Against Capital Punishment : A Researched Argument

Essay by DancingBanana82High School, 11th grade May 2007

download word file, 7 pages 3.0

In the United States there has been many hangings during the Salem Witch trials, and years there after. As years went by, capital punishment has become more "humane" and less horrid compared to the past. Although less crude, capital punishment is and never will be the right solution to the killing of another man. The morality of this form of castigation has been debated among society for many decades. Out of the many factors that play a role in capital punishment, its effectiveness, justice, deterrence, and cost are just a fewAs far as the Eighteenth Century BC, the death penalty has been used as the primary source of punishment. Death sentences were carried out by means such as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. ("Death Penalty Info") The Justice system eventually realized that this punishment was being enforced for offenses which were far too simple such as marrying a Jew, not confessing to a crime, and treason.

It wasn't until 1767 however, that Caesar Beccaria wrote an influential essay that theorized that there was no justification for the state's taking of a life. This came for the abolition of the death penalty in Austria and Tuscany. American intellectuals were also influenced by Beccaria. Jefferson took notice on the issue and proposed a bill that capital punishment should only be used for crimes such as murder and treason.

Advocates of the death penalty nowadays base their support of allowing capital punishment with passages from the Old Testament in the bible, "an eye for an eye", which really contradicts the teachings in the New Testament, "turn the other cheek". However, they claim that "when someone takes a life, the balance of justice is disturbed". Their solution for restoring the balance and giving closure to the murder is sentencing...