Revisiting The Debate on Capital Punishment: an Ielts Perspective

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 629 |

Page: 1|

4 min read

Updated: 29 March, 2024

Words: 629|Page: 1|4 min read

Updated: 29 March, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Watts Tragedy: A Case for Capital Punishment?
  2. Economic Considerations of Capital Punishment
  3. Moral and Ethical Implications
  4. Deterrence: Myth or Reality?
  5. Conclusion

In the wake of heinous crimes that shake the moral foundation of society, the debate on the efficacy and morality of capital punishment gains renewed fervor. The tragic case of Chris Watts, who annihilated his family, serves as a grim reminder of the "monsters among us," and propels this discourse into the public and academic arenas, including IELTS discussions. This essay delves into the arguments surrounding capital punishment, exploring its deterrent effect, economic implications, and ethical considerations. By weaving through the narrative of capital punishment in the context of IELTS debate, we aim to uncover whether the ultimate penalty can indeed serve justice or if it merely perpetuates a cycle of violence.

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The Watts Tragedy: A Case for Capital Punishment?

Chris Watts' unfathomable act of murdering his pregnant wife and two daughters casts a long shadow over the debate on capital punishment. His life sentence raises the question: would capital punishment have been more appropriate? Advocates argue that such irreversible crimes demand an equally definitive response. The logic extends beyond retribution; it is also seen as a potential deterrent, a means to economize the penal system, and a way to cleanse society of its most malignant elements. George W. Bush's assertion that "capital a deterrent against future violence and will save other innocent lives" encapsulates the argument for the death penalty as a necessary evil in the face of unfathomable crimes.

Economic Considerations of Capital Punishment

The economic argument for capital punishment suggests that it is more cost-effective than life imprisonment. With an average daily cost of $85 per inmate, the financial burden of long-term incarceration on taxpayers is substantial. Proponents argue that the death penalty, despite its high upfront costs for trials and appeals, ultimately saves money by avoiding the expense of decades of imprisonment. This perspective is bolstered by the assertion that the death penalty could streamline the justice system and alleviate the strain on prison resources and capacities.

Moral and Ethical Implications

Despite the pragmatic arguments for capital punishment, its moral and ethical dimensions are deeply contentious. The biblical reference to "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed" is often cited in support of the death penalty. However, this stance is counterbalanced by concerns about the sanctity of life, the potential for judicial error, and the morality of state-sanctioned killing. The debate extends into the New Testament, where the emphasis on forgiveness and redemption challenges the eye-for-an-eye mentality. The complexity of these moral arguments reflects the broader societal struggle to reconcile justice with humanity.

Deterrence: Myth or Reality?

The deterrent effect of capital punishment remains one of the most polarizing aspects of the debate. While some studies, like Isaac Ehrlich's 1973 research, suggest that executions can prevent future crimes, this notion is contested. Critics argue that the threat of death is unlikely to deter those who act out of passion, mental illness, or under the influence of substances. Furthermore, the long process of appeals and the relatively rare implementation of the death penalty in many jurisdictions undermine its potential as a deterrent. The question remains: does the death penalty prevent crime, or does it simply satisfy a desire for vengeance?

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The discourse on capital punishment, particularly within the IELTS academic setting, demands a nuanced understanding of its implications. The debate encompasses a wide array of arguments, from the financial to the moral, each with significant implications for society's approach to justice. As we consider the case of Chris Watts and others like it, we are compelled to question the role of the death penalty in our justice system and its alignment with our values as a society. In the end, the conversation on capital punishment challenges us to reflect on the kind of society we wish to be and the means by which we seek to uphold justice.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Revisiting the Debate on Capital Punishment: An IELTS Perspective. (2020, December 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“Revisiting the Debate on Capital Punishment: An IELTS Perspective.” GradesFixer, 10 Dec. 2020,
Revisiting the Debate on Capital Punishment: An IELTS Perspective. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 15 Apr. 2024].
Revisiting the Debate on Capital Punishment: An IELTS Perspective [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Dec 10 [cited 2024 Apr 15]. Available from:
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