Essay on The Death Penalty Is Justified

1610 Words Nov 24th, 2014 7 Pages
Issues concerning the death penalty have been wrestled with in court as early as 1967. The death penalty, or capital punishment, is the ending of the lives of those thought to be guilty of a crime, mostly murder. The methods used include: lethal injections, electrocution, lethal gas, firing squad, and hanging. Only thirty-two states practice the death penalty. Ernest van den Haag, author of “The Ultimate Punishment: A Defense,” argues for the use of the death penalty. On the other hand, Jack Greenberg, gives reasons opposing the death penalty in his work “Against the American System of Capital Punishment.” There are theories as to why the death penalty is necessary; however, these theories cause controversy. By the deterrence theory, the death penalty is thought of as a deterrent to future homicides and crime. The retribution theory can be thought of as “just deserts,” meaning a deserved punishment. Although thousands receive the death penalty, few are actually executed yearly due to the penalty’s inconsistency. Overall, the death penalty should be abolished due to its distribution, retribution fallacies, and failure to deter crime.
The distribution of the death penalty can be inconsistent, whether between the guilty and innocent or concerning racial and geographical bias. Van den Haag articulates on the distribution between the guilty and the innocent. He questions whether or not those executed deserve the punishment. While there is inconsistency when some go unpunished,…

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