Good Example Of Essay On Argumentum: For Capital Punishment
Type of paper: Essay
Topic: Crime, Criminal Justice, Punishment, Death, Victimology, Discrimination, Sexual Abuse, Life
For a person to understand the facts that support capital punishment, he or she needs to consider the occurrence of a murder and even imagine the pain of losing a life. At a personal level, a knife cut hurts and so does the burn of a fire or the force of a blunt object on any part of the body. Now, if the momentary and even small application of the mentioned phenomena hurts, how much more pain will they cause if applied for killing intentions? Such a question is only necessary because no living person can comprehend the feeling of an imposed death or the panic of knowing that one’s life is slipping away from him or her. Simultaneously, killers do not interfere with just one life but destroy many more because that single person matters to other people. With that in mind, when people discover a murderer, it is only right if the ideal punishment would be one that considers all the involved parties. The most important person to reflect on when determining a fit punishment for murder is the dead victim, and at times, it pays to imagine the possibility of the murderer killing more people. Hence, despite fears that capital punishment desensitizes communities to killing, it solves the problems emerging from murder cases by reassuring societies, appeasing the family of the victim, and delivers justice.
There are four significant observable facts in any murder case, and the first is evidently the injured party whose life is apparently worthless to the killer. However, if the life were indeed worthless to the murder victim, it would make more sense if the police find themselves investigating a suicide instead of a homicide. Consequently, every life is precious and the idea of one person cutting short the life of another individual is abhorrent and calls for a hefty serving of justice. Secondly, there are the victim’s loved ones who are now to live a life without him or her amid the pains of the loss. That means there are parents robbed of their children, and men and women robbed of their spouses and even children orphaned or left with a single parent and so on and so forth. Natural deaths are already a cause for alarm among human beings; murders should not have a place in that equation. Next is the man or woman who takes it upon himself or herself to end the life of another human being. After due legal processes and the proper presentation of the evidence to their crime, it is safe to insist that death begets death. Naturally, the dead cannot come back to life, and there is no guarantee that a killer will not take another life particularly when it is apparent that they have killed more than once. Finally, yet importantly there is the society, which harbors many people that could very well be the next victims of a murderer set free for one reason or another.
Foremost, capital punishment reassures the family of a victim and even the society of their safety because the murderer will not be able to inflict any more pain. Typically, one cannot determine the rate of murders in the globe let alone in a specific country because some go unreported, and others appear as natural deaths after considerate manipulations. Nonetheless, in most cases, “fear and frustration” stimulates “the public’s thirst for retaliation” after news about a murder (Finckenauer, 85). For example, people tend to become more vigilant and heighten security measures when a crime occurs in their neighborhoods. That alone is a sign of the worries people face when they learn of or witness a murder. Consequently, concern over the high rates of crime and even news of a possible murderer on the loose often puts community members on high alert and constant fear. In the article “Americans”, Art Swift presents study findings in which a group of random respondents in the United States was in support of the death penalty albeit for different reasons. Apparently, 35% of the respondents quoted “an eye for an eye” while 28% insisted that the government “save taxpayers money” and that murderers “deserve it” (Swift). In the same research, 63% of Americans were in support of using the capital punishment in murder convictions (Swift). Karp and Acker shed more light on the findings as they explain that after an imposed death, families experience “shock waves of horror, grief, and anger” and begin feeling vulnerable (3). Due justice is the only means through which they can overcome such negative feelings.
The studies mentioned above are by no means a reflection of what other countries think about the death penalty. However, the fact that an estimated 63% of a country’s total population supports capital punishment is enough support for the implementation of the same. Societies encompass different people from diverse backgrounds and with various intentions regarding the people around them and their lives. Hence, the social makeup of any community is complex, and nobody can claim to predict the actions of people or the motivation they have to behave in a particular manner. Due to such predicaments, people depend on the law for social cohesion and expect protection from the radical people and organization. Since more than a half of a country’s populace supports capital punishment, then it is apparent that people are anxious about murderers. According to Fox and Levin, “serial killers naturally differ qualitatively from the average person” and that makes it hard for them to co-exist with others (13). Therefore, when people attempt to determine whether capital punishment is a solution, the views of the public should be a reference to the same.
