Why Death Penalty Should Be Abolished in The Us

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 774 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Words: 774|Pages: 2|4 min read

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Table of contents

  1. 1. Ineffectiveness of the Death Penalty
  2. 2. High Costs Associated with the Death Penalty
  3. 3. Violation of Human Rights by the Death Penalty
  4. 4. Alternatives to the Death Penalty
  5. 5. Rebuttal of Counterarguments
  6. 6. Conclusion
  7. References:

Capital punishment, or the death penalty, has been a contentious issue in the United States for decades. The history of the death penalty in the US is fraught with controversy, and its current state continues to be a subject of heated debate. In this essay, we will explore the ineffectiveness, high costs, and violation of human rights associated with the death penalty, and argue that it should be abolished in the US.

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1. Ineffectiveness of the Death Penalty

Despite the widespread belief that the death penalty deters crime, numerous studies have shown that there is no credible evidence to support this claim. For example, a comprehensive study conducted by the National Research Council in 2012 found that there is no reliable evidence that the death penalty has a deterrent effect on homicide rates. In fact, the study concluded that the evidence in support of such a deterrent effect is "inconclusive."

Moreover, there have been numerous cases where innocent individuals have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. The Death Penalty Information Center reports that since 1973, more than 170 individuals have been exonerated from death row due to evidence of their innocence. These cases highlight the fallibility of the justice system and the irreversible nature of the death penalty, which makes it an unacceptable risk.

Therefore, it is evident that the death penalty does not serve as an effective deterrent to violent crime and is inherently flawed due to the risk of wrongful convictions.

2. High Costs Associated with the Death Penalty

The financial burdens and legal complexities involved in death penalty cases make it a significantly more expensive option compared to life imprisonment without parole. According to a study by the Urban Institute, the average cost of a death penalty case is approximately 3 times higher than the cost of a case where the death penalty is not sought. The high costs are attributed to lengthy and complex legal processes, including pre-trial, trial, and appellate phases, as well as the cost of maintaining death row facilities.

Furthermore, the allocation of financial resources toward maintaining the death penalty could be better used in areas such as education, crime prevention, and victim support services. By diverting these resources to more effective and impactful initiatives, the overall societal benefit would be greater.

3. Violation of Human Rights by the Death Penalty

The death penalty raises significant moral and ethical concerns regarding the violation of human rights. The risk of executing innocent individuals represents a grave injustice and an affront to the fundamental principle of the right to life. Additionally, the discriminatory nature of the death penalty, particularly towards marginalized groups, raises serious ethical and legal issues. Studies have consistently shown that race and socioeconomic status play a significant role in determining who receives the death penalty, further highlighting its discriminatory impact.

4. Alternatives to the Death Penalty

There are viable alternative sentencing options that ensure public safety without resorting to the death penalty. Life imprisonment without parole serves as an effective alternative that provides a severe punishment while allowing for the possibility of correcting wrongful convictions. Countries that have abolished the death penalty, such as Canada and many European nations, have shown that alternative methods can effectively ensure public safety while upholding human rights.

Moreover, restorative justice approaches, which focus on rehabilitation, reconciliation, and addressing the root causes of crime, offer a more holistic and humane framework for justice, as opposed to the punitive nature of the death penalty.

5. Rebuttal of Counterarguments

Common arguments in favor of the death penalty, such as retribution or closure for victims' families, are often based on emotional appeal rather than empirical evidence. While it is important to acknowledge the suffering of victims and their families, it is essential to recognize the limitations and drawbacks of the death penalty in delivering true justice. Furthermore, the risk of executing innocent individuals and the discriminatory application of the death penalty outweigh any potential benefits it may provide.

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6. Conclusion

In conclusion, the death penalty should be abolished in the US due to its ineffectiveness, high costs, and violation of human rights. The evidence presented in this essay highlights the urgent need for a more humane and just criminal justice system that does not rely on the death penalty. By abolishing the death penalty, the US can align itself with international norms and uphold the principles of justice, fairness, and human rights.


  1. National Research Council (2012). Deterrence and the Death Penalty.
  2. Death Penalty Information Center. Innocence and the Death Penalty.
  3. Urban Institute. The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland.
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Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Why Death Penalty Should Be Abolished in the US. (2024, January 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from
“Why Death Penalty Should Be Abolished in the US.” GradesFixer, 29 Jan. 2024,
Why Death Penalty Should Be Abolished in the US. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
Why Death Penalty Should Be Abolished in the US [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Jan 29 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from:
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