Moral dilemma of death penalty Essay

Every country has a different constitution but no constitution permits cruelty and it has been widely debated that capital punishment is intense cruelty, death penalty has been widely employed in the US does that mean the constitution of the US supports cruelty? This is certainly a very interesting debate which can go on for centuries together without arriving at a conclusion. “Clearly much has changed in my thinking about the criminal justice system since I passed that bright orange poster stapled to a telephone pole ten years ago.” (Alexander Michelle, Page 12) Death penalty has attracted a lot of debate from society, with some people arguing against it, while others supporting it. As a form of punishment, some justice systems death penalty punishes a collective number of capital offenders who are guilty. Whereas, the definition of capital offenders differs, many offenders who are guilty of taking the life of others fall into the category of capital offenders. Despite that fact that capital offenders attract capital judgment decisions such as the death penalty, there are strong arguments that people have raised against this practice. Some people view that the death penalty is barbaric, expensive, and executed in an arbitrary way. Some people also cite death penalty as a cause of psychological burden to the executers, prone to errors, and a mark of death and not life. Death penalty also causes sorrow to the families of victims, create unfairness, and fails as deterrence. With better ways of punishing capital offenders, there are many reasons justice systems should stop practicing death penalty, but employ other humane alternatives.


Death penalty is a barbaric act of punishing capital offenders as compared to other options like life imprisonment (Banner 169). The practice of the death penalty is a cruel form of ending the life of capital offenders, because justice systems take their life with no thought about it. Today, it is true that the death penalty has evolved from severe brutality to more decent forms of taking the life of those sentenced to death. However, that notion that justice systems can end the life of a capital offender makes the practice brutal and barbaric. Some decades ago, this practice was a key attraction for all people in society, particular those who were interested in seeing others being shot or hanged. Despite the public attention to such events, the practice still displays the brutality that offenders receive when justice systems subjects them to this practice. With the society embracing a peaceful society where brutality is outdated, there are many reasons why justice systems should abolish the death penalty. Indeed, the end of the death penalty will indicate the lack of brutality in justice systems and a willingness to end brutal indicates an approach aimed at providing justice.

The practice of the death penalty cost justice systems needs a lot of money as compared to other forms of punishments (Ann 7). Justice systems that practice the death penalty always follow a long and stringent process to verify that suspects for capital crimes are genuinely guilty or not. The process of determining whether capital offenders are guilty or not often takes a long time and involves many jurors or lawyers working on the case. As a result, the entire process become expansive and a significant vote head that requires excessive fund (Pojman and Reiman 62). The cost of delivering capital punishment is a source of the extra burden to justice systems that may be grappling with limited funds to address their needs (Death Row in Pennsylvania 14). With more States looking for ways of saving on cost, ending capital punishments remains as one of the best options to reduce the cost of this capital punishment. In addition, ending capital punishment will also reduce the cost that families of offenders who have to contend with while hoping for the release of the loved ones

Death penalty is a significant cause of psychological burden that can lead to detrimental effect on judges and families of the suspects. When compared to other forms of punishment, death penalty affects those who are executing the orders to end the life of charged criminals, as well as families whose members face this practice. Without doubt, death penalty causes a conflict between the moral values of judges and other professionals in the criminal justice system. For instance, judges who hold religious values that condemn the death penalty will find it extremely challenging to issue a verdict where they sentence suspects to the death penalty. This is because such a ruling will compromise of their religious values. However, such judges must be able to work as the justice systems expects them to do, and this is always a cause of psychological burden (Berry 89). Because of this reason, death penalty can cause many woes to judges and make them suffer from psychological torture. The same case applies to families of suspects who face the death penalty. In cases where judges sentence criminal offenders to death, there are chances that families of suspects will experience psychological burden of having to bear with the demands of the situations. Family members who will have to wait for hearings, or wait for appeal cases to be heard can also feel this burden. Certainly, this psychological burden on judges and families is a valid reason for the justice system to abolish the death penalty.

Death penalty is a retributive form of punishment that justice systems must abolish as a means of punishing criminal justice. There are many reasons that make the death penalty a solution to ending crime. For some people, death penalty serves as a form of retribution to criminals. However, retribution is not a strong argument why justice systems should take the life of criminal offenders. Instead, there are better reasons that retribution does not form a better way of punishing offenders. In a real situation, criminal justice systems should exploit other means of punishing offenders who judges find to be guilty of capital crimes. This form of alternative can be life imprisonment, which is much better and has less retribution in it. When criminal justice provides less retribution when punishing offenders, there are chances that many of the offenders will find a better way to learn how to end crimes and other negative tendencies. Clearly, the statement such as eye for an eye will be less applicable because the society will understand that retribution has little value. Because of the death penalty, the society will learn from criminal justice that retribution play a crucial role in ensuring that people respect law and order. Nonetheless, people respect a justice system that does not promote retribution, but enhance the idea that prisons can rehabilitate suspects making them better persons rather than taking their life for crimes they commit. With the availability of other options like life imprisonment, it is vital that justice systems stop death penalty in favor of life imprisonment, which is a better option for providing justice in society.

