The Ineffectiveness of Capital Punishment: a Critical Analysis

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About this sample


Words: 792 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Words: 792|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2024

Capital punishment remains a contentious issue in the legal system, both in the United States and globally. The death penalty is the ultimate punishment, where individuals are put to death as a form of retribution for their crimes. Advocates of the death penalty argue that it helps eliminate dangerous criminals from society. However, this argument overlooks the many instances of wrongful convictions that occur within the judicial system. While the government justifies capital punishment as a means of serving justice for serious offenses like murder, treason, and terrorism, there are alternative forms of punishment, such as rehabilitation in prison, that can prevent the unnecessary loss of life and the suffering of families left behind. Methods of execution in capital punishment cases include hanging, electrocution, lethal injections, shooting, and gassing. Despite these methods, executing offenders does not effectively deter crime, is unethical, and prioritizes violence over rehabilitation. Additionally, capital punishment is associated with discrimination and violates the fundamental right to life, making it an ineffective means of promoting justice and human rights.

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The death penalty undermines the value of human life and dignity by denying individuals the opportunity to reform and contribute positively to society. Every person has a right to life, and it is the responsibility of the legal system to protect that right, even for those facing the death penalty. By allowing the government to dictate when a person should die, the death penalty diminishes the dignity and autonomy of individuals. Furthermore, the death penalty is costly and does not offer any tangible benefits. The expenses associated with carrying out executions, including legal fees and security measures, make the death penalty a more costly option compared to life imprisonment. As a result, many countries have seen a decline in the use of the death penalty in recent years, recognizing its ineffectiveness in upholding human rights and promoting justice.

In many cases, the death penalty fails to consider the circumstances surrounding crimes committed by women. Research shows that a significant number of women sentenced to death did so in response to gender-based violence or as a means of self-defense. Discrimination, inadequate legal representation, and social inequalities contribute to the disproportionate sentencing of women to death for crimes like drug offenses. These factors highlight the shortcomings of the death penalty in addressing systemic issues within the criminal justice system and society at large.

Furthermore, the death penalty hinders the rehabilitation of offenders, denying them the opportunity to reflect on their actions and work towards positive change. While incarceration serves to punish criminals for their offenses, it should also aim to rehabilitate them and reintegrate them into society as law-abiding citizens. Research has shown that the death penalty does not effectively deter crime and may even lead to an increase in violent acts. By abolishing the death penalty and focusing on rehabilitation within the prison system, society can work towards a more effective and humane approach to justice.

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In conclusion, the death penalty is an ineffective and discriminatory form of punishment that fails to address the root causes of crime. By prioritizing retribution over rehabilitation, the death penalty undermines human dignity, perpetuates discrimination, and violates fundamental human rights. The financial costs, lack of deterrence, and potential for wrongful convictions further highlight the inefficacy of capital punishment in promoting justice and social welfare. It is time for society to reevaluate the use of the death penalty and prioritize more humane and effective approaches to criminal justice.

Works Cited:

  • Amnesty International. “The Death Penalty, Answered.” Amnesty International, 2020.
  • Bibi, Sughra, et al. “Excessive Use of Death Penalty as Stoppage Tool for Terrorism: Wrongful Death Executions In Pakistan.” JL Pol’y & Globalization, vol. 81, 2019, pp. 42-52.
  • Chen, Daniel L. “The Deterrent Effect of the Death Penalty? Evidence From British Commutations During World War I.” Evidence from British Commutations During World War I, 2017, pp. 1-140.
  • Lourtau, Delphine, and Sharon Pia Hickey. Judged For More Than Her Crime: A Global Overview of Women Facing the Death Penalty. Cornell Law School, 2018.
  • McFarland, Torin. “The Death Penalty vs. Life Incarceration: A Financial Analysis.” Susquehanna University Political Review vol. 7, no. 1, 2016, 46-87.
  • Muramatsu, Kanji, et al. “The Death Penalty and Homicide Deterrence in Japan.” Punishment & Society vol. 20 no. 4, 2018, pp. 432-457.
  • Nagelsen, Susan, and Charles Huckelberry. “The Death Penalty and Human Dignity: An Existential Fallacy.” Laws, vol. 5, no. 25, 2016, pp. 1-5.
  • Sethuraju, Raj, et al. “Understanding Death Penalty Support and Opposition among Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Students.” SAGE Open, vol. 6, no. 1, 2016, pp. 1-15.
  • Steiker, Carol S., and Jordan M. Steiker. “The American Death Penalty and the (in) Visibility of Race.” The University of Chicago Law Review, 2015, pp. 243-294.
  • Tortorice, Marla D. “Costs Versus Benefits: The Fiscal Realities of the Death Penalty in Pennsylvania.” U. Pitt. L. Rev. vol. 78, 2016, pp. 519-555.
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The Ineffectiveness of Capital Punishment: A Critical Analysis. (2024, February 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 29, 2024, from
“The Ineffectiveness of Capital Punishment: A Critical Analysis.” GradesFixer, 12 Feb. 2024,
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