The Death Penalty: Good Or Bad?

2644 Words 11 Pages
Ali Nygaard
Mrs. Thomas
World Studies H
Block 1B
19 November 2014
The Death Penalty: Good or Bad?
Many have argued over whether or not the death penalty should be allowed. The viewpoints, both for and against the death penalty, present a variety of facts to back their opinion up. The death penalty itself has been around for a long time in America; it was brought to America by European settlers in the 1600s. In its early stages, the death penalty served as a punishment for severe crimes as means deter others from carrying out these harsh acts. At this time, there were not yet debates about whether or not the death penalty should be enforced. However, as various written works came to light in the 1700 and 1800s, the usage of the death
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Supporters of the death penalty believe there are two primary purposes served: retribution and deterrence. Supporters say that the death penalty us just a retributive punishment that condones the idea of “an eye for an eye” or “a life for a life” (“The Legal, Political, and Social Implications of the Death Penalty”). On the subject of deterrence, Ernest Van Den Haag states, “Common sense, lately bolstered by statistics, tells us that the death penalty will deter murder… people fear nothing more than death” (“Top 10 Pros and Cons - Death Penalty”). Also in favor of dissuasion, poet Hyman Barshay writes, “The death penalty is a warning, just like a lighthouse throwing its beams out to sea. We hear about shipwrecks, but we do not hear about the ships the lighthouse guides safely on their way. We do not have proof of the number of ships it saves, but we do not tear the lighthouse down” ("ProDeathPenalty: Info & Resources"). In terms of retribution, in eyes of supporters, the death penalty is only a moral and justifiable punishment. The simple concept of “an eye for an eye” clearly defines the logic behind the notion. When looking at deterrence, statistics support the opinions of people for the death penalty in that conducting capital punishment has decreased the amount of large-scale crimes, such as murder. The reasoning behind this is credited to the fact that if people see that someone is …show more content…
Works Cited
“The Legal, Political, and Social Implications of the Death Penalty.” University of Richmond
Law Review. University of Richmond Law Review, May 2007. Web. 12 Oct 2014
“Part I: History of the Death Penalty.” DPIC. N.P., N.D. Web. 13 Oct 2014
“Death Penalty: Death Penalty Can Prolong Suffering for Victims’ Families.” Death Penalty.
N.P., N.D. Web. 13 Oct 2014
“Top 10 Pros and Cons - Death Penalty.” Headlines. N.P., N.D. Web. 15 Oct 2014
Meehan, Mary. "Ten Reasons To Oppose the Death Penalty." America Magazine 20 Nov. 1982:
n. pag. Web. 6 Oct. 2014.
Williams, Mary E. "Chapter Preface." The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. By Bonnie
Szumski, Lynn Hall, and Susan Bursell. St. Paul, MN: Greenhaven, 1986. 16. Print.
"ProDeathPenalty: Info & Resources." Info & Resources. ProDeathPenalty, n.d. Web. 13 Oct.
Messerli, Joe. "Should the Death Penalty Be Banned as a Form of Punishment?" N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
"In Support of the Death Penalty." Death Penalty Curriculum. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
"Does Capital Punishment Serve a Worthwhile Purpose?" MPR News. Minnesota Public Radio,
22 Sept. 2011. Web. 18 Oct.

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