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Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment Running Head Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Is Capital Punishment Justified? Ed G. Weathersbee Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Capital Punishment 2 Abstract Capital Punishment is the extreme penalty for crime. Such methods as drowning, stoning, hanging, and beheading have been used to carry out execution of criminals for a great variety of offenses. Modern executions are usually done by means of electrocution, the gas chamber, or a lethal injection of a drug. Hanging is still used in some places, as is execution by firing squad. The question is not how one personally feels about capital punishment, but whether or not capital punishment is justified.

I say that that is a justification reserved only for one person .. God. Capital Punishment 3 The main reason for combating crime and enforcing punishment is to prevent the disintegration of society. In other words, the preamble to the United States Constitution uses the phrase “to insure domestic Tranquillity” to describe this goal. Over the years, different reasons have been used as justification for punishment. Revenge is the most natural motive people have had for wanting to inflict punishment.

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The argument is simple, the person that has harmed someone should have harm inflicted upon him. Is this the society that we are today in modern society? Revenge is still the most common motive for the use of punishment, especially as a response to the most brutal and senseless crimes. But the revenge motive, of course, is usually left on the curb a long way from the courthouse. The justification used in the courthouse is deterrence. Deterrence is the notion that the threat of punishment will prevent criminal activity.

It presumes that individuals act rationally in their own interests and therefore will seek to escape the pain that punishment brings. Deterrence was intended for the law-abiding individual as well as those prone to criminal behavior. Evidence that it has served to diminish the extent of crime in society is minimal. If punishments do not serve to deter crime, they should be abolished.(www.sun.coci.niu.edu) As pointed out by the American Civil Liberties Union, the death penalty inherently violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantee of due process of law and the equal protection of the laws. This in itself is justification enough not to use this sort of punishment.

Just break the phrase down. Cruel, yes, this is an act that even if someone were to get caught doing to an animal such as a dog or cat, would be put in prison for. Unusual, oh yeah, it isn’t very often a person gets in a chair with electricity hooked up to it or gets a shot that is going to kill him. Capital Punishment 4 The moral reasons against capital punishment should be enough to do away with it, but lets look for a second at the cost. Anyone who does not know the facts about capital punishment will argue why keep someone in jail that is going to have be fed and sheltered by the tax payers, when he can be put to death, and out of the taxpayers hair.

The fact is with the many trials and court appeals, putting someone to death cost extremely more that keeping him in jail for the rest of his life. Life imprisonment without parole cost an average of $750,000 to $1 million total for a maximum-security cell for 40 years. A capital punishment trial cost an average of $2.3 million in Texas and $3.2 million in Florida.(www.students.ou.edu) With capital punishment trials costing six times more that other murder trials in California taxpayers in California could save $90 million by abolishing capital punishment. It is argued that capital punishment is a way to internalize cost, it doesn’t. They are able to appeal which cost double the original judicial process.

Death row prisoners are commonly defended by public defenders that are paid for by the public. Once executed the accountability of capital crime may be internalized, but the cost is not. There are ways to internalize the cost of a prisoner, but he has to stay alive in order to do it. Eliminate the death penalty and implement life imprisonment without parole, because it has already been said that there is little proof that it deters capital crimes anyway. This will cut down on appeals, thus costing the taxpayers less.

Let these prisoners work off the court cost and perform some sort of retribution for the family of the victim. If these prisoners refuse to do this, then inflict some sort of penalty, such as confinement until he decides to do as he is told. The one, and most important reason for abolishing the death penalty, would have to be its degree of accuracy. It has been seen in several court cases where appeals have set people free that were on death row. With the new use of DNA, and its users getting more proficient Capital Punishment 5 everyday, it has been found that 23 innocent people have died in the past under the death penalty.(www.web.amnesty.org) One was too many. With all these things considered, how can today’s society not do away with this cruel and unusual act of putting people, sometimes innocent people, to death.

There are many people who think that the government, judges, and juries have the authority, a right if you will, to decide whether a person, a living breathing human being, should live or die. There is only one true judge, he is fair and just and never convicts the wrong person. He and only he has the right to decide if a person should live or die .. GOD. Social Issues.

Capital Punishment

.. uppose, further, that he is able to command respect from his fellow inmates. Is it not possible that such a person can prefer a life in prison rather than having to go out into our world to earn a living? To such a person it is conceivable that a prison sentence maybe more of a reward than a punishment. Deutsh said whether the death penalty is a deterrent, I think we must philosophically consider suitable punishments to incorporate into our criminal justice system that will serve as a deterrent for violent crimes, not only those crimes that now provide for the death penalty. Denver Archbishop Charles Chadput placed a statement on his Internet site last year, condemning capital punishment. Killing our guilty is still wrong.

