Capital Punishment in America.

Essay by Padfoot88High School, 11th gradeA, September 2005

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The death penalty is a highly controversial topic in the United States. The death penalty is the taking of a life by the government for crimes. It has been around for thousands of years, since the ancient Babylonians, and has been used numerous times in history as a deterrent for crimes usually involving murder (Caldwell 597). Capital punishment is beneficial to society not only because it deters crime, but also helps the economy, prevents the public from taking matters into their own hands, protects people from murderers, and gives the victim's family and friends closure. Many opponents of the death penalty have many reasons why capital punishment may be wrong such as, risk of hurting the innocent, racism and sexism, and Christian moral code, however, with a closer look at the facts, the pros outweigh the cons. The death penalty is necessary in any society and should continue to be used in the United States today.

People have a natural fear against death making the death penalty an effective deterrent to crimes. The fact that you may lose your life may be the deciding factor in a future crime. Many opponents to the death penalty claim studies show that states murder rates did not increase when they abolished the death penalty (Bedau 135). These studies are inconclusive because the death penalty does not simply put fear into murderers, it also attaches horror and disgust to certain crimes. If a state allowed the death penalty for an extensive period of time, and then removed it, the public would still know what crimes were considered more heinous, and murder rates would not increase just because the penalty was made less severe. A poet named Hyam Barshay said,

The death penalty is a warning, just like a lighthouse throwing beams out to...