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Against or for capital punishment? 作业代写

    Against or for capital punishment?
     Against or for capital punishment?  作业代写
    Introduction
    Capital punishment has been a topic that arouses a wide variety of opinions. Basically, many reasons are given, including supported views and opposed views about death penalty which has been the subject of many researches. There are also some critics that hold neutral opinions about capital punishment, that is, death penalty. The US government is special where some states and regions adhere to capital punishment while others opposes to it. There is no capital punishment in sixteen states and the District of Columbia between 1846 and the last few years. Michigan has been the first abolitionist. Other 20 states, such as Kansas, have made capital punishment laws. Additionally, some states, such as California, sentence many criminals to death but not actually execute them. Other 15 states, most of which are located in the South, have executed death penalty. The wide variety of attitudes to capital punishment is based on the federalism and local autonomy in the US. The essay will analyze why those governments have or have not capital punishment, sentence or do not sentence criminals to death and execute or do not execute it. For the sake of clear analysis, the essay classifies those attitudes into two categories, that is, supporting and opposing to capital punishment.
     
    Supporting capital punishment
    Deterrence
    It is believed that the society can make the citizens deterrent and disciplined by making severe penalty. It warns the people that the criminal acts bring fewer benefits than what they lose. The deterrence is divided into two kinds: specific deterrence and general deterrence. Specific deterrence aims to warn the individual offenders not to conduct crimes any more in their future life by making severe punishment. General deterrence means to make a warning for the general public. People learn a lesson from the criminals who are jailed to sentence and avoid committing a similar crime. The supporters hold that it is far more effective to deter the citizens by executing death penalty than life sentence (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994). According to the records of literature, deterrence has always been the solid reason provided to back the capital punishment. (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994). Many people, especially the politicians, suggest that the capital punishment is an very effective deterrent for murder cases (Whitehead and Blankenship, 2000). In the investigation of Tyler and Weber (1982), when asked the main reason for formulating the death penalty, 63% of the respondents choose "deterrence" rather than "punishment". The abolitionists argues that the death penalty cause more violence rather than being a deterrent. The growing violence caused by capital punishment is called "brutalization effect" in the literature (Bowers, 1984). The brutalization effect is used as the direct reason against the death penalty, opposing to the deterrence reason to back the capital punishment. It is argued that the death penalty reduces the crime rate from the point of deterrence. On the other side, the brutalization position holds that it cause more violence and crime in the society. 
     
    Incapacitation
    Incapacitation is used as another reason by some people to support the capital punishment (Firment and Geiselman, 1997). Under the incapacitation ideology, the criminals are under severe surveillance and have limited ability to do criminal acts in the future time. Curtailment such as intensive supervision probation, house arrest, death, and imprisonment is to limit capacity for civil conduct. To be blunt, an offender who has been executed death penalty is not likely to cause any violence to other inmates or innocent citizens. So the criminals can not be a future threat to the prisoners and the general public. There is no doubt that the death penalty is the ultimate form of incapacitation. In an addition, it is believed that the life sentence without a chance of parole can not be called a real life (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994). Certain governments are concerned that the dangerous criminals sentenced to life will be liberated and do harms to the innocent. Under the incapacitation ideology, the supporters of the capital punishment hold that it is a good way to ensure others' security in the future by executing dangerous, violent offenders .   
     
    The instrumental perspective
    Besides the deterrent and incapacitation perspective, governments have other reasons to support for capital punishment. Citizens in fear of crimes support the death penalty more, but not always (Arthur, 1998). In addition, some supporters of death penalty adhere to that it is for the sake of maintaining law and order, given the increasing rates of crimes that has been a serious social issue. According to Rankin (1979), the attitude of support for capital punishment is related with one’s willingness to do social control by means of violence and punishment. The above reasons for supporting death penalty all belong to instrumental perspective. According to Maxwell and Rivera-Vazquez (1998), the instrumental perspective holds that peoples’ attitudes to capital punishment are caused majorly by the willing to decline crime and guard the society and the capital punishment is a method to achieve it. It should be paid attention to that the instrumental aspect is closely related to the opinion of deterrence. By means of harsh and tough sentences, the law and order can be promoted by threatening potential criminals.
     
