My Position Regarding Death Penalty as a Sentence

My Position Regarding Death Penalty as a Sentence

I do not believe that we should apply the death penalty as a sentence at all. Reasons to support my position include the following. First, it is not just to issue a death sentence as a response for the taking of life (Schmalleger and John 509). Although we may be thinking of inflicting immediate pain to those who wrong us, our society’s standards demand that we employ a more measured response. Revenge driven by our emotion does not provide a sufficient justification to support capital punishment given the problems and risks involved (Schmalleger and John 480). The law and criminal justice system in our country should guide us to higher principles that portray a complete respect for the life of an individual or a murderer. Encouraging immoral motives such as revenge whereby the criminal is killed extends the chain of brutality.

Second, regarding the issue of arbitrariness and discrimination, the death penalty should not be used because it is applied unfairly (Schmalleger and John 509). The jury does not base death penalty on worst offenders rather it singles out the arbitrary group on the ground of irrational factors such as the defense counsel’s quality or the race of the victim or defendant. For instance, most of the defendants in the country who are facing death penalty do not have the financial power to afford an attorney. Therefore, such defendants depend on the quality of the lawyers the state assigns them. Many of these lawyers are underpaid or have inadequate experience in handling capital cases thus failing to conduct a thorough investigation (Schmalleger and John 204). In most cases, when the defendant has a poor representative, the jury is likely to convict and give him/her a death sentence.

Third, the death penalty does not act as a deterrent to future murder (Schmalleger and John 509). Some individuals believe that deterrence justifies a death sentence; however, they need to provide a vivid evidence to support their claim. Criminologist, William Bower, explained that a death penalty brutalizes the society hence increasing the likelihood of people committing more murder (Schmalleger and John 92). This scenario has led to most death supporters to reduce their weight on deterrence. As an example, states in the U.S that do not advocate capital punishment have recorded lower murder rates compared to those that do. Therefore, a death penalty is not a deterrent since offenders do not expect to be caught. Similarly, they commit murder when under the influence of alcohol or moments of anger (Schmalleger and John 311). States in this country should have a sentence of life without parole, and this will provide safety to the society without exercising a death penalty.

Fourth, even guilty individuals have the right to life. I am convinced that murders or any other offenders have the right to live. Similarly, humans do not have the right to kill criminals (Schmalleger and John 371). Although torturing a prisoner is an act of dehumanizing, capital punishment is portrayed as the essence of dehumanizing. A death sentence is an act of devaluing human life and dignity. The life of a person is sacred, and I do not believe that we have the right to terminate the life of an offender through capital punishment. Moreover, the jury should not play the role of God; therefore, states should encourage respect for life.


Work Cited

Schmalleger, Frank, and John Smykla. Corrections in the 21st Century. McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2012.



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