Sample Scholarship Essays

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment When turning on the television, radio, or simply reading the local newspaper, one is overwhelmed with news of arrests, murders, homicides, serial killers, and other serious crimes. It is rare not to go through a day in this world and not hear of these things. Still, some government officials in our country seem a bit uncertain about what steps to take in order to minimize the actions of serious or potential offenders. Not only is it committing a crime, but also today, it is ending ones life, either physically or in a prison cell. This is a risk one is taking when he decides to stab someone with a knife or pull a trigger, but is it really up to our justice system to decide one’s fate? There are many issues that address this question of capital punishment such as religion, the effect on society, restitution being denied, the possible “wrongly accused”, and the rights of the convicted.

But how often do these concepts creep into the publics mind when it hears of our “fair and trusty” government taking away someone’s breathing rights? The bible states, “Thou shall not kill,” and this being a sin should have to be corrected within oneself. On the other hand, it also states, “Don’t judge others personal convictions.” It is a government’s responsibility to punish people that disobey the law to keep the world in order, but is it their right to take their lives away? It is a Christian’s responsibility to point out to those who sin that they do so and this country, trusting in God as it says it does, should do just that. Some people think that restitution is granted when one is sentenced to the death penalty. However, if a loved one is murdered and his family feels justice in having the murderer go through the same, is it not considered equally wrong? Forgiving and forgetting are entirely out of the question, but one should consider the concept of regret and remorse. Just as one feels terrible when wrongfully drives through their neighbors yard, surely a murderer may feel the same.

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One is only human and no one can expect any more. A mistake is a mistake, no matter whom it may harm or what destruction it may cause. There’s always the chance of the innocent being in the wrong place at the wrong time. A handful of evidence from a strong lawyer could sentence someone to life in prison, and even the death penalty. One could be spending and ending his life in captivity for simply walking down the wrong street on the wrong day.

Should he have to serve the time that’s not rightfully his and take the needle that shouldn’t prick his skin? It’s a small fault in the justice system that is not easy to overcome, but that’s someone’s life, and not knowing the truth could be devastating. Abraham Lincoln declared, “All men are created equal.” This statement of truth has obviously been left out of consideration in the court room. Everyone deserves a second chance because they are all capable of reformation. The offender should have the chance to go back into the world and prove himself honorable. If solving corruption with immorality is the world’s remedy for reconciliation, then why not chop off the thief’s hand? “An eye for an eye” was the justice of the past.

It is now a modern world based on logic and transformation. Should a government commit a crime to justify another? If capital punishment was solely based on punishing the wrongdoers, there would be no one left to inject the needle or pull the lever on.

Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment
Capital punishment is defined in the Encarta Encyclopedia as the legal infliction of the death penalty. The death penalty is currently used as punishment for crimes of murder. The State of Florida supports capital punishment and carries it out by electric chair execution. According to The Death Row Fact Sheet published by the Florida Department of Corrections, 44 people have been executed since 1976 and another 372 inmates are currently on death row in Florida. Thesis.

Deterrence defined as. By the Encarta Encyclopedia. Under this
concept, the individual committing the crime and society are prevented from committing this action again. In the case of the death penalty, an individual kills another human and he is punished for it by death. Punishment is supposed to be a temporary penalization for a wrongful action. Death is far from temporary. One is to learn from ones mistakes. How can the person learn if they are paying for their mistake with their life? In George Andersons article, Organizing Against the Death Penalty he states, The death penalty is our harshest punishment. It is irrevocable: it ends the existence of those punished, instead of temporarily imprisoning them. (13). By imposing the death penalty the individual does not learn from their mistakes and neither does society. Moreover, there are no reliable methods to measure the effectiveness of the death penalty as a deterrent of future crimes. People who commit capital murders generally do not engage in probability analysis concerning the likelihood of getting the death penalty in they are caught (Freedman 48). In Louisiana, for example, during the summer of 1978, eight people were executed. During that same period the murder rate in New Orleans rose 16.9%, the highest in years (Cohen 29).

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Most of the costs of the death penalty are incurred before and during the trial, not in the appeals process after convicted. A 1982 New York study estimated the death penalty cost conservatively at three times that of life imprisonment, the ratio that Texas (with a system that is on the brink of collapse due to under-funding) has experienced (Freedman 49). As Anderson points out, the monetary cost of appealing a capital sentence is excessive. (14). Further, actual monetary costs are trumped by the importance of doing justice. (Anderson 14). Additionally there are specific costs associated with keeping an inmate on death row, (i.e. the cost of the specially built prison blocks, the need for maximum security, etc.) and more. These costs clearly out weigh the regular costs incurred to house a regular inmate. With the millions spent executing prisoners, the government could use that money more effectively trying to solve violent crimes, and developing methods to improve public safety.

Society demands that the punishment should fix the harm it has done. By sentencing a person to death no harm has been fixed. You can not bring the murdered person back by taking the prisoners life. Punishment-regardless of the motivation is not intended to revenge, offset, or compensate for the victims suffering or to be measured by it. (Vila 128).
The community demands that justice be served. Would justice not equally be served and in fact may be better served by life imprisonment? I believe it would be a worse punishment to endure a life sentence in prison. The individual is deprived of his liberty. He will then suffer and live the rest of his or her life within three lonely walls and a set of bars. It gives the individual time to think and wallow in his own guilt.
..Someone kills another person. The State then proceeds to kill him for doing so. This is not punishment but revenge. Revenge is inconsistent with societys demands that justice be served because the punishment has to fit the crime. Justice Brennan has insisted that the death penalty is uncivilized, inhuman, inconsistent with human dignity and with the dignity of life. (Freedman 50). Brennan speaks of moral imperatives. It is morally wrong for someone to kill another person. If so, then the state is committing a morally wrongful act. As they say, two wrongs dont make a right.

Society desires for its members to reintegrate themselves into society. Punishment includes preparing the person to reenter society and lead a productive life. Without doubt, if you impose the death penalty there is no opportunity for rehabilitation.
Economics

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