Essay: Death Penalty
This is an essay on death penalty. Some social issues are especially compelling because they require us to clarify important moral issues – even if these issues do not directly affect us.
Some social issues are especially compelling because they require us to clarify important moral issues – even if these issues do not directly affect us. Among such issues for most Americans today are abortion and the death penalty: Both topics are issues that people are likely to have very deep-rooted opinions on, regardless of whether or not they have any personal experience. But however contemporary these issues may seem to us, how central to the political and social life of 21st-century Americans, they are of course embedded in centuries of human debate. This paper examines the ways in which capital punishment is imposed in the United States and whether there is any connection between the imposition of the death penalty in those states that have death-penalty statutes and a reduction in violent crime in those states.
Arguments for and against the death penalty take many forms. One of the most common – and this will be examined later in this paper – is that the possibility of a death sentence reduces the likelihood of violent crime. This is in fact not true, as can be seen by a comparison of violent crime rates in those states that have and The classic moral arguments in Western societies (since the fall of the classical empires) in favor of the death penalty have been scriptural and retributive. For example, the statement from the Bible that “whosoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6) has often usually been interpreted as a divine warrant for putting a murderer to death.
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