Death Penalty Persuasive Essay

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General Purpose:

To persuade

Specific Purpose:

To shed a positive light on the death penalty sentence in place for murderers.

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I. Introduction

Attention Getter: Let us close our eyes and imagine going home to your loved ones only to get there and notice that they have been robbed and killed. How would you feel?

Common Ground + Credibility: According to Merriam Webster’s online dictionary, the death penalty also known as capital punishment is death as a punishment given by a court of law for a very serious crime(s). Statista shows that 17,284 loved ones were taken from their families through murder and non-negligent manslaughter in the U.S. in 2017. The death penalty is constitutional and does not violate the 8th amendment, what it does is create the useful perception of human life as something so precious that taking it has no justification.

Thesis Statement: When a person murders another person, death is the right kind of retribution.

Preview Statement: Let me enlighten you on the benefits of the death penalty, the closure it allows victims' families, and its cost vs life in prison.

Transition: You may think that the death penalty has little or no benefit, but this next point will change your mind.

II. Body

Main Point 1: Benefits of the death penalty

  1. Capital punishment creates an irreversible procedure that leaves zero room for the murderer to take another life.
  2. It is a form of incapacitation that helps to protect society by preventing escape and means for the future crime of that nature.
    1. Paul H. Rubin, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Emory University, wrote in his Feb. 1, 2006 testimony 'Statistical Evidence on Capital Punishment and the Deterrence of Homicide”. The modern refereed studies have consistently shown that capital punishment has a strong deterrent effect, with each execution deterring between 3 and 18 murders.
    2. A study by Duke University’s Kenneth Land found that there was a decrease of 2.5 homicides for each person executed.
  3. It contributes to the problem of overpopulation in the prison system which creates better management of resources.

Transition: The death penalty will not erase the pain that one suffers from a loss, but it does leave room for closure.

Main Point 2: Closure for victims’ families

  1. After a murder, the family unit undergoes permanent changes that are difficult for the members to accept. Knowing that a family’s murderer is still out there and stands a chance of reliving the experience.
  2. Canadian Parents of Murdered Children and Survivors of Homicide Victims said that the stress following a homicide may persist for years and often takes an emotional and physical toll on the survivors resulting in serious illnesses. Many survivors attribute heart disease, cancer, and other acute physical illnesses to the stress of dealing with the murder of a loved one.
  3. Lula Moshoures Redmond in “Surviving When Someone You Love Was Murdered” explains that PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) may be evident in survivors of homicide victims if the following circumstances persist for more than one month:
    1. Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event.
    2. Recurrent distressing dreams of the event.
    3. Sudden acting or feeling as if the traumatic event was reoccurring.
  4. However, when the death penalty is the punishment faced for murderers' conduct, then it shields the family of the victim from another form of victimization.
  5. Also, allowing the family peace of mind and maybe even a better environment to mourn their loss.

Transition: There is no amount of money that can bring a loved one back to life.

Main Point 3: Cost of death penalty vs Life in prison

  1. The existence of the death penalty as a possible sentence leads to guilty pleas that save the money spent on trials and limit the opportunity for appeals.
  2. Solomon Moore in the New York Times mentions that a California prison contains over 156,000 people, which is over double the system’s capacity. The main reason for this overcrowding is the criminals who are sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
  3. Would you rather your taxes go towards the daily living of murderers who committed serious crimes and left families in irreversible pain or would you rather rightful retribution be served?

III. Conclusion

Review of Main Points: I have shared with you the benefits of the death penalty; the closure it allows victims’ families and its cost vs life in prison.

Restatement of Thesis: When a person murders another person, death is the right kind of retribution.

Call for Action: Stand for what’s right. It is time to show our sympathy to victims and their families.

The clincher: Death Penalty helps suggest that there is a boundary that should not be overstepped. As you consider supporting the death penalty remember what Norman Cousins said; Death is not the greatest loss of life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.

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Death Penalty Persuasive Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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