Death Penalty Debate Essay

288 views 6 pages ~ 1421 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Death Penalty and its Controversies

Death penalty raises imperative inquiries about the right to life, who has a right to life, and what state of affairs a right to life can be taken away with the USA as the only western country practicing the system. Though the death penalty has been going on with the latest execution having been made a few days ago, the majority of citizens are opting for another form of punishment particularly life imprisonment without possible parole. This paper examines some specific issues: innocence, deterrent, the cost involved, revenge and discrimination which are against the practice. While advocates for capital punishment argue that it reduces the crime rate, one has to take responsibility for their actions and even with the risk of innocent being executed it is not always wrong. The paper claims that time has come where the death penalty with its many associated risks should be abolished and better punishment be applied especially those that would give the victims an opportunity to change.

Death Penalty Debate

Practicing death penalty by the state devalues human life; it is the eventual refutation of human rights and Amnesty International do battle with it in all circumstances and works to eliminate it (Sandercock 40). According to the death penalty information center, (Devine and Kelly 393) about nineteen detainees in the United States this year, 2018 have been executed and eight states have been involved in these executions. Most of these executions are done by use of lethal injection or by electrocution (Sandercock 43). About 20 states in United America do not have death penalty even after it was reinstated by the Supreme Court in 1976, indicating that many people are losing on its effectiveness. The death penalty is such an inflated, contentious, and acrimonious concern that, lest it thrives in redeeming human lives, it evidently should be brought to an end.

Innocence and the Risk of Executing an Innocent Person

By practicing the death penalty or capital punishment, there is a risk of executing an innocent person while the real culprit is free. No matter how diligently an investigation is done, there is no efficient method to define whether a felonious verdict is right and this would in a great way stop the demises of wrongly-accused persons. Statistics according to (Devine and Kelly 393), shows that 163 convicts were exonerated from 1976, a case scenario is Vicente Benavides which was done on April 19, 2018. This clearly shows that the death penalty may result in killing innocent people who in the first place did not commit any crime. Unlike life imprisonment, capital punishment cannot be overturned when it has already been done, once a life has been lost, there is no way to get it back.

The Lack of Deterrence

The death penalty does not deter people from either committing crimes or reduce the rate of homicide. There is no substantiation that capital punishment prevents delinquency or enhances the safety of the citizens which is universally denoted to by its supporters. It is evident that in many states, the efficiency of the execution in order to prevent crime is being extremely doubted by an endlessly accumulative number of law enforcement experts. The Third UNGA resolution 65/206 which was adopted on 21 December 2010 articulately states, “No conclusive evidence of the deterrent value of the death penalty.” These international stands effortlessly show that capital punishment has no link with deterrent and should be done away with (MacDougall and Williams 1647).

The Cost and Time Involved

To carry out the death penalty, the state incurs a lot of costs which is the taxpayers’ money which would be used in other more productive projects. These costs come in in form of all the costly cases resulting in a death sentence and may take years not forgetting the legal appeals. This is not only costly but time wasting process to the states judges, prosecutors, and defense lawyers all of which are paid by the government. Additional expenses are in taking care of the victim in terms of food, clothing and medical services to a person who is condemned to die (MacDougall and Williams 1647).

Revenge and Discrimination

In most cases, the death penalty is inspired by revenge where lawful retaliation hardens social harmony against criminals and is unconventional to the secluded revenge of those who feel affected. Revenge or pay-back is sensitive instinct and cannot be satisfactory validation for petitioning a death penalty with all its associated difficulties and threats. It is the obligation of the law and criminal justice system to ensure that high standards and principles are upheld that would protect and respect life even the life of the accused. A human life is precious and valuable and should at no circumstance be left at the mercies of who were affected or harmed even when they have lost their loved one. Taking a life does not bring another life back (Lee, Bohm, and Pazzani, 634).

Discrimination in the Application of the Death Penalty

The death penalty is discriminatorily done where race, gender, and life status determines who gets executed and who get other kinder judgment. The death penalties in most cases do not major on the worst of the criminals and those who get unlucky are among the underprivileged. The poor who can hardly get the finances to seek for their justice and they end up accepting the judgment for lack of options (Braswell, McCarthy, and Bernard 135). In case of race, blacks are in great danger of getting capital punishment especially if the victim is whites; their judgment is in most cases given the death penalty.

Alternative Perspectives on Capital Punishment

Others argue that abolishing capital punishment would cause many people to commit crimes because they know there is no execution. Advocates of death penalty denote that they were a crime rate increase when the law was abolished before it was reinstated. When the execution was done yearly, it was recorded that crimes decreased when people saw others being executed; the fear of being caught and similarly executed made them change (MacDougall and Williams 1647).

Individual Responsibility

People should take up the responsibility for their own actions regardless of the consequences no matter how weighty they may be. If one, for example, commits murder, rapes or do a robbery with violence and the court finds them guilty, one should follow and accept the judgment because they were well aware of their willful actions (Braswell, McCarthy, and Bernard 135). This will not only reduce the crime rate but it will also help the larger society the dangers of crime thus making the society a better place.

Balancing Rights and Risks

Capital punishment even with its risk of executing an innocent individual, it is sometimes right and deserves to be given a chance. After death sentences have been issued, the US government has always given death row inmates the chances to contest the court verdicts. This is done even with modern methods like DNA testing so that accurate verdict would be reached. It is the commitment of the states that makes death penalty worthwhile for it does not rash in into hasty decisions and inmates are given equal rights until proven otherwise (Devine and Kelly 393).


Capital punishment illustrates how the justice system offers reprimand rather than healing for the fighters of vicious misconduct. Every punishment should focus more on the aftermath of its repercussion on the victim and its main objective should be giving the victim an opportunity to change their ways for a better tomorrow. With many states in the US abolishing the death penalty and the global outcry of its injustices, the death penalty is clearly on its way out. There are better ways of punishment rather than taking lives which in the first place was given to us. The death penalty is a dreadful mark and with its many associated complications it should be abolished.

Work Cited


Braswell, Michael C., Belinda R. McCarthy, and Bernard J. McCarthy. "To Die or Not to Die: Morality, Ethics, and the Death Penalty." Justice, Crime, and Ethics. Routledge, 2017. 220-244.Well, Prosper. "Towards relative normativity in international law?." Sources of International Law. Routledge, 2017. 123-152.

MacDougall, Mark J., and Karen D. Williams. "The Federal Death Penalty Scheme Is Not a Model for State Reform of Capital Punishment Laws." Am. UL Rev. 67 (2017): 1647.

Lee, Gavin M., Robert M. Bohm, and Lynn M. Pazzani. "Knowledge and Death Penalty Opinion: The Marshall Hypotheses Revisited." American Journal of Criminal Justice39.3 (2014): 642-659.

Sandercock, Emily. "Local Media and the Lethal Injection Drug Shortage in the United States." (2018).

August 14, 2023

Crime Government Law

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Death Penalty
Verified writer

Love the way Robbe works with legal papers. As a Law student, I had to deliver four different case study assignments. If you are in trouble, just get in touch with Robbe, and he will get things fixed for you!

Hire Writer

This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro