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Phi 200 week 3 assignment OUTLINE




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Death Penalty
Capital punishment, also known as the "death penalty," is the pre-meditated and planned taking of
a human life by a government in response to a crime committed by that legally convicted person. The
death penalty comes with a mixed bag of supporters and non-supports of the ultimate sacrifice for your
crimes. This paper will help clarify what the argument is for the apposing sides and their thoughts on this
Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order,
deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or "an eye for an
eye" honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of
heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.
Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly
gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by
disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys
(classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than
Some of the argument that is against the death penalty is a financial concern. Financial costs to
taxpayers of capital punishment, is several times that of keeping someone in prison for life. With that are
the endless appeals and required additional procedures that clog our court systems. Supporters believe that
punishing in the form “an eye for an eye” is wrong and needs to be stopped. If the death penalty is stopped
that would lower costs by discontinuing the additional courts process as just mentioned.
The death penalty sends the wrong message: why kill people who kill people to show killing is
wrong. This statement says it all in the eyes of non-supporters of the death penalty. Why are we killing as
a way of punishment? Life in prison is a worse punishment and a more effective deterrent. Some jury
members actually are reluctant to convict if it means putting someone to death. SO the victims family will
actually not see justice for their loved ones because people who are opposed to the death penalty are the
same people who are determining the verdict.

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A strong case for those against the death penalty is the possibility that innocent men and women
may be put to death. For example mentally ill patients may be put to death for crimes they are incapable of
understanding or knowing they have done. Lesser sentences for these types of people would be more
appropriate such as life in prison or mental hospital where they can benefit from programs. Making an
example out of mentally challenged people could be considered barbaric and might violate the "cruel and
unusual" clause in the Bill of Rights.

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