Sample Scholarship Essays

Capital Punishment

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.

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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). 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.

Capital Punishment

Capital punishment is necessary in order for justice to prevail. Capital punishment is the execution of criminals for commiting crimes, regarding so bad that this is the only acceptable punishment. Capital punishment lowers the murder rate, but its value as retribution alone is a good reason for handing out death sentences. It is one of the only fair punishments allowed by the judicial system. Another issue is that it saves money compared to the alternative of life in prison.
The death penalty deters murder and prevents murderers from killing again by putting the fear of death in to would be killers. A person is less likely to do something, if he or she thinks that harm will come to him. Another way the death penalty may help deter murder is the fact that if the killer is death, he or she will not be able to kill again. Criminals deserve to die and not stay in jail. If a man kills a man and is convicted he should be ready to die next. Supporters of the death penalty feel that criminals should be punished for their crimes, and that it doesn’t matter whether it will deter crime. They want to make examples out of offenders so that the threat of death will be enough to stop them from commiting such horrible crimes.
Some people might say to give the murderer life in prison. This is hardly a punishment at all. Today, due to overcrowding in prisons, a lot of prisoners dont serve their full sentence.Another thing about todays prisons is that the prisoners get free meals, clothes, bed, electricity, air conditioning and heating, cable and many other luxuries that make it a comfortable place to live if you get used to the people. The death penalty should be given the day after conviction. Many people believe that criminals live in prison off of other peoples hard earned money.
Criminals should think of the consequences before they kill someone. If they don’t do this or did and still killed someone, they probably arent intelligent enough to make any positive impact on the world or they are mentally unstable. They shouldnt get off the hook for killing someone. people might feel that sentencing them to life in prison is punishment enough but to other people it is just getting off the hook.
There are seven main types of execution: Hanging, where the prisoner is blindfolded and stands on a trap door, with a rope around his neck. The trap door is opened suddenly. The weight of the prisoner’s body below the neck causes traction separating the spinal cord from the brain. The second most widely used technique is shooting, where a firing quad shoots the prisoner from some meters away. Another method is Guillotine, a device consisting of a heavy blade held aloft between upright guides and dropped to behead the victim below. Then there was garroting, in which a tightened iron collar is used to strangle or break the neck of a condemned person. One of the more recent is Electrocution where the prisoner is fastened to a chair by his chest, groin, arms and legs. Electrodes are placed around a band around the head, then jolts of 4-8 amperes at voltage between 500 and 2000 volts are applied at half a minute at a time. The newest forms of execution are Lethal Injection where a lethal poison is injected into the prisoners arm or the Gas Chamber where the prisoner is placed in a room with Sodium Cyanide crystals and left to die.
To give a killer the death penalty it would reassure the people close to the victim it would not happen again. Also it gives them the feeling that the death has been avenged. A family will feel less pain if the killer dies like he should. It also makes criminals think about whether comminting a crime is really worth their lives. When a killer stays in prison he takes up space in already over crowed prisons.Capital punishment ensures peace of mind to the world because it ensures that murders will never kill again.

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Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment Capital Punishment is a difficult issue to address and has been the subject of highly controversial debate for the past three decades. In 1972, the United States Supreme Court decided in the Furman v. Georgia that the death penalty was a form of cruel and unusual punishment per the 8th Amendment of the Constitution. But in 1975, the court reversed their decision and executions resumed under the states supervision. Texas did not have another execution until 1982.

As of July, Texas had 457 inmates on Death Row. We have 5 executions scheduled before December 15 and another 5 scheduled for January 2000. The Death Penalty is considered the harshest from of punishment enforced today. The most common form used to execute this task is Lethal Injection; although hanging, electrocution, gas chamber and the firing squad are also approved methods. The big controversy of the death penalty is does it work and is it morally right.

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People who favor it say that it is the only way for justice to be carried out and they think the criminal deserves it. People who are against it say that it is immoral and had no place in a civilized society. Capital Punishment is justified by several means. Many supporters of the death penalty believe that capital punishment deters crime. I believe that is a false assumption. How can you tell if deterrence has occurred? You can not.