Additionally, the death penalty allows families and those close to the victim to gain closure because to them, justice will persevere. As Umbreit and Armour point out, each homicide has a substantial number of family members and close friends that the victim leaves behind (381). Concurrently, a research found 60% of the participants supported capital punishment because it brought “closure to homicide families” (Umbreit and Armour, 383). A good illustration is the case of Kimberly McCarthy, who killed Randy Browning’s godmother and mentor. As Allen Breed reports, Randy Browning was “happy not to share the planet with Kimberly McCarthy” (Victims' Families Seek Justice, Retribution and Closure from Death Penalty). In Browning’s case, the man insists that he did not want McCarthy to suffer but was also keen on seeing her pay for the heinous crime. Therefore, rather than seeking to cause equal pain to the murderer, families often want justice for their dead relative or friend. The death of a convicted murderer seems to appease the family of the victim than the idea of him or her serving a jail term, even life sentences (Umbreit and Armour, 390). A person sentenced to a life in prison can apply for parole after a certain period, and when they do, the government has an obligation to grant them with one because it abides by the law. For one to see the problem in such a scenario, he or she need only think of the dead person who does not have the option of coming back to life after dying for some time. In other words, because the victim of a homicide cannot resurrect, his or her relatives remain behind to deal with a life without him or her. Such a life is tough and can only be worse if the family knows that the killer is still at large. Hence, it makes sense that the relatives of homicide victims do not support the idea of the killer in jail but would rather have him or her executed (Breed).
Finally, the most important reason in support of capital punishment is, without such action there is no justice for the murder victim. Societies and families of victims always insist on having the murderer executed as a way of giving “some to honor the values and memories of their slain loved one” (Karp and Acker, 6). Naturally, the dead do not have the ability to fight for their rights and cannot know what happens after they become homicide victims. Therefore, it falls on the living and particularly the criminal justice system to ensure that a murderer pays for his or her crimes. Fox and Levin believe that for a murder to take place a person “compartmentalizes and dehumanizes” his or her victims (4). That means that a murderer psychologically refuses to think of his or her target as a human and will have no qualms about killing them. Now, if a murderer does not see his or her victim as a person, it will be absurd to argue that a convicted murderer has human rights.
Such views answer the question of ethical reasoning when dealing with a killer and how best to punish them. On that note, opponents of capital punishment base their arguments on morality as they argue that executions do not deter murders. Apparently, killing a murderer is redundant because rather than ending crime, law-issued death sentences encourage the same. However, research has proven that “reinstating the death penalty reduces the murder rate” because people begin fearing the repercussions of killing (Shepherd and Dezhbakhsh, 524). Therefore, capital punishment does not infringe the rights of a convicted murderer because he or she is apparently not inclined to obey them in the first place. In addition, executions present, future murders and so, by ensuring a killer does not take another life honors his or her victims by proving that their deaths were not in vain.
Indeed, while there are concerns that capital punishment desensitizes communities to killing, it helps solve multiple problems that stem from murders. The act of executing killers affects societies at all levels but most importantly, it brings justice for the dead victim.
Breed, Allen G. "Victims' Families Seek Justice, Retribution And Closure From Death Penalty." The Huffington Post 28 July 2014. Web. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/28/death-penalty-victims-families_n_5626141.html>.
Finckenauer, James O. "Public Support For The Death Penalty: Retribution As Just Deserts Or Retribution As Revenge?" Justice Quarterly 5.1 (1988): 81-100. Print.
Fox, James Alan and Levin, Jack. "Normalcy in Behavioral Characteristics of the Sadistic Serial Killer." Serial Murder and the Psychology of Violent Crimes. Ed. Richard N. Kocsis. New Jersey: Humana Press, 2008. 3-14. Print.
Karp, David R. and Acker, James R. Wounds That Do Not Bind: Victim-Based Perspectives on the Death Penalty. North Carolina: Carolina Academic Press, 2006. Print.
Shepherd, Joanna M. and Dezhbakhsh, Hashem. "The Deterrent Effect Of Capital Punishment: Evidence From A ‘‘Judicial Experiment’’." Economic Inquiry 44.3 (2006): 512–535. Print.
Swift, Art. Americans: "Eye for an Eye" Top Reason for Death Penalty. n.d. Web. 13 April 2015. <http://www.gallup.com/poll/178799/americans-eye-eye-top-reason-death-penalty.aspx>.
Umbreit, Mark S and Armour, Marilyn Peterson. "The Ultimate Penal Sanction And "Closure" For Survivors Of Homicide Victims." Marquette Law Review 91.381 (2007): 381-424. Print.