Sample essay Is the death penalty effective?

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The death penalty is an issue which has got people of most countries quite divided. There are many supporters of this phenomenon but at the same time there is massive opposition as well. Death penalty or the capital punishment is the legal procedure carried out by state to put a person to death as a punishment for the crime committed by him. The death sentence is the judicial decree to punish someone in this manner and the actual practice of carrying out this action is execution. I believe death penalty should be legalized by all the nations of the world because it provides deterrence, morality and retribution which make it the most effective tool to limit and stop crime. 

The death penalty has always acted as a great source of deterrence for citizens from committing crimes such as murder. The greatest fear that most people have is of death and if they know that death could be a consequence of their illegal actions they will most probably refrain from them. Since it is in interest of every state and society to prevent murder, it should put to use the strongest punishment available to deter murder. According to some of the recent studies carried out in US the death penalty also acts as a deterrent for recidivism as criminal after execution does not gets a chance to commit crime again (Ellsworth et al., 1994). 

Similarly the death penalty presents one with the option of carrying out retribution justly. Retribution is taken as state sponsored rational approach to a criminal action because under legal umbrella state is assumed to be the victim when crime takes place. It’s an efficient way of protecting society morally by making the culprit pay an equivalent price for the harm he has done. The effect of crime is always catastrophic for any society as it takes away its most prized entities like lives of people, their liberties and most importantly peace. Retribution is the way of providing justice to murder victims and their families. 

In the same way the morality front of the death penalty needs to be discussed as it has been most debated for many years. A simple argument that can be put forward in this regard is that a society should be labeled as immoral if it cannot take life of somebody who has taken somebody’s else’s life. There cannot be height of immorality greater than that which is achieved by letting go a person who commits such a horrendous crime. Following the lines of morality the criminal is always executed in a humane manner keeping torture and other forms of cruelty out of equation. There is no doubt about the fact that death penalty always makes sure that values like morality are always followed. 

The long and short of it all is that the death penalty is the most effective tool that a state has in its armory and is no less than an asset. Although it’s a sensitive issue as people have got extreme views in this regard but there is no doubt about the fact that it deters potential criminals as well as serves as retribution to them and by no means is immoral. It is need of hour to get united as a nation on this issue and clear legislative measures should be adopted by all nation states to make it legal.


Ellsworth, P. C., & Gross, S. R. (1994). Hardening of the attitudes: Americans' views on the death penalty. Journal of social Issues, 50(2), 19-52. 

Radelet, M. L., & Akers, R. L. (1996). Deterrence and the death penalty: The views of the experts. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 1-16.

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