Opposing the Death Penalty


Opposingthe Death Penalty

Opposingthe Death Penalty


  • Thesis Statement: Provides the thesis statement that opposes the death penalty.

  • Summary: Provides an overview of the topic of the death penalty and the reason why it is a debate of the society. Further highlights the focus of the thesis statement.

  • Introduction: An introduction of the death penalty and why the it should be opposed as a method of punishment.

  • Opposing the Death Penalty: discussion of the reasons why the death penalty is an inappropriate method of punishment.

  • Arguments for the Death Penalty: an overview of the arguments for death penalty as proposed by the proponents.

  • Counterarguments: a discussion of why the proponents of the death penalty are wrong in their assertions

  • Conclusion: Takes a concluding overview of the arguments, counter arguments and holds the thesis statement, a true statement of opposing the death penalty.


Thediscussion about the death penalty will prove that it is not anappropriate form of punishment, and it should be opposed.


Thedeath penalty is the sentencing of a convict to the hangman’s noosefor being guilty of committing capital offenses. However, the use ofthe death penalty as a method of punishment is a debated topic withmany people opposing while others support the sentence. By focusingon the principles behind the punishment of an offender, it ispossible to determine whether the death penalty is right or wrong.Therefore, the discussion on the death penalty will explore theappropriateness of the sentence with a view of opposing it.

Byfocusing on the deterrent principle of punishment, the death penaltyfails to prevent people from committing such crimes again. Byfocusing on the transformative principle, death penalty fails to givethe convict a chance to change his bad ways. The sentence kills theperson who committed the crime, other than kill the intention tocommit crime by allowing a person to regret his past actions.Secondly, the sentence does not give convicts the chance to transformtheir behavior

Toexplore the thesis that the death penalty should be opposed, thediscussion about the death penalty will assess the opposing viewregarding the sentence. In this regard, the opposing views of theproponents of the death penalty in order to offer the counterarguments. The discussion about death penalty will explore thereasons such as crime deterrence, reduction of criminals in thesociety and is punishment. However, discussion about the deathpenalty seeks to counter these arguments by illustrating that thedeath penalty is inappropriate and should be abolished.

Thedeath penalty presents a debatedconcern over the appropriateness of the sentence in relation to thecrime committed and future of the convict. In addition, it is worthnoting that the morally of the death penalty is under scrutiny as towhether the sentence is right or wrong. All in all, the death penaltyterminates the death of the convict by killing him for the crime hecommitted. The discussion on the death penalty seeks to illustratethat it is an inappropriate punishment that should be abolished.

Opposingthe Death Penalty

Oneof the reasons why the death penalty is inappropriate is because itis not a corrective or reformative method of punishment. Instead ofleaving the convicted person to correct the bad behavior and reform,death penalty assumes that he or she is guilty in perpetuity.According to Guernsey (2009),death penalty does not offer a chance for the convicted criminal toregret his vice. Other than correcting the convict, death penaltytakes his or her life away. In addition, the death penalty is opposedbecause it does not offer a chance for the criminal to teach othersthe lesson from the crimes he committed.

Secondly,the principle behind the death penalty is not a rationaljustification of the death of another person. The death penalty ismostly imposed as an equal punishment to the convicted criminal for acrime he committed. It is based on the “tit for tat” perceptionthat a person should be punished in equal measure for the crime thathe was convicted for (Guernsey,2009). The perception means that thedeath penalty is considered as a revenge for a crime with an equalmeasure of consequence. Consequently, the punishment seeks to promoterevenge as a method of justice, which is unethical.From ethical perspectives, it should be noted that the death penaltydoes not punish the criminal it only eliminates him or her.

Thirdly,the death penalty does not consider the circumstances that led to thecommitment of the crime by the convict. Instead, the death penaltybecomes an insensitive sentence to a person who is convicted.According to Jacquette(2009) death penaltyassumes that the convicted person will die in the same circumstancesthat he committed the crime he made. For instance, if a person killsanother through a domestic conflict, sentencing that person will bean assumption that he will die in the same way as the victim. In allcases, this is not the true.

