Capital Punishment in Criminal Justice

Capital Punishment in Criminal Justice

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Capital Punishment in Criminal Justice


Since time immemorial, criminals have been executed as a punishment for the crimes that they have committed (Rice, 2017). Capital punishment also referred to as the death penalty is a justice system where the offenders, when found guilty are killed. The reasons for the penalty varied among different societies and they included sexual crimes, blasphemy, magic as well as a violation of religious obligations among others (McFeely, 2019). In the USA the punishment has been used for treason, murder, and people involved in the use of spies by governments to obtain political and military information. Other parts of the world provide death punishment for different reasons. For instance, in the Middle East, the death penalty is given for people involved in sexual crimes including incest, sodomy, rape, and adultery. In China, it is given to people involved in corruption and human trafficking. In history, capital punishment involved various ways of killing an individual including crucifixion, stripping the skin off an individual, stoning, burning, dismemberment and crushing among other methods. In the modern world, industrialized countries may use lethal injections among other modern forms. However, in the USA, capital punishment is given through the firing squad (McFeely, 2019).


I am opposed to capital punishment being given to an individual irrespective of the crime that they have committed. The most common argument for capital punishment, which results in death, is that it serves as a deterrent to others who would want to engage in similar crimes (Rice, 2017). It means that other people in society will recognize the effect of the crime and consequently avoid getting involved. However, capital punishment is morally wrong and had more disadvantages than advantages.


Morally, it is wrong to give capital punishment because it simply results in the executer following in the steps of the offender. It involves committing a crime as compensation for another crime or simply following the example of the criminal by carrying out an equally bad action (Binder et al. 2016). The process does not allow the offender to take time and change their lives and be better people in the future. This is because an individual may have committed a crime unintentionally, such as crimes of passion, which may be different from the premeditated crimes. The person may be given another chance at life instead of being killed. The capital punishment however denies the offender the opportunity of rehabilitation, which is supposed to be the main goal of the justice system (Haney, Weill, and Lynch, 2015).  Also, the criminal justice system has been filled with errors previously and consequently, an innocent individual may be put to death for a mistake that they did not commit (Brown, & McGee, 2018).

The capital punishment process is also expensive and there are several costs involved including special prison housing and staff costs. The governments spend a significant amount of tax payer’s money to fund such processes. The money would be used to carry out other important activities like educating the poor in society or coming up with programs that would seek to establish corrective behaviors or deter youths from getting into crime (Brown, & McGee, 2018).

Capital Punishment in Criminal Justice

When criminals face capital punishment, it seems as though an individual is being given the decision to decide when another person’s life will end. In various religious beliefs, there is a supreme God that gives and takes life and therefore, when pothers end the lives of others, they seem to be assuming the role of God. Capital punishments infringe on the inviolability, sanctity, and dignity of an individual’s life as only God should be allowed the right to take the lives of people. In conclusion, capital punishment should be abolished from the legal system because it is morally wrong and is very costly in addition to the fact that it gives man the position of God considering everyone has one life.



American Civil Liberties Union. (2019). The debate against capital punishment. Retrieved


The article provides the reason why capital punishment is a process that is not only barbaric but also goes against the expectations of a democratic society.  It highlights the process as being expensive and consequently wastage of taxpayer’s money. It expounds on the fact that the process is inhumane and anachronistic or old fashioned. It also has a negative impact on the people that witness the process.  It shows several reasons why the process should be abolished and hence supports my argument on opposing the idea of capital punishment.

Binder, G., Fissell, B., & Weisberg, R. (2016). Capital punishment of unintentional felony

murder. Notre Dame L. Rev., 92, 1141.

The article delves into the eighth amendment and offers a description of an individual who is eligible for capital punishment. An example of a case is provided shedding more light on background information of the issue of capital punishment.

Brown, L. L., & McGee, S. G. (2018). Social Work and Capital Punishment: a Call to

Action. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work3(4), 229-239.

The authors highlight the stand by social work governing bodies that have called for an end to capital; punishment. The main idea is that it violates the eighth amendment and remains a threat to the mission of the profession and most importantly leads to violence. The article supports the position by arguing that the process is expensive. It suggests that the money that is used in capital trails and the appeals be used on other more appropriate roles such as law enforcement and a better society. It also establishes that the system is filled with errors hence proving the fact that innocent people may be convicted.

Haney, C., Weill, J., & Lynch, M. (2015). The death penalty. In B. L. Cutler & P. A. Zapf

(Eds.), APA handbooks in psychology. APA handbook of forensic psychology, Vol. Criminal investigation, adjudication, and sentencing outcomes (pp. 451-510). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

The article discusses the concept of capital punishment and explains that although few people are involved in the punishment, it remains a controversial topic that has been studied widely. it is established the punishment differs from the other types of punishments in degree as well as in-kind based on the fact that it is irrevocable. This supports my position because it brings out that the process rejects the possibility of rehabilitation and hence does not allow the criminal to change their lives.

McFeely, W, S. (2019). Trial and Error: Capital Punishment in U.S. History. Retrieved


The article provides information about capital punishment and the background of how it was used. It reveals the circumstances under which capital punishment was given including a description of the rimes from different parts of the world. It serves to highlight that some of the reasons were barbaric and did not deserve the sentence.

Rice, S. K. (2017). Darkness to Light: Procedural Injustice as Crisis for Capital

Punishment Legitimacy. Seattle Journal for Social Justice, 15(3), 13.

The article talks about the issue of capital punishment and the loops that exist in process. It serves to show that there are injustices that take place in the criminal justice system and as a result may have an impact on the capital punishment.


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