Death Penalty

The death penalty is an example of a capital punishment that is enforced so as to help in discouraging the crime rates that have prevailed and is still prevailing in our societies. The death penalty is generally a controversial capital punishment in the world today which is normally given against a crime involving the act of murder. This punishment is controversial because numerous people support it and numerous people denounce it at the same time. As a matter of fact, the death penalty is currently a big ongoing debated societal concern in the United States, Europe and other parts of the globe.

This form of capital punishment has by now evidently divided the globe in two divisions. One division has firmly held to the belief that the death penalty is an illegal form of punishment and a serious threat to human life and as such, it ought to not be convicted. On the other hand, the other division has firmly supported the legality of the death penalty. Many people from this second division appreciate the execution as a way of controlling the escalating crime rate in the society.According to research conducted by the statistics of Information center of death penalty of the United States, at present, death penalty is legally practiced or enforced by thirty three states and it is forbiddenin seventeen states in the United States.

A research survey was conducted on October 2013 by Gallup a company that is renowned in research and analysis. The intention of the survey was to establish the public opinion on the issue regarding capital punishment (Jones 1). The researchers concluded that more than 50% of the population supported capital punishment as a form of punishment(Jones 1). Additionally, a majority of the people believed capital punishment was ethicallyfair and acceptable.This research study was further supported by research studies conducted by Zimmerman by using state level information between the year 1978 and the year 1997(Zimmerman 163-193). The studies found that every execution resulted into anequivalentdecline in murder cases (that is, 14 less murders) in that specific year. Additionally, studies by Zimmerman also established that revealing to the general public that acriminalor an offender will be executed had a corresponding powerful effect on the general population(Zimmerman 163-193).

As a matter of fact as per the research, such an announcement was very effective in discouraging future criminals. Research findings forwarded by Zimmerman are further backed by research conductedby Dezhbakhsh, Rubin and Shepherd, whichestablished that between the year 1977 and the year 1996 there were 18 lesshomicides(Dezhbakhsh 3-8). This was characteristically built on experientialproof from 3000 counties in the United States(Dezhbakhsh 3-8). In addition, studies by Mocan and Gittings established that if laws are less severe, there was anequivalent increase in homicide cases. The statistics revealed that for every execution there was a subsequentdrop in murder rates but if the death penalty was eliminated there was arise in murder cases(Dezhbakhsh 3-8).

While there are those in support of capital punishment, a controversial feature of the death penalty occurs in the form of flawed or defective executions. In the history of the death penalty, there have been a range of ways that the act has been carried out in order to execute the convictedin the most humanitarian way possible. However, for everytechnique that has been used as a way to try to execute offenders, there has been faulty attempts that have led to severe pain and suffering for those that have had to withstand the procedure. For the procedure of hanging an offender, which was a common means of execution back in the 19th century, the general public was enraged and disgusted to see the convictedstruggle for a whole five minutes at the end of a rope (Haines 125-138).

On the other hand, the electric chair has reported somecases where numeroustries were made to execute a criminal before the punishment was carried out. A good example was with the execution of John Louis Evans III (Haines 125-138).Further looking at the modern means of execution, they too have their faultytries such as, the lethal injection. For instance, the execution of Stephen McCoy in the month of May 1989. According to those who witnessed the execution, Stephen reacted aggressively to the drugs injected to him and he was seen muzzling, aggressively coughing, and experiencing body contortions(Haines 125-138).Such instances clearly show that the systems in place have severedefects in them. Thus, speaking from a moral perspective, it is unethical for someone with a clear conscious to condemnaperson to an execution that might be unkind as it out rightly violates the Bill of Rights, which the judicial institutions are charged with guaranteeing they are never violated.

Ideally speaking, one of the keyjustifications behind permitting the death penalty to remain in force is the notion that the punishment will discourage others from even thinking ofcommitting a crime. However, ruling from a perspective of fear it is already ethically questionable. So, the question remains, does it work? Nevertheless, it seems that it does not hold. In the year 2003, there were 16,503 homicides in the United States, and of those homicides, only 144 of the offenders were condemned to death (Donohue & Wolfers791-845).

Additionally, of the 3374 convicts that were put on death row in that year, only 65 were executed. This shockingdifference of sentenced to execution ratio can seem anything but terrifying to a person. According to the statistics of Donohue and Wolfers’s findings, it is extremely challenging to trust that for instance, in contemporary America the horror of execution is a diving force in a normal offender’s calculus (Donohue & Wolfers791-845).Further looking at the analysis that these two scholarshave presented, it seems to have a certain rational factor to it, and the proofconfirms that the death penalty is not a preventivemeasure to commit this form of crime.

In conclusion, it is right to postulate that, as regards to the issue of capital punishment, the different societies around the globe will have to come to a popular decision on what is basically right for them. To this point, there is basically no one exact answer for the wholeglobe, since the various governments throughout time will eventuallyalter their regulations time and again. As such, it is a tough decision to make particularly because this matter concerns putting another individual’s life entirely in the hands of the individuals and the central government. With the current debate on this particular issue, it is not probable that there will ever be a unitedopinion on this subject.

Works cited:

Dezhbakhsh, Hashem The Deterrent Effect of Capital Punishment:Evidence from a “Judicial Experiment” July. 2003: 3-8. Online. Web. 26 Feb. 2016. <>

Donohue, John, and Justin Wolfers. “Uses and Abuses of Empirical Evidence in the Death Penalty Debate.” Stanford Law Review. 58.3 (2005): 791-845.>.

Haines, Herb. “Flawed Executions, the Anti-Death Penalty Movement, and the Politics of Capital Punishment.” Social Problems. 39.2 (1992): 125-138. <>.

Jeffrey M. Jones. Americans’ Support for Death Penalty Stable 23 Oct. 2014: 1. Online. Web. 26 Feb. 2016.<>

Paul R. Zimmerman. State executions, deterrence, and the incidence of murder Social Work and Society: Journal of Applied Economics, Vol. VII, No. I (May 2004), 163-193. Web. 26 Feb 2016. <>