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Pros and Cons of Death Penalty

Info: 769 words (3 pages) Essay
Published: 7th Aug 2019

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Jurisdiction / Tag(s): US Law


Basing on the existing information it is indicated that many countries have dropped death penalty as a method of punishment for the law breakers. Death penalty which is also known as capital punishment was accepted by law up to early 1970’s when it was declared as a barbaric and unusual penalty by the Supreme Court in Georgia. Despite widespread resentment to this method of punishment is still operational in a few countries of the world for instance it is still used by America to punish some crimes. Some of the states that dropped capital punishment include North Dakota, West Virginia, Alaska, Michigan, Rhode Island among others.

Pros And Cons Of Death Penalty

Death penalty is associated with both pros and cons as it is examined below. Some of the cons of capital punishment include the following;

Death penalty is a great burden to taxpayers financially because the actual cost of carrying out capital punishment is approximated to be 2-5 times higher than leaving the offender in prison for as many years as possible. The process of reaching the final ruling as to whether to hang the criminal is too long because it entails numerous appeals, detailed procedures as well as legal wrangling which drags the entire process as the accused can be tried for a period longer than 20 years. All this detailed process requires substantial funding to facilitate various court officials ranging from attorney general, judges, court clerks and other vital facilities required in court.

Similarly capital punishment is quite unusual and barbaric and more so it violates the right to live which is God given and it is only God who has the ultimate power to claim any life. Most methods used to administer the punishment are very cruel for instance hanging the culprit, use of electric chair and even detaining the victim in a gas chamber.

Death sentence is associated with psychological torture and stress to the family of the prisoner because it makes the family cease to see one of its loved members an incident that brings double suffering to affected family.

On the other hand it’s also appropriate to point that death penalty has its own pros which also need to be examined fully in order to help substantiate why this form of penalty should be adopted. One of the reason for using this type of punishment is that it helps minimize crime it sounds a great warning to other people who may have the motive of engaging in criminal offence thus the vice which would have been rampant is reduced by some great margins.

Likewise death penalty ensures that justice is served in the most appropriate way when applied in the case of murderers because it’s the best punishment that fits such crime, a good example where justice was well served was in the prosecution of former Iraq president Sadam Hussein and his close allies who perpetrated the killing of innocent Iraq citizens. It also serves as the best form of punishment for prisoners serving life imprisonment because when left he can instigate the killing of other prisoners serving short sentence.

It is also paramount to note that death penalty helps in solving overpopulation in prisons and preventing future occurrence of similar crime. It’s known worldwide that if a prisoner escapes from cells he is capable of claiming the lives of many especially the witness to help emerge the winner due to lack of evidence. It’s also agreeable that when death penalty is eliminated then the only option left will be housing the criminal for life in cell, This implies that the resources to cater for these very offenders should be doubled ranging from prison guards, food, clothing and many others.


It can be concluded that there are many pros and cons associated with death penalty but convincingly it can be agreeable that the cons outweighs the pros for instance it is unanimously acceptable that human life is God given and there is no any person or state which has been given the mandate to pass such type of prosecution.


  • Appleton, C., & Grover, B. (2007). The Pros and Cons of Life without Parole. The British Journal of Criminology, 47,597-615.
  • Habert, H. (1996). Capital punishment: The Anti-Death Penalty Movement in America. New York: Oxford University press.
  • White, D. (2009). Pros & Cons of the Death Penalty. Retrieved February 4, 2010, from http://usliberals.about.com/od/deathpenalty/i/DeathPenalty.htm.

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