Capital Punishment: Will capital punishment protect the society and deter crime?

Essay by maheen February 2006

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"Capital punishment feeds the cycle of violence in society by pandering to a lust for revenge. It brutalizes us, and deadens our sensitivities to the precious nature of every single human life."

- Most Rev. David B. Thompson, Bishop of Charleston, S.C., December 3, 1998

After centuries of universal implementation, capital punishment remains an intensely debated issue. Whilst one execution takes place somewhere a murder is being committed, and the question still stays the same: will capital punishment protect the society and deter crime or will it not? Capital punishment cannot be considered as a correct economical and ethical means of punishment or can it? Supporter's claim that it eliminates repeat offenders, deters potential murderers and it is the ultimate retribution. Opponents denounce it as murder, saying that it does not deter but rather promotes violence and claims that it introduces the chance of an innocent person being executed.

The discussion of this essay will be, 'will capital punishment protect the society and deter crime?'

Capital punishment has been and still is a method of punishing criminals and is widely used all over the world. It is hard to pin point the exact date of its origin but it was practiced intensely during medieval times. (Anon, (2005), Medieval Law and Order [online], Crimes have been committed probably since beginning of time, and there has always been needs to minimise if not eradicate it completely. Laws were created for this purpose, but like everything manmade they have proved imperfect and in some cases unacceptable. (Anon, (2001), Imperfect Laws [online], NCPA-Environment

In Britain, as James B Christoph, points out, the major cause for this trend of capital punishment was the "social and economic chaos brought about by the Industrial Revolution." Christoph continues to explain how wide spread of "poverty,