Unless the “prospective” offender reports that the fear of punishment stop them from committing the crime, you will never know if it works. Recidivism occurs by one who makes sure they do not get caught. They plan and concoct stories to make others believe that they are not capable of criminal activity, especially murder. Usually the person who does get caught is someone who did not plan to commit murder in the first place. Deterrence can only work when the threat of punishment is combined with the act being believed as morally wrong. Without the conviction of morality, the easily frightened will not break the law but the irrational and fearless will.

Apparently though, certain sections of society have become desensitized to the point that human life has no value whatsoever. Nothing will hold deterrent value. These people do not think about the consequences of their actions. But this lack of morals and foresight cannot be used as an excuse for the toleration of such violent crimes. If we used the death penalty as the law intended, it could actually reduce the number of violent murders by eliminating so of the repeat offenders thus being used a method of justice and not just a method of deterrence.

Many people are against the death penalty because they think innocent people will be wrongfully executed in the name of justice. There are many provisions taken to make sure this does not happen. These provisions also ensure that the death penalty is racially bias so there is no discriminations. The death penalty also has an automatic appeals process that safeguards the system. This process shortens the time spent on death row, which is on average nine years and six months.

This seemingly shortened sentence could allow for an innocent person to be executed but statistics show that only two, 1918 and 1949, people have been proved innocent after execution in the entire history of the United States. Capital Punishment is a method of retributive punishment as old as time itself. Both the Greeks and the Romans invoked the death penalty for a variety of offenses. Socrates and Jesus were among the most famous people ever condemned. Hammurabis Code, developed long before the emergence of Christ claims retribution, “an eye for an eye, life for a life” is justice. Retribution makes Capital Punishment justifiable because it is an injustice to tolerate criminal behavior such as murder.

Think for a moment that the death penalty did not exist. Then the only reasonable alternative would be a life sentence. This would be costly to taxpayers like you and I. Costly due to housing, feeding, and numerous appeals that the inmate would file. If there is no threat of death to someone who commit murder, then that person is guaranteed to be provided with a decent living environment until the next parole hearing. This shows that they would not get the deserved type of punishment. How would the victims family feel about this? The ACLU was once quoted saying that what families need is financial and emotional support to help them recover from their loss and resume their lives.

The concept of money replacing your loved one is a ridiculous idea. What the victims family wants is justice, plain and simple. They want justice to be served, for the offender to be put to death, not any sort of financial retribution. Justice is all anyone wants or deserves. If it is cleat that a person is guilty of murder then that person should be sentenced to death. Placing murderers in prison is not a tough enough sentence.

If sentenced to life in Texas, then they would have a chance of parole. If they happen to make it back into the community, who is to say s/he would not kill again. One out of eleven prisoners sentenced to death have a prior homicide conviction. This means that more innocent people had to die before the murderer was sentenced to death. If they had been sentenced to die the first time, the additional victims would be alive. Justice would have been served.

The punishment would fit the crime; the victims family and society would be helped knowing one less murderer is out on the streets. More timely enforcement of the death penalty would help reduce crime by instilling a sense of respect for the law. In that sentences are more than just written words on a page. Crimes carry consequences, which should be understood. Murder is a crime that involves the loss of life of an innocent human and that act needs to be justly punished.

Not with an “overextended welcome” in a prison but in an effective manner that lets society know that justice is being duly served. If we were to take capital punishment away, we would not have an effective justice system and crimes against innocent people will continue. And that is why it is needed in America.

