Quinte n Robles Melinda Campbell Ph. D. Philosophy August 14, 2003 Argumentative Essay: Death Penalty The death penalty is a very emotional and controversial subject in today's society. Almost anywhere you go in the world, you will find many opponents and proponents on this subject. Many families of victims feel an emotional response to the loss of a loved one or friend that has been killed or murdered. Many feel that an "Eye for an Eye" is the correct response to a savage crime or murder.
Many religion's and other organizations feel that forgiveness and rehabilitation is the better path to take. However someone may feel, the decision to end another person's life is a very tough decision to make. The death penalty can be viewed as a deterrent to crime, and seems necessary in today's society. Many states and officials feel that the death penalty is a much-needed deterrent to crime. Some citizens in states where the death penalty is not an option, or has not been reinstated, feel that criminals can freely commit violent crimes, knowing that death will not be an option for them if they are caught. (USA Today) In New York, in 1995, the death penalty was reinstated, and within one year of that ruling, crime dramatically dropped.
(USA Today) Since George Pataki took office as Governor of New York in 1995, violent crime has dropped 23%, assaults are down 22%, and murders have dropped by one-third with his implementation of major crime reforms. (USA Today) Many citizens feel that stiffer sentences are the only way to deter crime. Some people also agree that there is an emotional release or closure to a capital murder case, once an execution has taken place. (Time, pp.
46+) There are many others that feel that there are several innocent people that are put death every year. One fact is, that the death penalty is flawed in the judicial system. The death penalty is a legal ruling in thirty-eight states in the United States. (Time, pp. 46+) Many Governors, Prosecutors, and the general public feel that states have executed innocent people at one time or another. (Time, pp.
46+) The former Governor of Illinois argues that "there are problems like racially motivated prosecutions, coerced confessions, and unreliable witnesses have made the system capricious." (Time, pp. 46+) It is a difficult decision for a prosecutor to make, to pursue the death penalty for a defendant. Several trains of thought feel that only crimes such as serial murderers, or clear cut evidence where a gruesome crime has been committed, is when the death penalty should be exercised. (Time, pp 46+) Abolitionists of the death penalty contend that "a death sentence does not bring back the lives of the killed; neither does it reduce the agony of his loved ones." (Africa News Service) Proponents make the argument that it is much more expensive to keep a prisoner incarcerated for life, while opponents countered the argument by saying, "it costs $2. 3 million on an average to prosecute and execute each capital case as compared to $400, 000 for life imprisonment." (Africa News Service) The death penalty can be argued evenly for both sides.
It seems that in such a populated society, this law or ruling is necessary. There have been several cases where despicable crimes have been committed, and the murderer has only received life in prison, and has received early parole only to kill several more times. Consequently, there have been several cases where many innocent men have been sent to death row, only to have found innocent upon procedural mistakes or newly introduced DNA evidence. No matter what your stance is on capital punishment cases, you are bound to find someone with the exact opposite view, and have several valid reasons why.
Works Cited Author not available (2003). An Eye For An Eye. Africa news Service via Comtex. eLibrary. Cloud, John (2003). Guarding Death's Door The death penalty is under attack.
Time. pp. 46+. eLibrary. Pataki, George E. (1997).
Death Penalty Is A Deterrent. Vol. 125, USA Today Magazine. eLibrary.