The Death Penalty: A Truly Capital Idea
This paper looks at the controversy surrounding the death penalty.
This paper is an argument in favor of the death penalty. The author uses several examples to support his position, including the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States and the Oklahoma City bombings in 1991. The author looks at how, since colonial times, it has become progressively more difficult to be sentenced to death. The author also presents evidence that the death penalty does serve as a deterrent for some criminals. The author also states that especially since September 11 there has been a change in many people’s feelings about capital punishment, and this evolution needs to be acknowledged when deciding when to apply the death penalty.
Once upon a time the things for which you could be sentenced to death were not so heinous. For example, in colonial America, offenses such as striking one’s mother or father, or denying the “true God,” were punishable by death.” However, that is no longer the case. Surely if we had such small crimes, no one in this modern age would care. But today we have “More executions now per year than in any single year between 1600 and 1880.” Why? Because today there are more criminals that deserve to die. There is no state today where deny God can get you executed. The only capital crimes in America are murder along with (in various states) kidnapping, narcotics conspiracies, and treason. Despite the fact that we have more executions now than ever before, there is still a decrease in real punishment. “Indeed, a calculating criminal might look at the extreme rarity of the death penalty and thereby be encouraged in his murderous course.” While we executed criminals every year, there are thousands more we fail to execute, and thousands more that spend the entirety of their natural lives on death row appealing their fates. This is not right.”