    In addition, the cost is also regarded as a reason for supporting the capital punishment (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994). Many people think that executing criminal costs less than keeping him in prison for life. Although this opinion is wrong , it is still a reason supporting capital punishment for someone. Bohm (1987) thought that the issue of cost is also closely associated with the incapacitation.
     Against or for capital punishment?  作业代写
    Opposing to capital punishment
    There are many reasons against the death penalty. Morality is thought to be the biggest reason provided by the opponents.  People against the capital punishment hold that it is not humane and civilized (Firment and Geiselman, 1997). Basically, it is not wise to fight the fire by fire. (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994). From the point of morality, the death penalty is brutal. Another solid reason is the administrative concerns that an innocent person may be executed by mistake. Increasing evidence proves that many innocent people are executed death penalty(Radelet, Lofquist, and Bedau, 1996), and the administrative concern is used by the abolitionists to explain why they oppose death penalty (Ellsworth and Gross, 1994).
     
    UK is a typical country that opposes to capital punishment since UK has been put the human rights and democracy in the priority list. The UK has to stand firm opposing the capital punishment in any situation as a matter of principle. The past two-decades have witnessed the increasing number of opponents and abolitionist around the world. The voice against the death penalty turns louder and this trend is welcomed to continue.
     
    Liberal democracies, different from authoritarian or theocratic, are devoted to limiting government power and guarding individual liberties, which leads to the less frequency of use of capital punishment in the democratic world. However, every nation achieves a balance between liberalism and democracy. The reason why the US still has capital punishment is due to the focus on the local popular democracy and the Supreme Court’s power in interpreting “liberty”.
     
    Conclusion
    The death penalty has long been a controversial subject. It sparkles hot discussion on whether and why capital punishment should be formulated by our society. Extensive opinion poll on death penalty has been done during the last 60 years, determining the level of backing capital punishment (Durham et al., 1996). The current results of polls indicate that numbers of supporters of the death penalty has declined from 79% in 1989 to 65% in 2001 (The Death Penalty Information Center, 2001). Although the degree of support for or opposition to the capital punishment is critical, it can not explain the different death penalty views collected among the general public. It is crucial for supporters and opponents and many other groups to perceive why to back or be against death penalty. Because the capital punishment is undoubtedly the supreme penalty in the world, given the literal life and death nature of death penalty, further researches about this subject are needed. But there are still different viewpoints on it, much more researches are worth being done. This paper analyzed the reasons for why citizens and governments vary in their level of support for or opposition to the capital punishment. Supporters’ opinions emphasize the deterrent effect, incapacitation and the instrumental perspective while opponents hold that morality should be taken into serious consideration. Besides, if a person is innocent and sentenced to death, his or her life can not be redeemed.
     
     
    Reference
    Arthur, J. A. (1998). Racial attitudes and opinions about capital punishment: Preliminary findings. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 22, 131-144.
     Against or for capital punishment?  作业代写
    Bohm, R. M. (1987). American death penalty attitudes: A critical examination of recent evidence. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 14, 380-396.
     
    Bowers, W. J. (1984). Legal homicide: Death penalty as punishment in America, 1864-1982. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
     
    Durham, A. M., Elrod, H. P., and Kinkade, P. T. (1996). Public support for the death penalty: Beyond Gallup. Justice Quarterly, 13, 705-736.
     
    Ellsworth, P. C., and Gross, S. R. (1994). Hardening of the attitudes: Americans views on the death penalty. Journal of Social Issues, 50, 19-52.
     
    Firment, K. A., and Geiselman, E. (1997). University students’ attitudes and perceptions of the death penalty. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 15, 65-89.
     
    Maxwell, S. R., and Rivera-Vazquez, O. (1998). Assessing the instrumental and symbolic elements in Attitudes toward the death penalty using a sample of Puerto Rican students. International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice, 22, 329-339.
     
    Radelet, M.L., Bedau, H. A., and Putnam, C. E. (1992). In spite of innocence. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
     
    Rankin, J. H. (1979). Changing attitudes toward capital punishment. Social Forces, 58, 194-211.
     
    The Death Penalty Information Center. (2001). History of the death penalty and public opinion about the death penalty. Retrieved 1st August, 2013, from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.
     
    Tyler, T. R., and Weber, R. (1982). Support for the death penalty: Instrumental response to crime or symbolic attitude? Law and Society Review, 17, 21-45.
     
    Whitehead, J. T., and Blankenship, M. B. (2000). The gender gap in capital punishment attitudes: An analysis of support and opposition. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 25, 1-13.
     
     Against or for capital punishment?  作业代写