The topic of death penalty has always received a great amount of attention from the professionals as well as the public. While some people believe that individuals have to pay the biggest price for their crimes, others claim that such actions are unethical and meaningless. One of the most interesting points to be mentioned is that both sides have strong supporting arguments that lead to even more misunderstanding and conflict on that topic. For instance, in the United States, “capital punishment remains legal in 31 states,” meaning that criminals in more than 50% of the whole country can be killed for their crimes (Brown & McGee, 2018, p. 229). The only question is whether such policies should still be implemented or individuals have to start receiving other kinds of punishment. Therefore, the following paper will prove that death penalty should not be practiced because it is simply not effective, puts the mission of criminal justice system at risk, and is oftentimes not justifiable.
One of the simplest but strongest arguments that can support the main point of this paper is that death penalty is not an effective policy against crime. According to the analysis of Mujtaba (2020), “capital punishment is not an effective means of deterrence against homicides or other forms of violent crimes (p. 32). This point means that even though death penalty does lead to a specific form of justice and punishes criminals for what they have done, this policy is not influential in the long-term perspective (Mujtaba, 2020). It is not associated with the reduced crime rate or a decreased number of violent murders. For this reason, it can be stated that implementing this policy does not bring any advantages when dealing with crimes in the future.
In addition, in the contemporary society, the criminal justice system tries to focus on making a positive change and contributing to a better world. However, with the existence and implementation of capital punishment this will not be possible. As stated by Brown & McGee (2018), death penalty can be considered as a threat to the profession’s mission since it includes the justice system to the cycle of violence, crime, and murder. The system has to focus on rehabilitation of criminals, their education and personal development rather than killing them, making the cycle of crime unstoppable (Brown & McGee, 2018). In case professionals start working in changing behaviors and perceptions of criminals, there is a chance that they will contributing to building a society free from violence and murder. Thus, capital punishment puts the main goal of the criminal justice system at risk by involving it in murdering people even though they deserve that.
Last but not least, even though death penalty seeks to punish the most violent criminals for their actions, their killing is oftentimes not justifiable. In their study, Pollock & Johnson (2021) talk about many different reasons that lead professionals to executing death penalty against criminals. For instance, they consider what race were the people who a specific offender killed, how much time from the crime has passed, what was the time period between the offense and the trial (Pollock & Johnson, 2021). These factors do not seem to be related to the decision of whether an individual should be killed for their crime; nevertheless, they largely influence it. This tendency can lead to an unjust treatment of some criminals who are being assassinated based on the time between the crime and the court, for example.
Even though the provided arguments are strong, there are people who might still claim that death penalty should remain to be an active policy against violent criminals. For instance, they can state that the overall research on capital punishment is flawed and there are many more important factors to take into consideration before making a decision of whether it should be implemented or not (Nagin, 2014). They might say that the public and professionals are simply not able to look at the issue from an opposing perspective and; therefore, make wrong choices and hold on to the same ideas. Even though it might be true that more research has to be completed, there is still more support for the point that death penalty should not be practiced/
Overall, death penalty is one of the biggest topics for debate in the contemporary society. It is also one of the most controversial ones because both sides of the conflict have strong arguments and evidence that they are right. However, there is a lot of proof that death penalty is ineffective in the long-term perspective, puts the system at risk, and is sometimes unjustifiable. Therefore, by taking information from academic sources, the presented paper proved that death penalty should not be practices.
Brown, L. L., & McGee, S. G. (2018). Social work and capital punishment: a call to action. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, 3(4), 229-239. Web.
Mujtaba, S. (2020). Homicides in the developing world: is capital punishment an effective deterrent?: an empirical analysis (Master’s thesis, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås). DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.17043.91687
Nagin, D. (2014). Deterrence and the death penalty: Why the statistics should be ignored. Significance, 11(2), 9-13.
Pollock, W., & Johnson, A. F. (2021). Life or death: What factors impact the decision?. Crime, Law and Social Change, 1-21.