Over the weekend, the GOP-controlled Texas legislature approved a contentious anti-abortion bill that has inspired weeks of protest during two special legislative sessions. At the end of last month, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) attempted to block the legislation with a dramatic 13-hour filibuster — but the Democratic minority was ultimately unable to prevent the measure from passing in a second special session.
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Capital punishment has been and is currently a hot topic among the sociological community. It is very easy to get lost in the emotions that coincide with the death penalty and even easier to analyze it from a biased prospective. The sociological community is divided over the issue.
One key argument among sociologist is whether the death penalty is crime deterrence. Some people believe capital punishment works as a deterrent because we have been using punishments to discourage people from committing crimes for decades. The theory insists criminals see other murderers being executed then this will cause them to think twice before committing a crime. This theory is very hard to test because it takes many years to execute people due to the way our current criminal justice system operates. In 1973 Isaac Ehrlich asserted that 7 lives are spared and that is attributed to the death penalty deterring people from committing murder. Criminologists theorize the death penalty is the ultimate deterrent because it incapacitates the offender permanently.
The counter argument to this is the death penalty is not a deterrent for potential offenders. Sociologists assert that it’s no more a deterrent then serving a life sentence in prison. Another theory is potential offenders aren’t deterred because they do not plan on getting caught or they commit a crime of passion. According to Adam Hugo, crime rates are not lower in states that do not have the death penalty thus making the death penalty not a viable deterrent to crime.
Another raging debate is retribution. The idea is people who commit murders need to pay for what they have done. This principle theorizes, an eye for an eye mentality. Basically, if a person is murdered then the person who committed the crime deserves to die also. This concept is derived from a religious perspective. People who support the death penalty claim our government should not have to provide food, clothing and shelter to criminals when much more deserving people who are going without. Another reason people favor the death penalty is based on emotion. The idea is the victim’s family deserves to have closure and the offender’s execution helps bring that about.
The counter argument claims the death penalty is not a sufficient means of retribution. According to the thesaurus retribution is another word for revenge. . Some would say being pro death penalty causes us to send out mixed signals about violence. Many psychologists believe our increasing dependence on capital punishment is a sign that we are losing respect for human life. There are a number of people who would assert the death penalty is an easy way out for criminals because they escape the prison culture where violence and rape is common place.
In conclusion the sociological community is divided over the death penalty. There are difficulties when attempting to analyze this issue because of the way due process works. Even more difficult is being fully objective about an issue that is so emotionally charged and religion oriented.
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There are few topics as controversial among the American government and general population as the death penalty. Few topics spark such heated debates and few issues have people so clearly on one side of the argument or the other. The death penalty is definitely famous for having thinkers on both sides of the fence with few people riding the gray area in the middle.
Many Americans are for the death penalty. In essence they believe that there are certain crimes so heinous that the criminals deserve nothing but death. People who choose to take the life of another through murder, for example, are criminals for whom the death penalty should be in effect. A drug dealer whose dealing leads to the death of people could also be considered a prime criminal to undergo the death penalty. Americans that are pro-death penalty believe that those who take the life of another should not be able to keep their own lives. There are, of course, exceptions for deaths that occur because of war, self-defense, or the killing of say a person who abuses children. These are justifiable deaths that do not require the death penalty.
On the other side of the death penalty debate are Americans who do not believe that the death penalty should exist for many reasons. In general, these Americans believe that it is inhumane to kill even a killer. They believe that even a killer has rights that need to be protected by the law. A huge caution that many people site about the death penalty is surrounding our justice system. Many Americans wonder how to ensure that the death penalty happens to only those people deserving its punishment and they say that because there is no real way to make the punishement infallible, the punishment should not exist.
Because of the injustices of our nation’s justice system, many Americans believe that the death penalty should cease to exist. They raise questions such as where should the line be drawn for what crimes deserve the death penalty and what crimes do not? Who is to say what crimes should be punishable onto death and what crimes should allow the criminal to keep their life? Since there are no clear answers to these questions, many say that the death penalty cannot rightfully exist. Or, for example, what if the justice system is wrong in their judgment of a suspected criminal and condemns an innocent person to suffer the death penalty while the real criminal goes free? We can never be fully sure of the justice of our justice system, they say.
Another injustice of the death penalty system that many Americans note is that often criminals without sufficient means to defend themselves are left to die while other criminals with money and power are able to flee the punishment of the death penalty simply because they have the means to beat the system. How just is the punishment if not all criminals are given equal opportunity to present their case?
There are endless questions that plague people on both sides of the death penalty debate. The only for sure thing about the issue is that it is highly debatable and complicated for our nation to agree upon.
Triston Huntsmin is the author of articles on various controversial topics. His goal as a writer is to get people to think about issues from more than one perspective. Learn more about the death penalty at www.deathpenaltynews.info
Death penalty is the practice of sentencing a person to death as an obligation of the court ordered imposition, considered as a punishment to his or her crime. Death penalty is also recognized by the titles Capital punishment, execution, executing, death sentence or sentence to death. Capital punishment is believed to have originated from Latin capitalism which means something cutting head. It shows death penalty was just severing of head in the ancient days.
Death penalty was first established under the rule of King Hammaurabi of Babylon in the eighteenth century B.C. Death sentence was also popular in the reigns of fourteenth and seventh century where capital punishment was the only punishment awarded to all kind of crimes. In the ancient days few naive death penalty practices which were followed are crucification – as how Jesus Christ was believed to have been put to death, drowning the person in water until death, immolation of the person and impalement by fixing the person against a sharp stake or pierce him to death. Capital punishment has its origin from the ancient clans of Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Now it is considered a legal practice; followed in fully developed countries like US and UK. It has not failed to leave its trace in developing countries like India and Singapore too.
Capital punishment is executed in various ways. It differs from country to country. The six sense species has let lose its imagination to discover countless methods in favour of this punishment. Following are the death sentence practices which were the most common in use:
hanging the person to death administering a lethal injection to the person electrocution; supplying high volt electric shock to the person (usually performed by making the person seated in the electric chair) garroting;strangulating the person to death lethal gassing; suffocating him to death using a deadly gas firing a person to death using a firing squad making him consume poison, live burial by burring alive, drowning to death, stoning to death, guillotine beheading or decapitation – the practise of slicing his head using a sharp blade breaking wheel which is famously known as catherine wheel where the wheel has spokes over it and the person is laid over it and beaten to death and corporal punishment is the punishment of beating to death.
Death penalty has always been an issue of concern. Of late it has gained enormous displeasure and condemnation from the international organizations like UN, Amnesty International and several Human Rights organizations all across the world. It is ethically, culturally and religiously condemned almost all over the world. Death penalty is believed to be an absolute violation of humanity and regarded as cold-blooded killing of a person with the consent of statutory bodies in the open.
People who support death penalty argue that it is just a payback. It is highly convincing for them as the punishment serves to be as a lesson for all ages. Capital punishment is always known to inculcate appropriate fear in the minds of public and thereby has played a major role in reduction of crime. While fanatics debate that it is violation of basic human rights, the main reason behind this notion is that the soul destroyed is irretrievable. In case of lapsed or biased judgment, it would become another crime and additionally the life lost can never be regained. The million dollar question is whether we humans are eligible or qualified enough to assume the authority to judge who should live or die?