Justice And Death Penalty Essay Example

  • Category: Crime, Death Penalty,
  • Words: 822 Pages: 3
  • Published: 13 August 2020
  • Copied: 163

Have you ever been in a situation where a sibling or a friend does something that upsets you, and something in you wants to get back at them. Well that’s because as a people, our first instinct is to hurt the people who hurt us, but the standards of humanity demand a more mature response. We as a people should not live by the expression “an eye for an eye”. “To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.” The word “just” means behaving according to what is morally right and fair. Referring to that definition, is killing someone for revenge “just”?

To begin, determining whether something is “just” isn’t easy when you think of all crimes committed as a whole, but it is easier when you break it down to specific cases, for example; In a case with the supreme court, a man named Russell Bucklew claimed “The lethal injections that they planned to give would cause him an unusually painful death.” He claimed this due to his current medical condition. In this specific example, we can see that it would be unjust to kill a man this way. This leads us to think about all the different people that could be put to death and the different health conditions that could make the death a lot more barbaric.

“A 2012 study concluded families in Minnesota were able to move on sooner; because their loved ones’ killers were sentenced to life without parole, rather than the death penalty, they weren’t retraumatized in the multiple appeals that often precede an execution” Because there are so many risks within a Death Sentence there are options for multiple appeals which results in multiple retrials. Therefore all evidence and witnesses must attend court again, this causes a lot of emotional strain on witnesses. This process is so long-lived that nearly a quarter of the criminals die from natural causes.

“In recent years the statistics have shown an astonishing number of people who were sentenced to the death penalty but then retried and found innocent.” (concord) This shows us that there is a likely possibility that an innocent person could be put to death. If a death sentence can be revoked because of newfound evidence of tampered evidence, what's to say those things won’t appear after the “felon” is already executed, what happens then?

There have been multiple Pharmaceutical Manufacturers that are no longer selling their products to government purchasers that are using them as lethal injections. (Concord) “An overarching problem surrounding these drugs is that most haven't been thoroughly tested to show efficacy and relative painlessness, says Groner. The landscape of lethal injection drugs, he says, is "very, very unregulated, and untested."(Npr.org) If the government is using untested drugs to carry out this penalty, what’s to say that the reaction for one person will be the same for others? “ This has led to  ina number of recent executions where witnesses have reported that the convict suffered tremendous and prolonged pain and suffering during the execution.” Even though pain and suffering fall under unusually cruel punishment the government continues to use these untested drugs on people.

Many people believe that the more times we execute those who commit crimes, the more general crimes will decrease. “Studies of the death penalty have reached various conclusions about its effectiveness in deterring crime. But... the majority of studies that track effects over many years and across states or counties find a deterrent effect.” There is very limited evidence supporting the decrease in criminal activity, because of the death penalty, therefore making this statement less influential. “Last year roughly 14,000 murders were committed but only 35 executions took place.

Since murderers typically expose themselves to far greater immediate risks, the likelihood is incredibly remote that some small chance of execution many years after committing a crime will influence the behavior of a sociopathic deviant who would otherwise be willing to kill if his only penalty was life imprisonment.” The likelihood of a criminal willing to kill, rape or commit another felony being afraid of the death penalty is unlikely. “The results reveal that most experts do not believe that the death penalty or the carrying out of executions serve as deterrents to murder, nor do they believe that existing empirical research supports the deterrence theory. The authors report that 88.2% of respondents do not think that the death penalty deters murder.” 

“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.” There are many reasons the United States should not allow the death penalty to be legal in any state, including the government's use of untested drugs, innocents being convicted, and the excessive amount of re-trialing that is required. You can from just these few statements that the death penalty is not “just” and we as people should not stand for it to be legal any longer. 

Works Cited

“A Clear Scientific Consensus That the Death Penalty Does NOT Deter.” Amnesty International USA, 18 June 2009,      https://www.amnestyusa.org/a-clear-scientific-consensus-that-the-death-penalty-does-not-deter/. (Access Date September 20th)“Case Updates by Supreme Court Term.” Death Penalty Information Center, https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-and-research/united-states-supreme-court/case-updates-by-supreme-court-term. (Access Date September 20th).

Greabe, John. “Constitutional Connections: The Death Penalty and the Constitution.” Concord Monitor, Concord Monitor, 25 Mar. 2018, https://www.concordmonitor.com/The-death-penalty-and-the-Constitution-16397572.

Neilson, Susie. “Lethal Injection Drugs' Efficacy And Availability For Federal Executions.” NPR, NPR, 26 July 2019, 




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