Inaddition, the death penalty brings suffering to other people who werenot part of the crime being committed. According to Waluchow(2003), the sentenceleads to feelings of hurt and loss to the relatives and friends ofthe person being convicted and killed. The law fails to consider thesocial effects of bereavement of the family and society as a resultof killing a person convicted of capital crimes.

Furthermore,the death penalty fails humanity because it does not show the respectfor human life. The live of every person is supposed to be protectedand allowed to live up to the time of their natural death. It isworth noting that even the constitution guarantees the right to lifeas a basic right that no one should infringe on(Jacquette,2009). However,death penalty kills a person by overriding that right that the law issupposed to protect. As a result, the death penalty does not offerthe convicted person the life that he was intended to live. Thesentence is also against several doctrines of a number of religiousorganizations that shape the opinion regarding the punishment.

Finally,the death penalty does not necessarily bring justice to the victim ofthe capital crime and the convicts. The injustice is because thedeath of the convict does not benefit in any way, the victim of thecrime (Waluchow, 2003). Theonly thing that the sentence brings is the physiological satisfactionto the victims of the crime being committed. However, the feelingdoes not serve justice in the true practical view of the punishment.Therefore, other methods of punishment should be explored so as tobring a sense of justice to all the people affected by the crime. Forinstance, substitution of the death penalty with life sentencewithout parole would be a viable option because it would observe theright to life of the convict.

Argumentsfor the Death Penalty

Proponentsof the death penalty argue that it is a deterrent measure to thepeople in the society to avoid capital offenses. People argue thatthe death sentence creates fear among the people to avoid commissionof the similar crime. In addition, proponents of the death penaltyargue that the sentence eliminates the criminal elements from thesociety (Kramer, 2014). Theyargue that the death penalty reduces the number of criminals byending their life and avoiding a possibility of their return to thesociety. Finally, proponents of the death penalty argue that deathpenalty gives a proper punishment to the criminal by eliminating hislife. They support the “eye for an eye” notion that capitalcrimes should be paid back through capital punishments.


Itis inappropriate to assert that the death penalty is a deterrentmeasure. The death penalty is against the principles of crimedeterrence because deterrence is aimed at correcting the unwantedbehavior, not eliminating the life of the person who should transformhis life (Guernsey, 2009). In addition, by killing the convict, deathsentence does not create fear of the people in the society. Bykilling the convict, the death sentence does not give the convict achance to condemn his own crime or to be an example to the society ofthe punishment.

Inaddition, death sentence does not reduce criminals in the society bykilling those who are convicted of capital punishment. It should benoted that crime is an abstract element that cannot be eliminatedthrough numbers (Kramer, 2014).Crime is not measured by the people who are convicted but by theintention of the people in the society. Contrary to the argument thatdeath sentences a punishment for an equal crime, the death of aconvict denies him the chance to live and experience the impact ofhis crimes.


Thedeath penalty is an inappropriate method of punishing people and doesnot promote the spirit if justice. Death punishment does not givechance to the convicted person to reform or teach the society thenegatives of crime. In addition, the sentence promotes the principlesof revenge and leads to bereavement of the convict’s relations.Contrary to the arguments that the death penalty is a deterrentmeasure, the sentence does not offer practical lessons to the societyto avoid crime. Therefore, the death penalty is not an appropriatesentence and should not be supported.


Guernsey,J.B. (2009). Death Penalty: FairSolution Or Moral Failure?Minneapolis, Minnesota: Twenty-First Century Books

Jacquette,D. (2009). Dialogueson the Ethics of Capital Punishment.Washington DC:Rowman

&ampLittlefield Pub Incorporated

Kramer,M. (2014). TheEthics of Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Investigation of Eviland

ItsConsequences.Oxford: Oxford University Press

Waluchow,W.J. (2003).TheDimensions of Ethics: An Introduction to Ethical Theory.


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