Capital Punishment: My Views

Essay by blake_crosbyCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2005

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Capital Punishment has been the topic for many heated debates throughout the last century. There are hundreds of different opinions and who has the knowledge to determine which are right or which are wrong? The reason for capital punishment is of course to punish the criminal but to also make an example of him to encourage the general population not to commit his mistakes.

The idea of capital punishment goes back to biblical times. In the words of the Old Testament: "When one man strikes another and kills him, he shall be put to death. It shall be done to him as he had bestowed on to others; fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth." Yes this philosophy may have worked in ancient times but is it still relevant for use in today's society? In many sociological studies it has been said that a man is a product of his environment.

A man could be involved in a murder just because of his environment. A child raised in poverty as an orphan is has different experiences than say a child raised in a wealthy home with two loving parents. With this fact, I believe crime is almost totally dependent on a person's upbringing and experiences. For example, a child raised in a lower class family with a convicted felon for a father has a much greater probability of becoming a criminal himself. With this theory should a criminal be so harshly punished, after all the crime was kind of destined to be committed due to the man's life experiences?

I believe that threatened punishment doesn't always achieve the results hoped for. Individual behavior is too complex and unpredictable to produce a generalized punishment formula for everyone. Until there is more knowledge about judging people accurately capital punishment should...