The Death Penalty

Essay by sgtcross74College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

download word file, 5 pages 4.5 3 reviews

The death penalty, as administered by states based on their individual laws, is considered capital punishment, the purpose of which is to penalize criminals convicted of murder or other heinous crimes. The death penalty issue has been the focus of much controversy in recent years, even though capital punishment has been a part of our country's history since the beginning. Crimes in colonial times, such as murder and theft of livestock were dealt with swiftly and decisively. Criminals were hanged shortly after their trial, in public executions. This practice was then considered just punishment for those crimes. Recently though, the focus of the death penalty debate has been on moral and legal issues. The murderers of today's society can be assured of a much longer life even after conviction, with the constraints of the appeals process slowing the implementation of their death sentence. In most cases, the appeal process lasts several years, during which time criminals enjoy comfortable lives while incarcerated.

They have access to televisions, gym facilities, and even leisure time in which to attend free, college-level classes that many American citizens struggle to afford. Foremost, these murderers have the luxury of time, something their victims ran out of the moment their paths crossed. It is time this country realized the only true justice for these criminals is in the form of the death penalty. The death penalty should be administered for particularly heinous crimes, crimes in which the perpetrator conceived and administered the death of another individual.

Opponents of capital punishment are outspoken and vehement in their arguments. They believe the death penalty does not deter crime. They also hold the opinion that ending the life of a murderer is cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited in their literal interpretation of the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution.