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    Essay on Capital Punishment (1034 words)

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    Most of the heated discussions and debates revolve around the topic of capital punishment. Especially it is extremely popular among college students, who have chosen law as their major, to make this topic one of the central ideas of their argumentative essay or even thesis.

    One can hardly come up with a crueler way to inflict a penalty for wrongdoing than the capital punishment. In law, it is usually defined as the act where the person is to be killed if they have committed such crimes as murder, less majesty, a crime against a human or genocide. Capital punishment is the only possible way to protect people and deter wrongdoing. Till 19th century capital punishment, or in other words the death penalty, was used as the only alternative to provide safety and protection from criminals.

    In the modern world, the death penalty is treated in different ways. For example, almost all Europe, as well as Oceanic countries and Canada, have repealed the death penalty and executions. To the contrary, the United States, accept a decision to retain this punishment, even though some may consider it as a violation of the constitution. The society believes that our civilization has better and less cruel ways to punish serious criminals. What is more, the death penalty is an action against arguments in the constitution. Common opinion claims it to be a flouting of amendments ( 8th and 14th) in the Constitution.

    Execution and its methods

    Executions were as one of the means to deter criminals from committing murder and other forms of crimes. Despite the fact that the society considers unacceptable to use the death penalty in order to decrease murder frequency, the authority of some countries think differently and, thus, apply the following kinds of the death penalty:

    • Lethal injection

    The United States first used a turn to such kind of death penalty more than 30 years ago.  Since then it is considered is the most widespread kind of capital punishment with its rate of 90%.  The procedure involves the use of a mix of drugs, where each one is lethal in appropriate amounts.

    • Electrocution

    Another frequently used technique of execution used in the United States is electrocution.  The procedure looks as following: the criminal enters an execution chamber and is placed on a wooden chair with electric connections. The process begins, when all the necessary equipment is attached. The procedure may be repeated if the criminal is not pronounced to be dead.

    • Hanging

    Death penalty where hanging is involved is one among the oldest. Only three states of the United States still turn to this method. Before the very process, the physician carefully examines the criminal and ensures immediate death without any obstacles.

    • Gas inhalation

    Currently, this method is used only in four states and only as an alternative to other common forms of the death penalty. The only problem a wrongdoer faces is that the procedure may be long and death is not always instant.

    • Shooting

    A wrongdoer may be shot once, for example by a neck shot. In other cases, a wrongdoer can be killed by a firing squad. The shooters usually aim at  wrongdoer’s chest so that to hit the lungs and heart.

    Advantages and disadvantages of the executions

    The death row has counted more than one thousand of prisoners that were condemned to the death penalty. The death penalty is a heated discussion nowadays. Some people agree and believe that the criminal who has committed murder should suffer the same death, while others disagree explaining it as an unacceptable action from the point of view of religion or ethics. Such opinions resulted in the distinction between the advantages and disadvantages of capital punishment.


    • Effective crime deterrent

    The death penalty is used not only to punish those, who  have committed murder, a crime against human or any other serious crime, but also in order to frighten people and wrongdoers, and put them off doing unacceptable things. The fear of sufferings should be the factor to stop a person from wrongdoing.

    • Money saving

    It is well-known that the state spends huge amounts of money to implement wrongdoers on death row. They will save more money if a prisoner is sentenced to capital punishment than if they are locked for the whole life in prison. Even some specialists consider the health care and food supply of a prisoner to be worthless and just a waste of money.

    • Short-time suffering

    The instance and the fact that a prisoner almost does not suffer  are among benefits of this action. Such widespread method as lethal injection is just a split second, as far as drugs are very toxic and its amounts cause instant death.


    • Execution of a non-criminal

    It goes without saying that every system has its drawbacks and imperfections, so it sometimes happens that innocent people get imprisoned and are sentenced for crimes they are irrelevant too.

    • An inhumane action

    The death penalty is an absolute controversy to what claim some religions, human morality, ethics. It is always necessary to remember one thing that we should never cause harm to one another and never do a thing to others that we would not do to ourselves.

    • A reason for psychological trauma

    Psychotrauma is one more disadvantage of capital punishment. The death penalty involves not only a prisoner but also another person, who will take away their lives. That is why such action may leave a bad taste in mouth and pang of guilt.


    Capital punishment is a concept that is treated differently in society. Even though there are people who express their disagreement and resentment concerning capital punishment, they are back-strapped and have no powers to interfere. Until they belong to authority, of course. While the government will stick to the thought that the capital punishment will frighten away criminals, they will see no results in the fluctuation of the number of murders and crimes. Every other person has its own rules to stick to and its own desires to be motivated by. Does a  person have a feeling of what is acceptable and what is not, then capital punishment has no influence on them?  The sky is the only limit in their actions.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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