Death penalty argumentative essay

Criminal justice system issues are studied nowadays and will be studied until humankind exists. The point is that such issues are rather controversial. Some people state that we are only humans and we are not allowed to judge others. On the other hand, there are those who are always unsatisfied with verdicts and state that sentences should be stricter. This essay is devoted to the issue of death penalty in the United States of America. In this essay I will claim that death penalty should be canceled in the United States of America, explaining that through the consequentialism theory.
The death penalty in the U. S. is used as the federal courts, and in some states. In the United States the legal culture in general and in particular is borrowed from the UK. Initially there were cruel laws, particularly draconian ” Blue Laws of Connecticut”. Besides the official executions was widely used (especially against blacks), the so-called lynching, even in the XX century. Indians often summarily executed castigators who were revenging for the murders of whites. Wild West at the same time acted sheriffs penalty at its discretion (sometimes his own). The death penalty was applied in the United States as against socialists, communists, anarchists.

Currently various state laws provide for the death penalty five ways:

– Hanging
– Shooting
– electric chair
– gas chamber
– lethal injection
In recent years (since the beginning of the XXI century) the vast majority of executions carried out by lethal injection. Occasionally also the electric chair is used. June 18, 2010 in Utah for the first time in a long time was used shot: was shot Ronnie Lee Gardner, who chose their own method of execution. Other methods have not been applied since the end of the XX century. They exist only in a small number of state laws, and in all those states and applies lethal injection, and the use of alternative methods in many cases limited by various conditions (for example, the right to choose their use have only convicts committed a crime or received a death sentence to a certain date). Prior to February 8, 2008 Nebraska is the only state to impose the death penalty and does not use injection (the only method was here the electric chair; February 8 Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that this method is cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the U. S. Constitution; executions was suspended until the new method of execution). In 2011 the death penalty was abolished in Illinois. Culture of the death penalty states in the U. S. typically includes the right to convict for a late dinner – meals that are prepared in a few hours before his execution, in accordance with his request ( with certain restrictions ), and the right to have the last word just before the execution of the sentence . Usually witnesses are present at the execution. The amount and composition of persons entitled to be present at the execution, differ from state to state, but, as a rule, to those who have a right belong relatives of the offender and his victims’, lawyers, priest. In 2009, the number of death row criminals in the United States was still 106. This is the lowest number since the restoration of the death penalty as capital punishment in 1976. The largest number of death sentences was 1994 – 328. In 2011, the execution of Troy Davis , who many considered innocent attracted attention worldwide to the use of the death penalty in the United States.
In my opinion, the consequentialism theory is the best applied when one speaks about canceling death penalties all over the country. The theory shows that one should always think about the consequences of acts; think for the future. If a person has killed someone, he or she should not be punished to death. I the end, it will be an unbreakable chain of murders. The moral side of the death penalty is that judges and the Grand Jury are the same killers as an offender. The difference is that they are killing legally and not on their own. Moreover, there is another side of the problem. People who sentence others to death do not think that such a situation might happen to their relatives, friends or even children. The peculiarity of consequences is that it may return not to a person but to his or her beloved ones.
Some may state that such suggestion might be rude or unfair; most often it is relatives of victims. However, they do not understand that one should not live according to “ an eye for an eye” principle. First, the death of an offender will not bring the victim back to life, as well as it will not easy the pain of the loss. On the other hand, the relatives or friends of the victim, those who are desiring the criminal’s death, will live with the burden of death. In my opinion, one should always think about consequences an action might cause.
I suggest that death penalty should be canceled in all the states of the United States of America because most of actions are done without thinking about consequences. There is another reason for canceling it. There has been many cases in the history of justice system of the United States of America when a person had been false imprisoned and judged. There are many reasons why people agree to take someone other’s fault for a crime. The point is that such situations occur rather often not only in the United States of America, but also all over the world. Hence, sometimes it is rather difficult to state that a person has been executed because he or she deserved it. Only a thought about killing an innocent person should bring a person to the decision of being against death penalty. Moreover, it will bring graver consequences. The consequences might occur not in a form of killing, but also as a disease or another grief.
When acting people do not always think about consequences. The same goes for the death penalty and sentencing someone to being executed. In this essay I was trying to show that the death penalty should be canceled in all the states of the United States of America because people do not always realize the seriousness of some actions. Sentencing someone to death means that a person will have a heavy burden until the end of one’s life. Besides, I tried to look at the death penalty through the theory of consequentialism. In my opinion, this is the best suiting theory that can be applied in this case.


Dieter R. A crisis of confidence: Americans’ doubts about the death penalty. 2007. Death penalty information center. Web. 10 Dec 2013
Ord T., College B., Consequentialism and decision procedures. 2005. University of Oxford. Web. 10 Dec 2013