Capital Punishment

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

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CAPITAL PUNISHMENT? To Die, or not to Die? That is the question. Ever since the death penalty has been used as punishment for criminals, it has been a controversy whether or not it is morally just, or even legally just. The death penalty started back in 1750 B.C. and is still used today to put dirty, rotten criminals to death instead of life in jail, in some states. "The earliest historical records contain evidence of capital punishment. It was mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi (c. 1750 BC). The Bible prescribed death as the penalty for more than 30 different crimes, ranging from murder (see Exod. 21:12) to fornication (see Deut. 22:13). The Draconian Code of ancient Greece imposed capital punishment for every offense ("Capital Punishment")." Although many abolitionists still believe in abolishing the death penalty, the positive effects of it outweigh the negative effects. Capital punishment is necessary in punishing criminals because otherwise, many people may commit a crime to have the lifestyle of an inmate rather than on the street, underneath a cardboard box.

It is fair punishment for criminals because it reduces crime, it is cheaper than life in jail for taxpayers, and it is a punishment that fits the crime. People may not understand that the death penalty can actually help the society, and the future for our kids and so on. It needs to perceive as a proper punishment for certain crimes.

First, the death penalty is a good punishment because it reduces crime. By using capital punishment, criminals then may think twice before committing a crime in which they may be killed for. Ernest Van Den Haag explains, "The intended effect of all legal threats obviously is to deter from doing what the law prohibits, from committing the crimes threatened with punishment. And...