Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Information contained within this essay does not constitute legal advice or guidance and is intended for educational purposes only.

Should Capital Punishment Be Used?

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Law
Wordcount: 959 words Published: 28th Jul 2021

Reference this

Capital punishment is the lawful act of taking the life of a person who has been convicted of a crime. There has much debate over the years concerning capital punishment and its effectiveness as a crime deterrence, retribution, and the methods in which the executions are carried out. All the mentioned factors lead to the question of should the United States use capital punishment?

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

According to Cheatwood “the deterrence argument for capital punishmentclaims that the existence of thedeath penalty and the use of that penalty will deter violent crime within the political jurisdiction in which the law exist and is applied. If that is true, then in two fundamentally similar jurisdictions that differ only in the existence and use of capital punishment the level of violent crime in the jurisdiction that employs the death penalty should be lower than the level in the jurisdiction that does not” (Cheatwood,1993,para.17).

Cheatwood(1993) found that in consideration of the research conducted in 1976 it showed that neither the existence of capital punishment at state level, nor the enactment of provision as demonstrated by the number of executions in the state would have an effect on deterring crime at the county level.

Some think that capital punishment is brutal, others believe that it is retribution for horrific crimes committed (Zimring, 2000). Many would agree with me that in the case of Angel Diaz a man who was convicted and sentenced to death was subjected to brutal and inhumane conditions, something went terribly wrong. The drugs administered left his arms badly burned; the medical examiner said that none of the medication administered went to the right place. Witnesses stated the deceased seemed to suffer during the process, according to testimony it took 34 minutes, which is 20 minutes longer than usually required for an execution. According to testimony 14 vials of material was used before Diaz was successfully executed (National Public Radio,2007). Jed Bush who was the Governor of Florida during this botched execution “called the moratorium in that state on all prosecutions until they could get to the bottom of what was going wrong with the legal injection protocol”(National Public Radio, 2007).

During an interview on National Public Radio Dahlia Lithwick stated that” 22 of the 40 states that allow the death penalty either have moratoria or they’re considering imposing moratoria. Two other states formally banned lethal injection, and one has found the death penalty unconstitutional” (National Public Radio,2007). Some states admit that they believe in capital punishment but do not agree with the disastrous way it is administered (National Public Radio,2007).

Some states think that if the accused has committed murder then he or she must die as retribution. They believe that life imprisonment does not serve as retribution for the loss of innocent life. Defenders of capital punishment also argue that it is a crime deterrent.

I do not agree with capital punishment, but many agree that it is just retribution. How can we stand behind a law that commits the same act that it convicts? I do agree that society has an obligation to protect its citizens. Murderers and others who commit crimes that are detrimental to the safety and welfare of society should be reprimanded but lawfully killing another is committing murder. Some feel that the only way to guarantee that a convicted murderer will not kill again is by imposing the death penalty. This is true; the accused will not kill again because he or she is deceased. Most research has produced no findings that capital punishment is a crime deterrent.” There is no evidence to support the claim that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent of violent crime than, say, life imprisonment. In fact, statistical studies that have compared the murder rates of jurisdictions with and without the death penalty have shown that the rate of murder is not related to whether the death penalty is in force: There are as many murders committed in jurisdictions with the death penalty as in those without. Unless it can be demonstrated that the death penalty, and the death penalty alone, does in fact deter crimes of murder, we are obligated to refrain from imposing it when other alternatives exist” (Andre & Velasquez,1988,).

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

This is a debate that will go on for years to come. Capital punishment should be abolished because of botched executions and claims of racism. It also fair to say that those who can’t afford to appeal their cases because of lack of funds are more likely sentenced to death than those who can afford a good legal defense. In some cases innocent people are sentenced to death. All life is of value whether or not it is taken illegal or legal it is unjust.


  • Cheatwood, D.(1993).Capital punishment and the deterrence of violent crime in comparable counties.Criminal Justice Review(Georgia State University), 18(2), 165-181. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=sih&AN=14243834&site=ehost-live
  • Zimring, E. F. (2000) Capital Punishment, Online Encyclopedia

    Retrieved from


  • National Public Radio, Day to Day. (2007, February13). Florida mulls lethal-injection problems. Message posted to http://http:/www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=7382349
  • Andre, C., & Velasquez, M.(1988).Capital punishment our duty or doom.Isssues in Ethics, 1(3), . Retrievedfromhttp://www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/iie/v1n3/capital.html


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: