Against death penalty essays are crucial as they help enlighten individuals and societies on the wrongness of capital punishment. This issue has no easy answer, and in fact, many people hold different views on it. It is presented in different ways by different people, but the motive is to let the greater population realize that there are more humane ways of dealing with criminals.
The death penalty has been a much-debated topic as a public policy issue. This is because the death penalty laws were implemented in America when no other forms of punishment existed. However, the world has evolved, and so have criminal offenses.
With this evolution, there was an increase in the severity of criminal offenses and a complete change in punishment preference. Most American citizens have now favored alternative forms of punishment, which are more humane compared to the death penalty.
Life imprisonment has been proposed as the most humane form of criminal punishment. This is because it deters criminals from committing crimes, alleviates crime expenses by keeping them in isolated cells, and makes them serve time for their offenses.
What are Some Cruel and Unusual Punishment?
When doing against death penalty essays, it is essential to be familiar with some cruel and unusual punishment fully. A type of punishment that stands out as unusual or cruel is very rare. This type of punishment can be deemed unconstitutional and violate the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The Eighth Amendment Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment states that “cruel and unusual punishment” shall not be inflicted.
Some examples of cruel and unusual punishment include:
- Lethal injection (in cases where the executed was not correctly anesthetized)
- Bringing back the gas chamber (with modernized technology, this has been deemed cruel and unusual punishment)
- Beating someone to death with a baseball bat
- Water torture (the subject is deprived of water until they die)
- Burning someone alive
- Having an innocent person hanged for another person’s crime
- Electric shock (in cases where the executed was not adequately anesthetized)
- execution of those who are insane
- handcuffing someone who is already injured
- handcuffing a pregnant woman
- handcuffing a woman to an object.
The legal system should ensure that the punishment executed is not cruel and unusual. Not only is the Eighth Amendment a federal law, but it is also an international law of human rights.
Capital punishment is a form of cruel and unusual punishment. It has been outlawed in many countries across the globe. However, it still exists in the United States. It took many judicial cases to deem this form of punishment unconstitutional, but it only exists because of an old court judgment.
Life imprisonment is considered cruel and unusual punishment in some countries. However, it still exists in the United States. The Eighth Amendment does not protect any life imprisonment, only actual executions.
Against death penalty essays ensures that people are aware of cruel and unusual punishment. It also ensures that the people know their rights and what is considered illegal in the United States.
Every person has a right to live and not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment as guaranteed by the Eighth Amendment.
How to Write a Death penalty Essay
Against death penalty essays follows the same format as any other essay. Therefore, it is essential to understand the arguments and how they relate to one another. You need to take your time to consider all the possibilities carefully.
When writing against death penalty essays, it is vital to keep track of your arguments and those opposing sides. This ensures that you know all the facts so that your essay is as balanced as possible.
Death penalty essays should have a clear structure, with each paragraph introducing a new point in the order that they occur in the essay.
Introduce your thesis and topic, making sure you state if you are for or against the death penalty. Make it clear that you will be examining the topic throughout your essay, using supporting evidence from research and other essays.
Evidence must be factual, discussing capital punishment’s moral and ethical issues. Then, continuing from your introduction, state whether or not you support the use of the death penalty.
You should give sufficient evidence to back up your stance on the topic without being too repetitive. Your essay should end with a summary of arguments and a final statement on your perspective.
Here is the format to use when writing an against-death penalty essays;
- Introductory paragraph– Thesis statement, topic sentences for each body paragraph (three total), conclusion
- Body paragraphs– Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence, two or three supporting sentences, and a conclusion
- Conclusion– Thesis statement restated, a short paragraph which links to the next essay.
When writing against-death penalty essays, it is essential to have a clear argument and provide factual evidence. Ensure that you include your opinion and how you feel on the topic while still allowing others to share their perspective.
The following are some excellent quotes that may be used when writing an against-death penalty essay;
“There are too many innocent people on death row in the United States. People who are put on death row for crimes they did not commit, and people who were only teenagers when they committed their crimes.”
“Killing a person is wrong under any circumstances. We should never inflict the death penalty on anyone for their crimes.”
The above examples are just two quotes you can use in your essay. If you follow the format of an against-death penalty essay, ensure you have your own strong opinions on the topic. You do not have to agree with others or quote them, but you can use their examples as evidence for your argument.
Some Death Penalty Essay Topics
Death penalty essays have many different topics. Have you ever thought about what you would write in a death penalty essay? What is your opinion on this complicated issue? There are many different opinions on this topic. What is yours? Below is a list of possible death penalty essay topics:
Religious Values and Death Penalty
The religious values of the five main world religions include a range of views on capital punishment. For example, the Torah considered one of the holiest scriptures in Judaism, required the death penalty for several criminal cases.
However, the Jewish tradition started to influence the Christian faith and influence later legislation in Western history over time. For example, the Torah requires the death penalty in some cases. However, it specifies many mitigating circumstances, which is why Judaism is slowly growing opposed to the death penalty.
The Quran, which is considered one of the holy books in Islam, also requires the death penalty for some instances of crime. However, it is argued that Islamic scholars have gone to great lengths to ensure that the penalty is only implemented when necessary for public safety.
The Bible, which is considered one of the holy books in Christianity, explicitly requires the death penalty for certain crime cases; however, it also specifies mitigating circumstances to be taken into account.
Although Buddhism doesn’t have an official stance on the death penalty, the Dalai Lama has expressed opposition.
The Death Row: Right or Wrong?
There has been a debate whether death row is fair or not. Some people say it is a punishment suitable for heinous criminals who committed murder and rape, while others say it is inhumane to take away life. Death row is where convicted criminals wait until their sentence is executed.
Supreme Court Justice William Brennan described it as “a penalty of unlimited duration” (Goddard, 1993). The idea of death row was not to rehabilitate but to punish criminals who committed serious crimes, sometimes waiting years or even decades before they were executed. Unfortunately, for many people, the death penalty is believed to be the only appropriate punishment for a deliberate, despicable, and malicious crime.
However, in our opinion, we should abolish the death sentence from the legal system. First of all, the death penalty is unfair and has been proven to be wrong. According to the death penalty information center, more than 140 people have been released from death row since 1973, after evidence showed they were innocent.
Furthermore, it is not practical to deter crime because most criminals do not consider the consequences of their actions. Therefore, it is essential to understand that the death penalty is not the only way to punish convicted criminals.
Overall, life imprisonment is a better choice than inflicting pain and suffering on a human being. The death penalty is already used, but it should not be kept as the only sentence for murdering and raping criminals.
The History of the Death Penalty
The first established death penalty was in Mesopotamia, where a legal code created before 2234 BC established the death penalty for 25 crimes. Of these, only four crimes were considered capital crimes in other civilizations, including adultery, cattle or grain theft, murder, and conspiring to kill a god or an overseer.
The death penalty is generally believed to have started in China, where it was used as an alternative punishment for those committing the most serious crimes. However, in the Chinese legal system, at least from the 9th century BC, when it was also used for non-violent crimes such as tax evasion and embezzlement, the death penalty was used in five situations. These included murder, robbery, treason, and kidnapping.
Abolishing The Death Penalty
The death penalty violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment and should be abolished. The experience of death row in some countries is degrading and inhumane. Prisoners on death row are kept in solitary confinement for an average of ten years, sometimes even up to twenty years.
Studies conducted by Amnesty International showed that prisoners kept on death row are more likely to suffer mental health problems. Capital punishment is disproportionately applied to the poor, members of ethnic minorities, and those with mental health conditions.
Countries should adopt other, non-lethal punishments for crimes that deserve severe punishment. The death penalty is irrevocable and final, no matter the circumstances. It should not be used to punish any crime because it is an extreme and irreversible action.
The Death Penalty Violates Human Rights
Capital punishment is widely considered a violation of human rights. Three main reasons for the death penalty being unconstitutional are the risk of executing innocent people, lack of deterrence, and no substantial cost savings over life imprisonment.
The most glaring problem with capital punishment is that it may execute innocent people. This is an appeal to consequences. If you argue against the death penalty when doing against death penalty essays, use this appeal to sway your readers.
Does the Government Have a Right To take a Human Life?
It is commonly believed that the death penalty is a suitable punishment for the most heinous crimes. But, what gives a government the right to take a human life? Many people believe that a death penalty is a form of revenge, but it serves as deterrence in many cases. Furthermore, taking own life or the life of another is usually condemned in all societies. Therefore, the government has no right to take a life and should abolish the death penalty.
Other essay topics include;
*What are the effects of a life sentence? How is it different than the death penalty?
*What are some ways to prevent crime?
*Should all countries have a death penalty? Why or why not?
*What are some justifications for capital punishment? What are the arguments against it?
*Is there a correlation between high murder rates and the death penalty?
*Is killing someone ever justified? When is it okay to take a life?
*Do people sentenced to life in prison ever change? How could this happen if they were kept behind bars for the rest of their lives?
*Is Supreme Court doing enough to make sure everyone sentenced to death is guilty?
*Who should be the one to determine if someone lives or dies?
*Does poverty play a role in the death penalty?
*Does race play a factor when it comes to sentencing people to life or death?
*Has the death penalty been handed out fairly?
*How has DNA testing impacted the death penalty today?
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