capital punishment

Capital punishment is a brutal, antiquated concept that must be abolished in the name of civilized society. A humane culture cannot abide the organized extermination of human beings in the name of justice. In the United States, dozens of people are put to death every year like stray animals, only perhaps in less humane ways. The methods of capital punishment vary greatly, but none are publicly accepted as humane. Society’s support for the death penalty is waning, but there is still enough support in the United States to keep it legal in many states. The death penalty exercises only the most primal instincts to kill and extract revenge in an organized fashion. This is why the death penalty must be abolished entirely: to allow society to function in a civilized manner in which every person has the right to live. Capital punishment is hypocritical, selection is arbitrary and biased, and the practice itself is cruel and inhumane.
By allowing the organized extermination of living human beings the government is telling the public that they have the right to extinguish anyone they think is a murderer. The very idea of killing another for killing is inherently hypocritical. By enforcing capital punishment, the government is telling the public that it is okay to kill as long as you have more power than the person you are killing. This is of course a very cut-and-dried interpretation, but it is what the message boils down to. The problem with such a hypocritical notion as an eye for eye, is its fundamental inconsistency. In order to practice; what they preach, the courts would have to find a way to steal from thieves, betray traitors, and rape rapists. This is obviously ludicrous. Besides the central hypocrisies and inconsistencies of the punishment itself, the selection of those subjected to it is also unfair and prejudiced.
Race, social status, economic status, level of education, and location of crime are key in the selection of those to be executed. The fate of one man’s life often depends on the whims and prejudgements of the jury he is granted. Only 0.3 % of those convinced of crimes eligible for capital punishment are sentenced to death. Of course, one may think it good that such a relatively small number of people are executed, but this number represents the frivolous inclination of the legal system. In fact, since the reinstatement of the death penalty in the United States in 1976, only five white persons have been executed for killing a black person. This tells the public that the value of their lives depends on their race and the jury’s opinion of them. This sets back years of struggle for civil rights in the North America. Society suffers in the face of such and pre-dispose ‘justice’. Besides being arbitrary in selection, once selected, the condemned must undergo a series of cruel and torturous events. The enforcement of capital punishment is a sadistic and macabre activity which appeals to the more grim aspects of human nature: wrath and malice. The condemned is told of his execution date and is then confined in a maximum security prison to await his execution. This is hardly a fitting punishment even if one believes that death is the answer. “For there to be an equivalence between criminal homicide and execution,” Albert Camus wrote, “the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who from that moment onward had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private life.” The fact that society feels such abhorrence for murders is veritably human, but to then do exactly to the criminal what caused them to hate the criminal in the first place is ridiculous. It is fitting that the guilty should be sentenced to life in prison, which is certainly not a pleasant experience by any measure. This should suffice as punishment that does not violate the very fabric of modern society. The execution, once arrived at after years of waiting in fear, is brutal and primitive. Killing someone is not quite as simple as switching on a light. It requires violent trauma that eventually stops the brain from functioning one way or another. The five methods of execution used in the United States are electrocution, hanging, poisoning, gassing, and even shooting. The process is never as clean and efficient as a humane death should be and occasionally, things go wrong. Most of the time, those executed are fitted with a hood to spare spectators the gruesome contortions of pain the face undergoes, and allows them to view the person as more of an object. This brutality cannot be tolerated.
The main argument against capital punishment as morally objectionable as it is, is cost. It is a documented fact, however, that the cost of a capital trial combined with the jail term and execution is exorbitantly more expensive than supporting the prisoner for the rest of ‘ his life in jail. In fact, in many cases it has been 200% to 400% more costly.
The fact that capital punishment has survived thus far is due primarily to the fact that it appeals to man’s bloodlust and need for revenge. While civilized law in the United States has stated it wrong to simply kill someone deemed “deserving”, it has not stated it wrong for the government to kill those deemed “deserving”. Consequently, there are laws in place that allow the punishment of murder, by murder. Society’s integrity is diminished every time a criminal is executed. The very tenets of modern organization are opposed to the notion of capital punishment, yet this is constantly defied and ignored by the American legal system. If no changes are made and the death penalty remains an acceptable form of punishment, it is inevitable that this correctional method will bleed throughout the American legal system and be utilized for “potential murderers” and small-time thieves.
The mentality that encourages organized murder in the name of justice is doomed to devour the society that supports it, creating a totalitarian culture governed by paranoia. Society must voice its opposition to capital punishment before it pays dearly for a for it.


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