient. In some civilizations. mercy violent deaths are honest. 3. Fairness: The life of the felon can non counterbalance for the offense committed. Basically. two wrongs do non do a right. 4. Pain of Death: Executing a individual can be speedy and painless. or put to deathing a individual can be slow and painful. The method. and hence the hurting. of capital penalty is besides subjective to society’s norms. Some civilizations prefer enduring. others do non. 5. Violates Human Rights: Some groups of people deem decease a misdemeanor of the person’s right to populate.

Other groups of people disagree that the decease punishment is a cruel and unusual penalty. There is no clear definition of what human rights are. so at that place will ever be dissensions with whether it violates human rights. 6. Wrongly Convicted: Some people executed were proven excessively late to be wrongly convicted of a offense that they did non perpetrate. 7. Playing God: Some people believe that all deceases should be natural. Other people believe slaying is a portion of nature. 8. Redemption: Criminals have less clip and likeliness of happening religious redemption if they are executed. The obvious inquiry for this logical thinking is redemption a valid concern for the province? 9. Forgiveness: Criminals have less clip and likeliness to seek forgiveness for their offenses if they are executed. Again. is forgiveness a valid concern for the authorities? 10. Damagess: Executing person decreases the clip and likeliness for the condemnable to mend any harm from the offense. Should the province be concerned over this excessively? 11. Family Hardship: It is frequently said that the household members of the executed needlessly endure excessively. yet the offense itself has victims and household members excessively.