It does not honor the dead. It does not ennoble the living, said Chadput. Frank Keating counteracted the Bishops statement by saying (he) hopes that I dont get driven into the sea because I am a catholic, for supporting the death penalty. Most Catholics would agree that murderers should die. How many people do we have to see killed before it is justified? he asked. The Reverend Jesse Jackson spoke on CBS Face The Nation on June 9 1997.

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The concept of an eye for an eye ultimately leaves us blind and disfigured. Psychiatrist James Gilligan has studied societys most violent people. The experience has left Gilligan discounting what he describes as the underlying theory pervading our criminal justice system. The theory of rational self-interest. This theory assumes that violent people act out of common sense, do not want to go to prison, and do not wish to die. According to this premise, Gilligan writes, All we have to do to prevent violent crime is threaten violent people with capital punishment. There are four things wrong with this theory, said Gilligan.

It is totally incorrect, hopelessly naove, dangerously misleading, and based on complete and utter ignorance of what violent people are really like. Gilligans theories are based on his experiences as Director of Mental Health for the Massachusetts prison system, Medical Director of the Bridgewater (Mass.) State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and Director of the Center for the Study of Violence at Harvard University Medical School. A heinous crime occurs and most people ask the inevitable question: Who are these people capable of such inhuman acts? According to Gilligan, they generally are ordinary people who often describe themselves as robots, zombies, nonentities, and even vampires. In a 1977 courtroom, convicted serial killer Ted Bundy said many things about himself. Among those descriptions were; Sometimes I feel like a vampire, and Im the most cold blooded son of a bitch youll ever meet. Murderers frequently mutilate themselves in prison, cutting their arms, swallowing razor blades, blinding or castrating themselves- because feeling something, even pain, is better than feeling nothing. People who wind up committing murder are often the survivors of attempted murder themselves, or of a child abuse that is so severe, that if they were not strong, they would not have survived.

David Berkowitz was the Son of Sam serial killer. The press at one time asked him why he killed so many people. He replied, I always had a certain fetish for murder and death. Berkowitz was jolted to kill when he found out a family secret. He was an accident, a mistake, never meant to be born. He had always been told that his birth mother had been killed during labor.

What he found out was it was just a lie to cover up the fact that his real mother did not even care about him. Once he discovered the truth, he vowed to find the woman that cast him aside. When asked by a friend what he would do when he found her, he said, Im not going to rob her. Im not going to touch her or rape her. All I want to do is kill her. Gilligans hypothesis is that the common underlying cause of violence is shame. Violent behavior only results when three other conditions occur: 1) The individual does not see himself as having any nonviolent means to gain respect or find justice. 2) The shame and humiliation are so overwhelming they threaten to destroy the persons sense of self.

3) The violent impulses stimulated in all of us by feelings of humiliation are not inhibited by guilt, remorse, empathy, or love. The character Hannible Lechter, as shown in this clip from the movie Silence of the Lambs explains it best. Rather than punishment, Gilligan said, one proven approach to reducing violence is education, especially a college degree. Several years ago, Gilligan conducted a study in the Massachusetts Prison system in which more than two hundred inmates, including those that were convicted murderers, earned degrees and were released from prison. So far, not one repeat offender has been found. Gilligan said We know that the single most effective factor which reduces the rate of recidivism in the prison population is education, and yet education in the prisons is the first item to be cut when an administration gets tough on crime. If our goal is to reduce crime and violence, we would benefit all law abiding members of society if we made college education available in the prisons. Gilligan said he is amazed by how inarticulate and incoherent many violent prisoners are.

They have never learned to express themselves. They have never had anyone to listen to them and take their thoughts seriously. If we can get them to talk about their life experiences, we immediately give them an alternative. If we can provide these men with an alternative to violent behavior, they will use it. The best way to get people to act like human beings is to treat them like human beings.

Gilligan acknowledges that some violent criminals are so severely damaged and dangerous they simply can never live out in society again. But the emphasis, he said, must be on restraining and quarantining, rather than punishment. Over time, even the most deeply damaged people can recover a great deal of the humanity that they have lost; even the deadest could be restored to some semblance of humanity if given a humane enough environment, said Gilligan. I now leave the decision up to you. I have given you both the pros and cons on the issue of capital punishment. If you choose to remember only one point of my speech tonight let it be this quote of human beings by Henry Ford.

None are good but all are scared. Even the most horrendous criminal is a human being with a soul, and that soul is scared..

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment Capital Punishment: a.k.a. the death penalty. To kill or not to kill. This is an extremely controversial question in todays society. The number of people who are for it still believe in the saying, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

These are the people who feel if you intentionally take the life of someone else, then yours should be taken as well. But then there are the other number of people who feel the death penalty should be banned because of its cruel and unjust way of punishment. Should we keep it or not? And if it is kept, how do we determine who should be sentenced to death? An easy way to answer these questions is to totally nullify capital punishment completely. One reason why the death penalty is so controversial is because many feel its cruel ways of punishment are unnecessary, even if the crime is murder, whether it be premeditated or unintentional. They believe there are other ways of condemnation besides execution. In the case of an unintentional death feelings are that the perpetrators should have the right to live, but have to face each day with the fact that they killed someone weighing on their conscience. On the other hand, such as with a voluntary murder, the ideas are somewhat similar.

