Persuasive Argumentative Essay on Death Penalty

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The death penalty is a topic that nowadays has become one of the most controversial topics in this society, especially between the two major political parties in the united states and how each of them gives their own view. The topic is really important because there are many people who believe we should bring the death penalty back to save governments money they spend on prisoners and many other reasons, and each of them has their reasons and beliefs on why we should, but also there are the people who are against the death penalty who also have their own valid reasons, for example, it is not correct to kill somebody and a big variety of different thoughts. This paper is going to be reflected on some of the stories behind the death penalty for example the origin or when was imposed. It will give the point of view of both sides providing argument and examples of people who is in favor, and people who are against capital punishment, the arguments and point of view will be compared, and the reason will be given to one of the sides.

Before explaining and giving examples of the views of the people, first, it is necessary to know the story of the death penalty. The first death penalty laws according to the death penalty information center were established in the 18th century by the code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, which codified the death penalty for 25 different crimes. The usual methods of Death sentences were carried out by such means as crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, burning alive, and impalement. But when was the death penalty first established in the united states, well according to the death penalty information center it was because Britain had an enormous influence on America's decision of implementing the death penalty to their punishments; the first recorded execution in the new colonies was that of Captain George Kendall in the Jamestown colony of Virginia in 1608.

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On the site of the Legal Information Institute, we can find some of the stories of the death penalty in the United States, as we know the death penalty in America was first used in 1608, but what happened since then, since that day there has being a lot of changes, they have banned and reinstate and make changes on how to execute. “In Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), the Court invalidated existing death penalty laws because they constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.” (legal information institute) They thought it was violating the eighth amendment that states the following: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. ¨ (U.S. Constitution) so the Congress decided to ban this because they knew that they were putting cruel and unusual punishments like the death penalty to criminals then “The Court reasoned that the laws resulted in a disproportionate application of the death penalty, specifically discriminating against the poor and minorities.”(legal information institute) Here we can see how the people in this society believed more in life, how they thought that it was not fair to kill people for their crimes because they believe it was unfair and discriminatory for the poor and minorities who were the more common group that committed crimes sentenced to the death penalty so that is why the court decided to ban the death penalty.

Years later the court decided to reinstate the death penalty again in 1977 they had another debate ¨In Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976), the Court refused to expand Furman. The Court held the death penalty was not per se unconstitutional as it could serve the social purposes of retribution and deterrence.” In this situation when they decide to reinstate the death penalty, they also decided to make a proportional requirement in order to sentence someone to the death penalty. “In Coker v. Georgia, 433 U.S. 584 (1977), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a penalty must be proportional to the crime; otherwise, the punishment violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments.” In this case, people actually thought of a great solution to not violate the eighth amendment and to apply capital punishment and I think it is great to give punishment according to what they did wrong, some cases of the death penalty is mostly for serial killers, if they condemn someone mentally retarded they argue that is violating the cruel and unusual punishment of the eighth amendment. Throughout all these cases and fights they still haven’t come to a total agreement on how to use the death penalty or if it is totally worth using it, but as for today according to the national conference and state legislatures capital punishment is currently authorized in 29 states, by the federal government and the U.S. military. Each of the states has its own methods of execution but lethal injection is the most popular way to kill the sentenced in the 29 states that have implemented the death penalty, this is the fastest and less painful way of killing the criminal. Some of the states have secondary methods if the person doesn’t want to be killed by the injection, some of these are electrocution, lethal gas, hanging, nitrogen hypoxia, and firing squad. There are states such as New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Hampshire, all of these states have legally abolished the death penalty because they do not think it is necessary to kill the person who committed the crime.

The main division of this situation in the united states I do not think it is actually a political problem, where we can see how the democrats have their own opinion and how the republicans fight to have the reasons. Now I will give some details and examples of the people who think that the death penalty is something necessary in today’s society. One of the most common and probably the main argument in favor of capital punishment is that 'The Death Penalty is an Effective Deterrent' (Head). Society has always used the method of discouragement or punishment if people do something wrong, for example when you are a kid and you do something wrong the parents will punish you to discourage you. Well, people try to fight crime this way with the death penalty by discouraging criminals and making them think that if they do something wrong, they can be sentenced to death. According to the death penalty curriculum website

“the death penalty certainly 'deters' the murderer who is executed. Strictly speaking, this is a form of incapacitation, similar to the way a robber put in prison is prevented from robbing on the streets. Vicious murderers must be killed to prevent them from murdering again, either in prison or in society if they should get out. Both as a deterrent and as a form of permanent incapacitation, the death penalty helps to prevent future crime.”

Another common argument that the people in favor of the death penalty is based on the country’s economy their argument says that 'The Death Penalty is Cheaper Than Feeding a Murderer for Life'(Head). I get that the economy of the country is important and I do agree that is better to kill a murderer, but you can’t just this person live to improve the economy if their whole argument is killing to save money, I think it is wrong. Many people might say that these are their taxes and that is why they decide who to give food to, but you can’t decide on somebody else life. And one of the most controversial topics they use is the bible and this argument is the following: 'The Bible Says, 'An Eye for an Eye” (Head). This argument is meant to convince more religious and conservative people. This argument consists of Mathew 5:38-48 where it says:

'You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and does not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 'You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Head).

People can interpret this section of the bible in many different ways, but for me, and in my perspective there is nothing clear supporting the death penalty, for me, this verse is more of Jesus saying what society teaches us, an eye for an eye, and then he gives his perspective that when somebody harms you, you should forgive and keep living your life, he says at the end that he is the one who is going to decide who is righteous and unrighteous.

Before making up the mind it should be correct to give some insight and name some of the arguments that the people against capital punishment have to say. One of the most valid arguments that they have according to BBC is that retribution is wrong, and I completely agree with this statement, in March 20 of 2019 the Gov. Gavin Newsom of California made a really powerful statement he said “I know people think an eye for an eye, but if you rape, we don’t rape,” he said. “And I think if someone kills, we don’t kill. We’re better than that.” (Engle Jeremy, article video from 10-16s). That phrase is really powerful because we shouldn’t teach people that killing is wrong by killing people it is a contradiction, I believe that you can’t fight hate with hate because this will bring more hate and pain, and it will start an endless cycle, the only way to stop the cycle is by forgiving. Another argument they use is the value of human life. They think that all lives have value, some of the people against capital punishment believe that even the worst criminals deserve to live because their life is valuable, and I do agree I think that even the worst person’s life is valuable to somebody, especially in their family, I think that every person has a value and that nobody actually deserves to die. Another argument they have, and I think it is one of the most important to think about is the execution of the innocent, what do they mean by that? As we know the criminal justice system is not perfect because it is made of humans, and there have been cases where they put in jail someone who was innocent, imagine if in of these system errors, one person is sentenced to death and after they get killed they realize the person was always innocent. Now what? An innocent life was lost because of the death penalty and an error in the system, how is the family going to react?

I believe this problem is more about the morals of the people and what they believe in instead of being more of a Republican v Democrat problem. People are giving themselves the power to kill somebody with the death penalty, and after making this whole research and learning about both sides of the argument I will give the reason to the people who are against the death penalty I think that their arguments are more clear and their view of the problem is more morally correct. I believe that the death penalty should be abolished because we can’t kill people for something wrong, they did, I believe that the people who commit a crime don’t deserve to be free or deserve freedom but they definitely don’t deserve to die.

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Persuasive Argumentative Essay on Death Penalty. (2023, November 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from
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