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The Death Penalty: Effects and Impacts on our Society

This piece talks about the death penalty and its practice, specificaly on how its internal tenants impact the society the punishment takes a part of. Also, it goes into detail about how barbaric and unpractical the death penalty is in this day in age.

The death penalty is a very controversial issue in our modern society. While some think that it is the correct atonement for abominable crimes, others think it is a travesty that such a barbaric act can be committed in our modern society. It is, in fact, amazing that one man can deem himself the judge of another’s fate. The atrocities that are the every day realities of the death penalty would bring a grown man to his knees. There two areas where the flaws in the death penalty can be seen; it’s abolition trends and it’s inevitability of error.

The death penalty has been abandoned by many of our world’s top nations. Today, 28 European nations have abandoned the death penalty in some way. The United Nations General Assembly said formally that, throughout the world, it would be best to, “progressively restrict the number of offenses for which the death penalty might be imposed, with a view to the desirability of abolishing this punishment.” (Adam Badau). Nations that regularly practice the death penalty; China, Iraq, and Iran are known to have instable and insurgent-lead governments that are a danger to society. The world trend of the past number of centuries points towards the abolition of the death penalty, and that is where our nation should head.

The death penalty has a proven history of follies and incorrect convictions. During the years of the French Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette said, “I shall ask for the abolition of the punishment of death until I have the infallibility of human judgement demonstrated to me.” (Adam Badau). The penalty of death is uniquely irreversible, thus, the conviction of death needs to be 100% correct 100% of the time. This fact is a fallacy. There are, on average, four entirely innocent people convicted of murder a year and most are convicted of the death penalty. There are hundreds of places where a murder trial can be erroneous, but it only takes one to kill an innocent man.

In it’s totality, the death penalty is a gamble. Going back to Marquis de Lafayette’s words, there will never be a day when the, “infallibility of human judgement,” can or will be demonstrated to anyone. The fact is that people can make errors, and people are in control of issuing the death penalty. It is a shame that in our great nation we still reduce ourselves to the eye for an eye technique of retribution. Though it logically makes sense, there is more. I would like to point to the great philosopher and thinker Henry David Thoreau while he was in jail. While in jail, HDT chastised the government for not making better use of him. It was fine just to jail him and keep him isolated, but they could have gotten much more if they had utilized his intellect. In other words, killing someone that kills someone else is pointless and shows a sign of a retardation of societal dynamics. I hope that our great nation can overcome the whole that it has dug itself into with the death penalty.

Sources by Hugo Adam Bedau

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User Comments
  1. tanjila chowdhury

    On October 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    i think the death penalty should not be re-introduced in the uk. i personaly feel it to be wrong. I think murderers should get punished but not killed for the crimes. two wrongs don’t make a right. punishing a criminal with the death penalty is not punishment in my eyes. thats freeing them from facing the consequences of their action. jailing them for life is punishment. they need to feel everyday of their lives the punishment they deserve for taking a life. jailing for life meaning for them to spend every single day of their lives in prison, till the day they die. they shouldn’t be let out for good behaviour n stuff like that.

  2. April

    On October 9, 2008 at 8:02 am

    capital punishment must be used in exceptional cases. If person ones killed it means he always would be able to do it, wouldn’t he? We shoild protect our society from such people, who in fact just plunders. God gave us life so he is the only who could take away his gift.

  3. big king dingaling

    On October 28, 2008 at 9:18 am


  4. GRADE A

    On March 30, 2009 at 8:13 am


  5. isac

    On April 8, 2009 at 9:50 am

    i like boobs

  6. gerald

    On April 27, 2009 at 1:49 am

    a rude way….

  7. wow...

    On May 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    i like boobs??? what the hell???

    anyway, there are many things good an bad about the death penalty, if some kills someone else, they don’t deserve to have a life. that is gds ways of talking theres. and there true punishment would be to live i hell for eternity.

  8. bigger king dingaling

    On June 11, 2009 at 12:47 am

    boobs al the way man

  9. joan

    On July 24, 2009 at 10:00 am

    death penalty????very erroneous punishment…punishing a person who killed other person is not liable or accountable for death penalty….that’s all…..thanks

  10. ihsus

    On August 3, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    The death penalty is a poor system that really has no benefits. We gain nothing. It costs more and wrongful convictions are made. There are just so many flaws to this system.

  11. micheal jackson

    On September 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    i cant tell you how many young children ive rapped

  12. eat shit

    On September 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    i like to eat pussy, and use acid and smoke crack and weed
    imagine blowing up a giant blue whale with a torpedo
    suck my dick.or blowing up a facility for retards and mentally handicap

  13. Dat_Kidd

    On January 25, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    P3oPl3 shudnt R3alli cOmM3nt on stuff th3y Dont KnOw wut th3y r talkN Bout !

  14. Stephanie

    On February 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Capital Punishment should never be used. Think about what happens to families on both sides. They are really the ones who suffer.

  15. Marc

    On March 24, 2010 at 6:08 am

    I am Batman.

  16. Smush Man

    On October 18, 2010 at 11:03 am

    I believe Lynx is a fag

  17. Phillips

    On December 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Nice comment lynx

    well i’m doing an argumentitive essay on this subject in school I find it really intersting but I see alot of people disagree about it in my eyes an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth the crimals beg for their rights but what rights did they give to the person they killed?? Life in jail is nothing anymore they just get everything given to them these days and but the innocent people killed by death row is unfair in which I agree that it should be taken away I was Reading a site that was saying 4 people put on death row are innocent every year! That is alot of people. But for the victims it can be a sense of releif that the criminal is dead and won’t get out of jail and commite more murders or armed assult but for the criminals family I also feel sorry for them but in a way it was his actions that he/she has done and needs to delt with and that he brings it on his own family which is his fault.

    Sorry for bad spelling using my iPod touch screens are terrible

  18. vladimir

    On March 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    i believe that god has the write to deserve who lives and who dies. i read that he beleives in the death penalty and his sun. i also read that jesus is the victem the first time he was her but thier will be a second time he will arrive and he will do the punishing to those who are not worthy. nut like i said i do not believe in the death penalty. and boobsd are good and micheal jackson i think didnot rape kids

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