Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment

The pros and cons of Capital Punishment. I will cover the United States citizen’s reaction towards using the death penalty as a form of punishment. Can criminals who commit murder actually be reformed?

According to (Ballara & Cushman, 2009), the cons greatly outweigh the pros. From their point of view, the death penalty is useless as a deterrent of crime, indefensible, discriminatory in practice, prone to errors, consumes an outrageous amount of money and resources, and is a form of cruel and unusual punishment that violates the Eighth Amendment. What a lot of people do not realize is, “the death penalty is not about deterring crime”, “it is about punishing a person for the crime they have committed”.

In 1977 there were 1,100 convicted prisoners on death row and as of 2007 3,350 remain on death row in American prisons.

Although New Jersey has totally abolished the death penalty, The United States is increasingly criticized for failing to keep in line with other civilized nations by abolishing Capital Punishment. Is this truly a question of being civilized, or is this about what is right or wrong?

Capital Punishment has been a complicated issue for a long time and will continue to be an issue for American people for years to come.

In 2007 nearly 40% of the inmates on death row are African American. Almost all of them come from impoverished backgrounds and have a much lower chance of their lives being spared from the death chamber. With flaws in investigations, trial procedures, and mistakes made by forensics, the death penalty is under immense scrutiny in the public’s eyes.

According to (Bowman & Dilasio, 2009) Capital Punishment is up for debate. Although they believe much of what (Ballaro & Cushman) have to say, they have found that certain people’ beliefs in ancient forms of punishment for crimes committed and our standards of justice today, that criminals found guilty of murder should be given the death penalty for taking an innocent life. In both articles I found that people who are not in favor of the death penalty are mainly against it, because it is not only used for criminals who have committed murder, but for criminals who have committed rape and other less heinous crimes.

(Newport, 2007) did a report on the Gallup Poll Briefing which showed that 69% of Americans were in favor of the death penalty. “When the poll was first done back in the 1930’s 59%”, were in favor which is surprisingly close to today’s findings.

The question that comes to mind is should we worry about criminal’s rights? Especially the Eighth Amendment, when the person who has been murdered no longer has any rights?

Many say the death penalty is costly. It is even more expensive to keep these barbaric criminals in prison for life. Murders can never be reformed, and even if they tried to reform the criminal it would cost even more money. In my eyes it is just not possible to reform a criminal who committed murder. How can they ever repay the family and society for what they have done?

When that criminal chose to murder another human being, they gave up all their rights. Is it constitutional for one human being to take another human beings life? Doesn’t the Bible say and “eye for an eye”? Why should innocent Americans who work very hard every day to pay their bills, give their families the things they need, and abide by the laws suffer financially for the criminal who committed that murder? We the people of the United States pay a lot of taxes to keep these prisons running. I do not think it is fair or right in any way to spare the lives of these menus’ of society. If it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt with DNA and other substantial evidence, I believe the death penalty should remain in force.

Ballaro, B. & Cushman, C. A.(2009). Point: Capital punishment should be abolished. Points of View: Death Penalty, p2. Retrieved from
Bowman, J. & DiLascio, T. M.(2009). Counterpoint: The death penalty is necessary. Points of View: Death Penalty, , 3. Retrieved from
Newport, F.(2007). Sixty-nine percent of Americans support death penalty: Majority say death penalty is applied fairly. Gallup Poll Briefing, p3. Retrieved from