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Against the Death Penalty, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 458

Essay

Human civilization has always thrived on the foundations of law and order, and whenever the law is broken, there are remedies that have been prescribed. While the remedies prescribed by the law vary according to the severity of a crime or unlawful act, the death penalty is observed as the epitome of the power of corporal punishment, its use is barbaric and should be abolished from society because of its (1) high financial cost to tax payer, (2) inhumanity and (3) ineffectiveness to deter crime.

Cost to the Taxpayer

While the death penalty may appear as a cheap alternative to deterring crime and remedying wrongs that are committed to society, it is actually a costly corporal punishment to the taxpayer. Court cases that involve the death penalty are usually lengthy and tedious, causing the government to incur considerable cost to facilitate the extensive research and paying the judges and personnel who will be responsible for the hearing (Stiglitz, Edlin, & De Long, 2012). Some of the most significant costs stem from the lengthy delays, appeals, retrials and technicalities that are associated with potential death penalty cases.

Inhumanity

While the concept of an individual forfeiting the right to life as a result of considerably cruel and/or evil deed appears to be justifiable, it is redundant in itself. Humanity is founded on the very concept of respecting life (Mandery, 2012). H. L. Mencken held that the unpleasantness of the hangman’s job is no ground for dismissing its importance to the society (Mencken, 2012). However, this argument trivializes the essence of humanity. Humanity goes beyond mere effect-cause relationships in the universe.

Ineffectiveness to Deter Crime

The death penalty is arguably an effective technique to deter crime. Most individuals committing crimes that deserve the death penalty are usually rational when committing such crimes. This concept is against Mencken’s ideology that the death penalty does not serve the purpose of deterring crime (Mencken, 2012). While his argument on the use of the penalty to stop criminals from killing is valid, this argument is characterized by a fallacy of false dilemma. There is another more effective alternative, life imprisonment.

In conclusion, the death penalty is an ancient and barbaric punishment that should be abolished. It is considerably costly to the taxpayer owing to the extensive procedures and process involved. Taking an individual’s life to remedy the taking of another life is inhumane. The death penalty is largely ineffective in deterring crime.

Works Cited

Mandery, E. J. (2012). Capital Punishment in America: A Balanced Examination. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Mencken, H. L. (2012). The Penalty of Death. In H. Phillips, & P. Bostian, The Purposeful Argument: A Practical Guide(pp. 524-529). Boston: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Stiglitz, J. E., Edlin, A. S., & De Long, B. J. (2012). The economists’ voice : top economists take on today’s problems.New York: Columbia University Press.

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