Is the Death Penalty Really Effective: Argumentative Essay

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People do horrible things, that’s just a sad fact of life that will likely never change. Eliminating crimes of high caliber and establishing a world of peace is something many want but know is impossible to achieve. Thus, why they turn to methods to try and deter crime, things like jail, fines, and even capital punishment. The latter has been debated for many years as to the humanity behind it and if it is really necessary. I want to write about why I believe the death penalty is not only not necessary, but also not as effective as people are led to believe. I believe this topic is a justifiable one to write about because this matter isn’t a matter of issues that would inconvenience people, or ruin their days. This issue is a matter of taking a human life, an act that cannot be undone, and forcing everyone they left behind to live with the pain of knowing that person whom they loved is gone, never to return.

The death penalty was originally made to deter people from crimes as well as punish those who committed them. In ancient history, we also see glimpses of the death penalty as far back as before the time of Christ. Obviously, this form of punishment has evolved over the years to become more ‘humane’ and commonly acceptable in the eye of the public. Many people, however, still take issue with the death penalty, not necessarily questioning its reasoning, but rather its effectiveness. A recent study done by notable professors of the University of Colorado shows that approximately 88% of criminologists do not believe that the death penalty is an effective form of punishment as it seems to not deter crime in the mass quantities that people expect. I would like to expand on the ideas that are presented above as well as answer a few questions that I have posed for myself, such as: Why was the death penalty started? Does the original purpose of the death penalty align today with our purpose for it? I know a decent amount of approximated statistics regarding this topic, however, I would like to dive more in-depth into my research and discover many more statistics that have more accuracy than the ones I already know, as well as, gathering several sources from the UTA database containing the points of view that are linked in our canvas class.

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In what I have researched so far and the opinions I have developed in my nineteen years of life, I would side with the group that opposes the death penalty. I do not believe it is as effective as we are led to believe. I also do not believe an eye for an eye has ever solved anything further than surface-level satisfaction. In this paragraph, I would like to establish my position and provide ample sources to help validate my point. Research that I could see supporting my point is that of studies that have been done regarding the number of crimes in states with and without the death penalty, as well as innocent lives lost on death row along with botched execution attempts. This, I feel, would target the audience in an emotional way, understanding how some people have lost their innocent lives due to a system that has corrupt policies in place designed not for effectiveness but rather for public approval.

As the above paragraphs will support and bring to a point, the death penalty is not as effective as it’s made out to be. In this paragraph, I am going to propose a few different alternatives to the death penalty that are either more effective, cost less, are more humane, or are a combination of one or more of those things. One of the options I plan to outline in this paragraph is the life sentence option. The life sentence is still used today, however, this idea I would be proposing would favor that the criminal be subject to life in prison without parole until they pass away inside the prison walls. Not very well known, but a life sentence in today’s society is actually closer to 25 years or so depending on your state, this is why we see judges hand out 3 or 4 life sentences to a single person. The proposal I would be making would ensure that the criminal would be adequately punished for his or her actions and would be forced to remain behind walls for the rest of their existence, but we would spare their life and the emotional well-being of those who care about this person. Family and friends would still be able to come to visit the incarcerated person and could still, in a sense, have them in their lives, however, if they were put to death, that would never be an option.

To conclude my paper, I will recap the points I made in all the above paragraphs, talking about why the death penalty was initially made, what its purpose is in today's climate, as well as any possible alternatives to this cruel form of capital punishment. I also would like to end my paper with a call to action of sorts, challenging the reader to take an active stance for the abolition of the death penalty, I plan to leave this paragraph with some encouraging words and, hopefully, some inspirational ones to allow the reader to have their emotions touched and their heart moved toward a heart of peace. Sometimes an eye for an eye leaves both parties blind, putting someone to death because of a horrendous crime they have committed doesn’t make it right, and likely won’t make you feel any better, I imagine it would be better to know that they are behind the walls of a prison, and will never walk free ever again.

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Is the Death Penalty Really Effective: Argumentative Essay. (2023, November 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2024, from
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