The Death Penalty: state sanctioned retribution, or a deterrent?

646 Words May 19th, 2015 3 Pages

The death penalty state sanctioned retribution, or a deterrent?

The death penalty is one of the most controversial forms of punishment in the world. While many countries have abolished the death penalty, the United States continues to use this method of punishment. Many believe that it is state sanctioned retribution while others argue that it is a deterrent. Some believe that the death penalty is a reasonable retribution; they argue, that the offenders deserve it, that it’s the law. Others believe that deterrence can be used as a means to set an example to others who are would-be or soon-to-be offenders so that they will be deterred from committing a similar offense. Defined retribution is punishment that is considered to be
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Chavez shot the Ryce in the back and held the child until he took his last breath. Then, Chavez decapitated and dismembered him.
"The death penalty is a necessary and appropriate punishment. Many people treat 'retribution' as an unworthy purpose for such a harsh punishment. But criminal punishments are retribution for crimes. One cannot reject capital punishment because it is retribution.” (Richard A. Divine) Everyone agrees that there should be some punishment for murder. This turns capital punishment into a necessity when nothing else serves as real punishment for a murder. Everyone would also agree that besides imposing some punishment for murder, the law should also impose meaningful punishment. It does not serve a purpose to punish a murder by simply incapacitating him. The punishment should fit the crime.
In the Jimmy Ryce case, what other meaningful retribution could have been given to Chavez other than the death penalty? A person, who has raped, killed and decapitated a nine-year old boy. There are murders for which alternative sentences of imprisonment are demonstrably meaningless. Treating capital punishment as though it is 'eye for an eye,' 'blood for blood' or 'murder for murder' ignores the differences between public retribution and private revenge. Criminal punishment inherently imposes sanctions that private individuals are unable to impose on each other.


Devine, R.A. Should the Death

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