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They believe the murderer doesnt deserve the death penalty. Chances are if a person is insane enough to kill another human being in the first place, they arent going to care what happens to them. They 2 realize that their execution, in most cases, is going to be short and painless. This isnt a just punishment for someone who has inflicted severe pain upon another life. Our court system, after initiating a life sentence without parole, should not offer these killers the comforts they have in jail. They should be treated more or less like animals.

In short, let the ones who institute a crime unwillingly live, but do not let the punishment be as severe as it would for a voluntary criminal. There are a vast number of people who believe that increasing the use of the death penalty will abate the crime rate. Not true. While a criminal is in the process of committing a crime, chances are that he is not contemplating what his punishment will be for his actions. More than likely his thoughts are upon getting what he wants, whether it be something tangible, such as money, or something as valuable as ones life. There have been studies done in areas by criminologists who have been trying to find a direct relationship between use of the death penalty and the murder rate. Their results? Negative.

They have failed to discover any connection between the two. Therefore, use of capital punishment will not affect the crime rate of an area in any such way. The third and possibly the most important reason why capital punishment should be eliminated is because what is stated in the Bible. The sixth commandment specifically says Thou shalt not kill. If someone is executed, our court system is deliberately defying our Lords laws.

John 8:7 says, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. This supports the idea that only a man who is not a sinner has the right to eliminate someone from this Earth. Many feel the only person or being who is without sin is God. They also believe that He is the only existence who has the right to take someones life, or cast the first stone. Which in turn means we as humans are not entitled to that privilege. 3 The use of capital punishment in todays society is an incredibly controversial issue which will require a great deal of contemplation to answer the questions: to kill or not to kill? Many feel that the annihilation of this practice will solve a large number of the problems and questions about the death penalty that haunt our society today.Jennifer Barnett AP US History 6th period September 6, 1994 Capital Punishment Capital Punishment: a.k.a.

the death penalty. To kill or not to kill. This is an extremely controversial question in todays society. The number of people who are for it still believe in the saying, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. These are the people who feel if you intentionally take the life of someone else, then yours should be taken as well.

But then there are the other number of people who feel the death penalty should be banned because of its cruel and unjust way of punishment. Should we keep it or not? And if it is kept, how do we determine who should be sentenced to death? An easy way to answer these questions is to totally nullify capital punishment completely. One reason why the death penalty is so controversial is because many feel its cruel ways of punishment are unnecessary, even if the crime is murder, whether it be premeditated or unintentional. They believe there are other ways of condemnation besides execution. In the case of an unintentional death feelings are that the perpetrators should have the right to live, but have to face each day with the fact that they killed someone weighing on their conscience. On the other hand, such as with a voluntary murder, the ideas are somewhat similar.

They believe the murderer doesnt deserve the death penalty. Chances are if a person is insane enough to kill another human being in the first place, they arent going to care what happens to them. They 2 realize that their execution, in most cases, is going to be short and painless. This isnt a just punishment for someone who has inflicted severe pain upon another life. Our court system, after initiating a life sentence without parole, should not offer these killers the comforts they have in jail. They should be treated more or less like animals.

In short, let the ones who institute a crime unwillingly live, but do not let the punishment be as severe as it would for a voluntary criminal. There are a vast number of people who believe that increasing the use of the death penalty will abate the crime rate. Not true. While a criminal is in the process of committing a crime, chances are that he is not contemplating what his punishment will be for his actions. More than likely his thoughts are upon getting what he wants, whether it be something tangible, such as money, or something as valuable as ones life. There have been studies done in areas by criminologists who have been trying to find a direct relationship between use of the death penalty and the murder rate. Their results? Negative.

They have failed to discover any connection between the two. Therefore, use of capital punishment will not affect the crime rate of an area in any such way. The third and possibly the most important reason why capital punishment should be eliminated is because what is stated in the Bible. The sixth commandment specifically says Thou shalt not kill. If someone is executed, our court system is deliberately defying our Lords laws.

John 8:7 says, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. This supports the idea that only a man who is not a sinner has the right to eliminate someone from this Earth. Many feel the only person or being who is without sin is God. They also believe that He is the only existence who has the right to take someones life, or cast the first stone. Which in turn means we as humans are not entitled to that privilege. 3 The use of capital punishment in todays society is an incredibly controversial issue which will require a great deal of contemplation to answer the questions: to kill or not to kill? Many feel that the annihilation of this practice will solve a large number of the problems and questions about the death penalty that haunt our society today. How did you find cheater.com? : friend.

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