Is the Death Penalty Effective

Isthe Death Penalty Effective


Adeath penalty is a controversial issue because some individuals orstates maintain that it is valuable in curbing crimes while othersargue that it is a degradation of human dignity (Schieber et al. 48).The penalty has got various advantages as well as disadvantages. Someof the benefits are cost saving on money used in prisons, crimedeterrence, incapacitation of criminals, as well as retribution. Thecons of the penalties include the killings of innocent people withoutany compensation, as well as the way the death is sometimesadministered it involves prejudice. The demerits of capitalpunishment are fewer but weighty than the expected benefits becauseit brings suffering in the society (Schieber et al. 48). Due to thisreason, the death penalty is not an effective correction method.

Differentpeople have varied opinions about the death penalty and its impact onthe society. Many countries have been using the punishment forvarious reasons and mostly for deterrence of future crimes. In theUnited States, the capital punishment has been a statutory inflictionpenalty since 1608. According to various religious teachings,especially the Bible, some crimes like the murder and rape weresupposed to be punished by death. Besides, criminals of both themilitary and Federal crimes are at a high risk of facing execution(Van and John 16). However, some states are abolishing capitalpunishments like the Maryland after a careful evaluation of the prosand cons of death penalty. Nevertheless, by the year 2014, over threethousand inmates were still awaiting to be killed through variousmethods such as electrocution, hanging, lethal injection amongothers. The most commonly used method of killing individuals in theUnited States is the lethal injection. Texas is the state that hascarried out most electrocutions in the United States. The issue ofthe capital punishment is contentious, and people have differentattitudes towards it. Some individuals strongly support the actswhile others say it is highly unethical. The report will analyze theeffectiveness of the executions by giving the facts of the deathpenalty, its advantages and disadvantages, and the recommendations oncapital punishment.

Nobodyhas a right to take away life because no one creates life. Therefore,there is no state that has the absolute right to execute criminalswhether they have killed or not (Schieber et al. 48). A death penaltyis not ethically right because there are people who might be innocentor do not deserve death as the only punishment but may end up beinghanged. It is morally wrong to kill and if death is going to be theonly solution to reducing crimes, then there should be a thoroughinvestigation before the final judgment (Schieber et al. 48). Someindividuals argue that sentencing a criminal to death is not wrongbecause the criminal will eventually die whether executed by theState because of the wrong doings or be set free by the court.

TheCons of the Death Penalty

Thefirst demerit of the capital punishment is the killing of innocentpeople. Some individuals can be sentenced to death because ofcommitting simple crimes. The worst is that the State is not in aposition to compensate for their deaths. Besides, the death sentencemay not be appropriate to every person who has killed because thekilling may not always be a first-degree slaughter (Van and John 21).It is, therefore, possible that an individual may be judged of amurder of the first-degree that leads to execution whereas the personshould have been convicted of the second-degree murder that wouldhave led to an imprisonment. Also, there is an issue in the way thedeath punishments are carried out. Racism is believed to influencethe processes whereby the whites who have convicted of the deathsentences are less likely to face hanging than their blackcounterparts. Furthermore, this capital punishment is believed to becausing a lot of suffering among the prisoners. The pain isexperienced during the period that the prisoners are waiting for theday of execution. It causes mental anguish as the prisoners wait fortheir killing.

Argumentsfor Death Penalty


Thedeath penalty is favored by some states because it is seen as theonly way to revenge for the deceased. The punishment is considered tobe the most efficient method since it makes the victims of murdersuffer in percentage to the offense.

Incapacitationof the Criminal

Thecapital punishment is preferred by some states because it is usefulin eliminating the most dangerous criminals from the community. Bydoing so, the society becomes a safer place. Moreover, there is fearthat the victims of first-degree murder can pose a threat to thefellow inmates or the corrections officer (Van and John 26). So, toprevent this, the states prefer to execute the gangsters as a way ofpermanently eradicating them from the community.


Somecountries opt to use the scarce resource on helping individuals, whoneed the help in the community such as the disabled, sick or the oldinstead of using the little available money to feed people who havebeen jailed because of crimes like the assassination or rape.

Preventionof the Future Crimes

Executionis believed to be effective in deterring future crimes because peoplevalue their lives and are likely to distance themselves from any actsthat would result in a death penalty (Sarat 58). Therefore,individuals will learn that particular crime can cost their livesfrom victims who get executed thus distance themselves from the acts.

Factsabout Death Penalties

Thefirst point about the death penalty is that the support that it usedto get has reduced tremendously (Schieber et al. 48) however, manyAmericans still support the capital punishment. About fifty-sixpercent of the Americans are for the death sentence while aroundthirty-four percent of individuals in the US do not favor theexecutions. Also, the death rows have reduced in the US since theyear 1999. Furthermore, most Americans still doubt whether the deathsentence is effective in deterring crime. About sixty percent of theAmericans say that execution does not prevent other criminals fromcommitting grave crimes such as rape as well as murder. The remainingforty percent maintain that it deters potential criminals fromcommitting severe offenses. Moreover, the opinions of people on thedeath sentence in the US are divided according to the races (Schieberet al. 48). Besides, there is an argument about which race ofindividuals is more likely to get death penalties than the other.About forty-five percent of the Hispanics support the death penaltieswhile thirty-five percent of the Blacks favor the punishment. A largenumber of the whites approximately sixty-nine percent are for thedeath sentence (Schieber et al. 48).


Tosum up, the death penalty might look like a very severe punishmentbut it might fail in preventing the future crimes in the society.First, the execution of criminals by being injected with lethaldrugs, electrocuted, or shot is an act that does not hold the dignityof human lives and life is sacred. It is a lack of respect for lifethat was given by God. Besides, the penalty is supposed to scarepeople, but some criminals still have the notion that everybody willeventually die whether by execution or not. As a result, criminalsstill continue with their grave acts since death is a must. Also,there is an argument that execution saves the states a lot of moneythat could have otherwise been spent on feeding the individuals ifthey happened to be put behind bars, is wrong. The amount of moneythat is used in the whole process of execution is more than theresources that could have been used to feed the criminals when theyget jailed. Moreover, the death punishments can lead to a killing ofpeople who are innocent since only those with first-degree murdershould be executed. Therefore, the penalty is not effectual.


Itis recommended that death penalty should be substituted with thefollowing punishments first, life imprisonment without parole can bemore efficient than the death penalty. The prisoners can help thestate in producing certain commodities after getting some training. The goods can then be sold to earn revenues. Also, improving the rateat which the crimes get detected can play a big role in ensuring thatthe crime rate has reduced. Furthermore, the significant amount ofmoney that is used in carrying out death penalties should be usedelsewhere like in crime prevention.


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Sarat,Austin. GruesomeSpectacles: Botched Executions and America`s Death Penalty., 2014. Print.

Schieber,Vicki, Trudy D. Conway, and David M. McCarthy. WhereJustice and Mercy Meet: Catholic Opposition to the Death Penalty., 2013. Print.

Van,den H. E, and John P. Conrad. TheDeath Penalty: A Debate.New York: Plenum Press, 2013. Print.