Capital Punishment – Is It The Right Sentence?

Essay by AUx4College, UndergraduateA+, January 2010

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There have been so many debates surrounding the death penalty or capital punishment and whether or not it is an appropriate method of reprimand for certain criminal acts. The death penalty has often been called barbaric or ancient because of its historical origin. Some traditionalists may hold on to this fact as the very reason to uphold the practice of capital punishment. It is also a belief that capital punishment as a form of extreme consequence is actually a great deterrent to crime. One additional argument is that the death penalty saves taxpayer money by reducing the costs associated with a lifelong sentence of rehabilitation. For these reasons, should the death penalty continue to be upheld in 35 of 50 states, or should capital punishment be nationally eliminated? Capital Punishment should be eliminated as form of punishment or reprimand. It is simply not the right sentence to impose as it is not just, humane, or cost effective.

The United States reinstated the death penalty in1976 in the Gregg vs. Georgia case after Furman vs. Georgia case of 1972 had it revoked. At the time the death penalty was revoked, it was on the grounds that it was unconstitutional in nature as it went against the eighth amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishments (law). Many view the original rulings to be fair and consider capital punishment a barbaric practice, looking toward the Bible for justification. They cite the biblical passage that exhorts an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. However, if a crime deserves equal punishment, then why do we not rape the rapist or burn the arsonist? A civilized society must be based on values and principles that are higher than those it condemns. To punish killing with death is inherently contradictory. Biblically we are called...