The Death Penalty: Source Evaluation

The Death Penalty: Source Evaluation

Many studies have been done regarding death penalty whereby scholars are arguing out whether it is an ideal practice or acts against human rights. Having conducted in-depth research, I came up with many articles which help in putting this debate into perspective.

Source 1

The first article is ‘Capital Punishment: The Great American Paradox’ published by A. M. Stroud III. I found this publication in the Lonestar Library Research database while doing in-depth research regarding how the issue of the death penalty has been viewed as a disgrace to the human race. This is because losing a life just because of trying to prove a legal point might seem an unexpected action which is also not justifiable. Instead, more reasonable punishment needs to be initiated such as jailing one for ten years or even more so that he or she can undergo rehabilitation.

This publication will support my argument in that it offers examples of executions in line with death penalty conducted in the US and indicates that such a masquerade should stop. The author claims that the US used to give death penalties to be viewed as the leader of the world yet this involved going against human rights. Thus, he coined this the American Paradox that needed to be stopped at all costs. Similarly, in my argument, I think the death penalty leads to the deaths of people regardless of their innocence yet the only one who is supposed to determine someone’s fate regarding death is the creator. Another argument that supports my viewpoint is that the American system of capital punishment is erroneous and should not be relied upon in conducting such killings.

Since statistics and figures are usually crucial in strengthening arguments, Stroud III referred to specific data which to enhance even his case further. An excellent example is that as of 2016, the United States had 2943 death row prisoners (Stroud III 372). This is a surprising figure that shows how the country is still glamorizing this cruel punishment. Out of all these cases, it is hard to determine whether all of the executed offendersreceived a fair trial or at least pleaded guilty of the charges put against them. The author also referred to exact dates to ensure that the readers were well-conversant with the history of capital punishment. An example is where he pointed out about the Gallup poll which was taken in 2015 whereby a majority of the Americans claimed that the use of capital punishment was effective (Stroud III 373). However, the author successfully argues against this since the majority can never justify a wrong in society.

Source 2

The second source is entitled ‘Death penalty Information Center: Facts about the Death Penalty’ and I obtained it from the Death Penalty Information Center which is a website that is affiliated to the Washington DC and the federal government in the US. This source has proven to be highly effective in arguing against the use of death penalty claiming that it is against human rights, a view that I also hold.

The source tends to use actual figures and statistics to call for the abolition of capital punishment since it has led to the loss of many innocent lives. Instead of killing offenders, it is essential for them to be given a chance to reform and even live better lives after being released from jail. By bringing in the issue of racism, the author claims that death penalties target the African Americans or blacks and the Latinos more than the whites (‘DPIC. Facts about the Death Penalty’). This means that it is not effective in curbing crime since one section of the population will feel that it is targeted. Thus, this is an indication that the capital punishment system is flawed and should not be given a chance to operate in the country since it will lead to perceived division. I also hold the same view, and I think that this publication will play a crucial role in backing up my argument with the available data and theoretical perspectives.

An excellent example of the statistics used are the ones provided in bar graphs especially on the first page. The visual covers the number of executions from 1976 to 2016, which is 1438. The year with the highest killings is 1999, and it seems that the judicial system championed for such a punishment between 1997 and 2004 given the rising figures.Another significant example which shows how racism takes shape in capital punishment is that the criminals “who killed whites were three times more probable to be executed than those who killed blacks.” This brings in the racial theory and claims that the punishment is pegged on ethnic affiliations. Through this argument, it is clear that the death penalty will not be successful in restoring order or stopping crime. I believe that the article is well-structured since it focuses on visuals and brief points with exact data that would be needed to understanding how the death penalty has been carried out in the US in full disregard of human rights and equality.



Works Cited

DPIC. Facts about the Death Penalty – Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved from

Stroud III, A. M. “Capital Punishment: The Great American Paradox.” Ark. L. Rev. 70 (2017): 369.

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