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Death Penalty (Capital Punishment): A Yes or a No? | Essay

Do we need the death penalty? The world that we live in is filled with grave, gruesome crimes. As many superpowers of the world would like to believe, some of these crimes can only be addressed with punishments as grave as the crime, the death penalty. For example, a developing country in Asia – Pakistan, talked about reviving capital punishment for those on rape charges. On the other hand, many countries believe that the death penalty is a humanitarian concern, which needs to be abolished. And by many, about two-thirds of the world has abolished it, whereas many prominent nations such as the United States of America still use it.

If you have ever written an essay at school or university, you should have noticed that the death penalty is one of the most questioned topics. The death penalty, commonly referred to as capital punishment, is an emotional and challenging topic. When it comes to the death penalty vs. no death penalty, there are a lot of points to keep in mind and the above-mentioned reasons do not cover most of it. The stance of whether to support or oppose the death penalty divides people on various grounds, something ethical, something moral and sometimes emotional, and finally, sometimes financial. While many countries once allowed capital punishment, they have recently abolished it due to ethical concerns.

In this essay, we will look into the reasons why one could support the death penalty and why one could oppose it. In short, we will look at both sides of the coin concerning capital punishment. 

Why We Need Death Penalty?

The first and foremost reason is that it sets an example. When you punish one sibling in front of others, it makes other siblings scared of making the same mischievous attempts, right? The same can be applied to the death penalty. Human beings are afraid to lose their lives. In such cases, the fear of the death penalty stops people from committing such crimes.

The death penalty is also regarded as a human, painless and quick punishment. Over the course of time, the methods used for the death penalty have become humane, which discards room for the argument that this sort of punishment is unusual and cruel.

capital punishment essay
Photo by Wendy Alvarez on Unsplash

Charging someone with the death penalty is far more complex than any degree of charge. For instance, in the US, the legal system gives numerous opportunities to death row prisoners that could change the court’s decision. The cases take a lot of time, so it does not come to this sort of punishment. 

It is also said that capital punishment appeases the victims’ families and the victim him or herself. It provides the victim with the closure they need with respect to dealing with their pain and suffering.

As mentioned earlier, the decision of giving someone the death penalty with respect to their crimes is also a cost-effective way. To imprison someone for the crimes they have committed is far more costly as compared to executing them. Abolitionists pushed the idea of the death penalty the most with its cost-effectiveness.

Now that we have covered some of the pros let’s look into the cons of capital punishment.

Why Should Death Penalty be Abolished?

As we mentioned earlier, the death penalty is a humanitarian concern. This question could be an excellent option for writing a compare and contrast essay. Such an unusual and cruel punishment is said not to respect the basics of human dignity. Additionally, the death penalty does not stop violence and the cycle. The standard argument here is that “two wrongs do not make one right”. Using it as ‘retribution’ is just another word for taking revenge. If you kill people for, let’s say, killing someone, it does not serve as punishment but revenge.

The death penalty is said to affect the marginalized parts of society. It is because to get off a charge that leads to the death penalty as a consequence, you need solid legal support, which poor segments of any society cannot afford. While the African-American population is just 13%, around 50% of criminals serving death row punishment are African-Americans. The death penalty is also regarded as an ignorant, old-fashioned solution to crime. Repressive countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran practice the death penalty. It is, therefore, many Americans who oppose that the death penalty must be abolished because the United States is not repressive like those where the death penalty is normalized.

Of course, trial and error can always be in the equitation when it comes to the justice system. It is not surprising to say that the justice system can make wrong decisions or mistakes. If a wrong decision is made and the person is wrongfully executed, nothing can be done to fix the mistake. In the case of any other punishment, a case can always reopen, and compensations can be made.

Let’s look into another important now: the religious aspect. To religion, there are different schools of thought where the death penalty is prohibited. The common notion is that life is given by God and is sacred. Life can only be taken when God allows it and not any other way. Finally, the judgment for every person comes in their afterlife. Despite that, various secular countries in Europe have abolished the death penalty.

People also debate that life imprisonment is far worse than execution. As such, people believe, execution is a one-time thing and is mostly not painful because the newer methods ensure that they are not causing pain to the person on death row. With a life sentence, the prisoner endures the pain and their punishment for a lifetime, reflecting on their crimes.

Various countries practice the death penalty to silence those who are exposing the state. This is highlighted as gross misjudgment and misuse of power. Arabic countries, to silence the journalists who want to highlight the misuse of power in the state, are often punished on the death penalty.

Do we Need to Apply Capital Punishment?

Therefore, when it comes to the death penalty, whether you should be in favor of it or oppose it, many factors need to be kept in mind. Regardless of which side you go to, those will always oppose the decision. 

Share your ideas about this challenging question in the comments section; I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

Laura Orta

Laura Orta is an avid author on Writing Metier's blog. Before embarking on her writing career, she practiced media law in one of the local media. Aside from writing, she works as a private tutor to help students with their academic needs. Laura and her husband share their home near the ocean in northern Portugal with two extraordinary boys and a lifetime collection of books.

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