The issue of using the death penalty for criminals in the U.S. is a highly debated topic. On one side, you have the people who want it to be illegal and abolish the death penalty altogether. 

One of this side’s biggest arguments for why this should happen is that many innocent people end up wrongly executed. Innocence is often proven after the execution has taken place, and people are wrongly put to death. 

They also argue that it is very expensive to put criminals on death row. The trials for death penalties are very lengthy and expensive. There are even two trials, one for the verdict, and one for the sentencing. After this, there are still many appeals, and overall it costs more money than it would save.

Another popular argument is that using the death penalty is a form of revenge. Killing someone for killing others continues the use of violence, and it is unconstitutional. 

However, there is another side who argue that the death penalty should and needs to be used.

One of their biggest arguments is that the death penalty can stop potential criminals from committing crimes. According to a study conducted in the late 1960’s, there was a 7% crime rate increase the years this law was abolished. People for the death penalty will often cite statistics like this to show that the death penalty is effective.

Another strong argument is that the death penalty is just used for crimes that were committed against the right to life and freedom of victims. Since people have the right to safety and to live in peace, these crimes break this. They argue that it is only fair to bring them to justice in this way.

Finally, they too argue that it is cheaper to use the death penalty. Technically, life imprisonment is accumulatively higher given the expenses for food, healthcare and other costs of keeping the inmates alive.

Both sides have valid points, and this will likely continue to be a hot-button topic for a long time.

Sources:

http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002000

http://www.balancedpolitics.org/death_penalty.htm

 

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Death Penalty in the U.S. by Mae is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

8 Comments
  1. Alexa 9 months ago

    Dear Mae,
    Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next, because you brought up a very debatable issue and included the arguments of both sides. Personally, I was against the death sentence but after reading your post, I now realize why so many people are for the death sentence. This post opened my eyes and I look forward to learning more from your posts.

  2. Siena 10 months ago

    Good use of concession, however I think it would have benefited the strength of your work to add some opinions (either of your own about the issue, or about the weaknesses and strengths of either side)

  3. Skylar 10 months ago

    I really liked how your post gives both sides to the topic of criminal punishment, that way I was able to see each point of view ad put them in perspective. This is a difficult subject as its a very extreme way of handling capital crimes. I thought your discussion will help me read Dead Man Walking with an open mind and see the ideas behind both sides.

  4. Addie 10 months ago

    I am personally opposed to the death penalty mainly because it feels very vengeful and hypocritical. I think this post is really great because you look at both sides of this debate. While I oppose it i do understand how someone in pain might want to seek revenge.

  5. Anna 10 months ago

    This is an interesting post to read because I’m currently reading a book focusing on this difficult argument. I myself am having a hard time on what to believe is the right thing to do. It is a very hard thing to make a decision on. Great work with your facts and citing!

  6. Jean-Jules 10 months ago

    I did enjoy this article not just because of the book that we are reading in English class but also because this argument is brought up frequently with my friends and me. This subject is quite interesting because both sides have facts and statistics to back their sides but no one side is completely correct. It is also interesting to see how this argument will fan out and it will be interesting to see this argument fester in the government until it explodes.

  7. Trevor 10 months ago

    Man oh man did I like this post. I am currently emerged into this book and find myself torn. I don’t necessarily have a standing on the death penalty but I believe it is a big enough issue and that there are enough people against it at this point that there needs to be a discussion at a higher level of government. You compared the pros and cons very nicely.

  8. Sarah 10 months ago

    Mae, great post! I am currently reading Dead Man Walking and am chilled to the bone. Death penalty is highly debated and a huge contrevarsy in the United States. I thought one of your strongest points was innocence. It is slightly terrifying to know innocent men have been put to death by our government. Also, since when is it okay to answer violence with violence. I believe the death penalty shows poor judgement from the government. One thing I might include is what the national verdict as a whole is. Do more people go for the death penalty, or are more people against the death penalty? Overall, riveting article with great evidence.

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