Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1133 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

¶ … Against the Death Penalty

The most controversial issues are those which are spearheaded on both sides of the debate by those who believe that getting their way is the only way to achieve justice and the moral right. Capital punishment is one of these hot issues that rages on in the name of the greater good. Abolitionists believe that the death penalty should not be used argue that human life should be valued, and that using violence against criminals will only beget more violence in society. However, those who support the death penalty will also argue that it is the path necessary to create a peaceful and safe society.

There are many strong points made by those on both sides of the debate, and each argument must be considered carefully to determine the validity and weight of the claims.

The arguments against the death penalty include that it creates a society in which life is given little value. Those who believe this is the case say that it is the mindset that life is not valuable is what causes violence, murder, and other crimes in the world. Therefore, if this is the case, using the death penalty at all will increase the amount of crimes committed, rather than reducing this number.

One abolitionist, Steven Hawkins who was the director of the National Coalition Against the Death Penalty, said that "capital punishment devalues human life." (Liebson)Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Another argument against the death penalty is that it does not actually deter people from committing crimes of any sort. Many people will say that people who believe they will get caught do not commit crimes anyway, so having this strict punishment will not deter someone who is caught in the moment of raging emotions or who is convinced that the crime will not be discovered. If it does not actually deter others from killing, then capital punishment would be pointless, and taking lives without a good reason. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty claims that fatal crimes relate directly to the death penalty being legal. The former U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno, has stated that she has "inquired for most of my adult life about studies that might show that the death penalty is a deterrent. And I have not seen any research that would substantiate that point." (NCADP)

Others against the death penalty will object that the death penalty is too expensive, and that it would be more logical financially to punish criminals in another way. According to reports, it costs up to seven million dollars to try, imprison, and execute a criminal in cases where the death penalty is used. On the other hand, imprisoning someone for 50 years (which is essentially a life sentence) only costs about $500,000. This can have serious consequences for the legal system as a whole, such as the case in New Jersey where after spending 16 million dollars on capital punishment, 500 police officers had to be laid off because there was no room in the payroll for them, which means that there was less effort going towards preventing the crimes from happening in the first place. (NCADP) the most compelling argument for abolishing the death penalty may actually be that many people are convicted of crimes that they did not actually commit, and it is not fair to kill people when there is no way to be… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty.  (2005, February 14).  Retrieved April 2, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty."  14 February 2005.  Web.  2 April 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Arguments for and Against the Death Penalty."  February 14, 2005.  Accessed April 2, 2020.