Essay Example on At what point is it right to take a life to punish a Crime

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At what point is it right to take a life to punish a crime Capital Punishment has been existent in the United States for many centuries Its beginnings go far back to the colonization era with Britain acting as one of the major influences towards the adoption of the death penalty It was brought with the arrival of Europeans to the new world and had its first apparition in 1608 with the death of Captain George Kendall in the colony of Virginia Few years after its adoption minor crimes such as killing a chicken could be punishable by death This started some uprisings and opponents to the death penalty and since then it has been a controversial subject all over the United States Each and every state has the right to abolish the death penalty Today 31 of the 50 American states approve it The states are generally responsible for policing crime and prosecution and holding criminal trials Cases relating to murder treason and espionage are the most common types linked to the Capital Punishment 1972 marked a new beginning in the history of the death penalty as a case was for the first time held in the Supreme Court In addition it was the first time in the history of the US that the Supreme Court found Capital punishment to violate the Constitution Furman v Georgia was a case that was argued on January 17 1972 and decided on June 29 1972 In this case the petitioner named William Henry Furman was caught burglarizing a house and while trying to escape from the authorities killed one of its inhabitants 



For some it was seen as a tragic accident as the gun was dropped on the ground but discharged upon hitting it which caused the death of the owner As the case was being reviewed the state of Georgia law explained that it was acceptable for Furman to be executed if the court found him guilty for murder as the incident occurred during a robbery At first Furman was then convicted for murder and sentenced to death However later on the Supreme Court held that imposing the death penalty in the case Furman v Georgia was violating Constitutional rights because it conditioned unusual and cruel punishment Therefore the judgement was reversed and the case was returned to a lower court for reconsideration In the end the court invalidated Capital Punishment laws as they violated the Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment For many the death penalty is a cruel mean of punishing a crime however it does have some positive impacts Firstly many criminals who escape the death penalty do not learn their lesson After being released it is quite common for them to continue on the same path to repeat their crimes and take additional innocent lives A report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics stated that about 68 percent of 405 000 prisoners released in 30 states in 2005 were arrested for a new crime within three years of their release from prison and 77 percent were arrested within five years This shows that a majority of criminals return to their bad habits after their release By effectively using the death penalty this can be prevented Secondly it is a humane way of killing criminals who deserve nothing but the death penalty Their death is caused by a lethal injection that is administered by a doctor This intervention is clean safe and less barbaric than any other possible means

Despite the fact the death penalty has some positive impacts it does also have some disadvantages Many people might not know but the death penalty is not a crime deterrent in the United States An article by the Death Penalty Information Center showed and stated that the murder rate in non death penalty states has remained consistently lower than the rate in states with the death penalty and the gap has grown since 1990 This is proof of the inefficiency of the death penalty In addition to the fact it is not a crime deterrent errors in the judicial system may occur and therefore it is possible for an innocent to be accused and condemned to death In a scenario without the death penalty innocents may have a chance to be released if further evidence is discovered However if the death penalty is applied to an innocent the chances of such an individual to be released due do to new evidence discovered are slim In my opinion it is wrong to use Capital Punishment Even though many criminals deserve to never reintegrate society punishing them to death is not the best solution On the other hand life sentences are more adequate As the death penalty does not deter crime there is no valuable reason to keep it In addition there is always the risk of sentencing an innocent individual to death which is a mistake that can rarely be reversed before it is too late when applied to the death penalty

Not to forget that the death penalty costs the Government a lot of money Many people who are in favor of the death penalty say that it is an effective crime deterrent Their argument is wrong as states who apply the death penalty have a higher rate of crimes than the others However sentencing individuals to life in prison without parole has shown to deter crime in some occasions and is far less expensive for the government The California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice showed how expensive the current system was compared to a system without death penalty The present system after the implementation of the new reforms costs 232 7 million dollars per year whereas a system imposing a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration will cost only 11 5 million per year With these factors considering the death penalty as an extreme measure if it is not effective in deterring crimes I believe it should definitely be abolished


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