The Death Penalty

Date

2019

Authors

Brecthel, David

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT)

Abstract

Description

The death penalty is a controversial subject in the United States and has been a topic of debate for a long time. Given both sides of the controversy, capital punishment still remains a necessary element of justice and an integral part of the criminal justice system. This paper explores the various reasons why people support or oppose capital punishment. Opponents claim that answering a murder with an execution, in the name of justice, is wrong. This argument is answered with research affirming that capital punishment is a deterrent to crime and provides no chance for an offender to recidivate. Arguments stating that capital punishment is cruel and unusual punishment consequently deny the philosophy of retribution. In place of retribution, opponents tout the philosophy of rehabilitation. Finally, opponents of the death penalty claim that the sentence is given unequally to different races and ethnicities despite the numerous studies proving otherwise. In this study, research was conducted to see which reasons best explain the support and opposition for capital punishment. It was found that emotional opposition, morality, and law and order were the only explanations having statistically significant effects on the amount of death penalty support or opposition. However, the results suggest the need for further research of death penalty attitudes using statistically relevant data. To sentence people who commit the most heinous acts of crime with anything less than death is a travesty of justice and an insult to all the surviving family and friends of the unfortunate victim.

Keywords

Capital Punishment

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