Capital Punishment, Injustice of Society. Argument supporting it

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Ph.D.A, January 1996

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Looking out for the state of the public's satisfaction in the scheme of capital sentencing does not constitute serving justice. Today's system of capital punishment is fraught with inequalities and injustices. The commonly offered arguments for the death penalty are filled with holes. 'It was a deterrent. It removed killers. It was the ultimate punishment. It is biblical. It satisfied the public's need for retribution. It relieved the anguish of the victim's family.'(Grisham 120) Realistically, imposing the death penalty is expensive and time consuming. Retroactively, it has yet to be proven as a deterrent. Morally, it is a continuation of the cycle of violence and '...degrades all who are involved in its enforcement, as well as its victim.'(Stewart 1)

Perhaps the most frequent argument for capital punishment is that of deterrence. The prevailing thought is that imposition of the death penalty will act to dissuade other criminals from committing violent acts.

Numerous studies have been created attempting to prove this belief; however, '[a]ll the evidence taken together makes it hard to be confident that capital punishment deters more than long prison terms do.'(Cavanagh 4) Going ever farther, Bryan Stevenson, the executive director of the Montgomery based

Equal Justice Initiative, has stated that, '...people are increasingly realizing that the more we resort to killing as a legitimate response to our frustration and anger with violence, the more violent our society becomes...We could execute all three thousand people on death row, and most people would not feel any safer tomorrow.'(Frame 51) In addition, with the growing humanitarianism of modern society, the number of inmates actually put to death is substantially lower than 50 years ago. This decline creates a situation in which the death penalty ceases to be a deterrent when the populace begins to think that one can get away...