Death penalty has the likelihood of causing death to innocent persons, rather than causing a just penalty for capital offenders. In States that practice the death penalty, many people face death despite their innocence, because of poor investigation or other factors that make them appear guilty while they are not. In society, people expect a fair justice system that seeks to protect those who are not guilty, while offering punishment to criminals (Gershowitz 7). People often look for this principle when considering the options for punishing criminals in society. However, death penalty is an option that can cause the death of innocent persons. For instance, people can identify wrong suspects who police will arrest and take them before courts of law judges will charge them. In this case, many people may face death because of an error, while they are actually not guilty. Because of the possibility of criminal justice ending the life of innocent people, there is a need for ending the use of the death penalty. Using this approach, criminal justice systems will be able to save the lives of many people that it has wrongfully sentenced to life imprisonment. This argument reinforces the reasons why justice systems should avoid the use of the death penalty as it can lead to deaths of innocent persons. Moreover, the end of the death penalty is likely to make criminal justice systems to release many people who are waiting be hanged. Ultimately, this is likely to create a strong positive impact on the on criminal justice systems (Walker 33).

The practice of the death penalty makes criminal justice system value death more than life in society. This is because the death penalty seeks to take away the life of capital offenders as a means of punishing them for crimes they commit (Guernsey 15). In society, the role of enhancing life cannot be underestimated. Because of this, men and women have a role of preserving life using all means possible. This will entail reducing chances of taking the life of others while increasing options of promoting the sanctity of life. Nonetheless, death penalty does not provide a better alternative to life. In fact, it creates an impression that life is of little value and justice systems can take it away. The impact of this impression is in the creation of a society where people do not value life, and exploit every reasons to take the life of others. Whereas death penalty creates a sense of no value to life, there is a need for justice systems to enhance the value of human life by reducing cases where executioners take the life of capital offenders. With the important of creating a society where people respect human life, it is of considerable value that judges refrain from sentencing capital offenders to death. With this approach, it is possible for criminal justice systems to create an environment where offenders will receive correction losing their lives. This will define a criminal justice system that protects the life of offenders.


“What do Murderers Deserve?” is a fantastic essay written by David Gelernter, the writer puts across his views on how murderers should be treated. In the first paragraph he says that a woman who killed two people but was penitent about the same when she was produced in the court but was executed in spite of her being sorry about the whole thing, on the contrary a man who murdered three people and injured many other people including the author, was not executed in spite of being impenitent about the whole thing just because he struck a deal with the justice department. This paper will throw light upon the views of the author on how murderers have to be dealt with. He presented a very good argument in his work which is immaculate.

The author is flabbergasted by the fact that America has lost all its values and this was why the man who murdered got away lightly just by striking a deal with the justice department. The author argues that there is discrimination in America and the immigrants from other countries are not being treated well, their children are being denied schooling in English schools and there is a lot of bias which exists in the society. The author points out the changing trend in America, he says that the innocent people are put behind the bars for child abuse just because some liars give testimony in the court against the innocent people and this result in trouble for the people who have done nothing wrong. The author questions the morality in modern America, he points out that the majority of people have become immoral. I firmly believe that the author succeeds in putting across his message.

The concluding lines of the essay go back to the murderers mentioned in the opening paragraph. The author says that he would surely think for long hours before executing a person who is repenting for his mistakes or crime. The author concludes the existence of communities in which the execution of people upon deliberately murdering the other people is not carried out. This goes to show that the author is against capital punishment and would like to change it forever. The essay contradicts the existence of capital punishment. The case presented in the essay is flawless and forces the readers to think about the same.

Death penalty is practices that judges can abuse in order to favor some people while causing harm to others. In society, fairness is a principle that all people and institution must observe (Li and Xiu-ying 78). In cases where people fail to observe fairness, there are high chances that a member of the community will suffer because of unequal treatment. This is because of unequal treatment of people based on a number of attributes. In the United States, research shows that many people from smaller minorities face more death charges than whites who are few in number. During slavery, many of people facing the death penalty were Negros from the South. Because of the death penalty, judges can abuse it to inflict harm on other ethnicities’ they have scores to settle. When this happens, the criminal justice system will paint itself as unfair and unjust to the need community members. This is likely to escalate the notion that criminal justice system has favors’ of some people while condemning others based on given attributes. With the need, to demonstrate that, criminal justice systems are fair; ending the use of the death penalty will go a long way in creating an environment where judge can met justice without appearing to be favoring particular ethnic or racial groups. While people may support the fact the criminal justice systems provide fair trials, dropping of death penalty will increase the credibility of justice systems as an institution that is fair and has a role of creating no disparities when executing justice in the society. With an end of the death penalty, criminal justice systems will be one-step ahead of the challenges related to fairness that is facing many judges and court systems.

Ending the practice of death penalty is a great relief to the parents, sibling, and friends of suspects that judges sentence to death. When justice systems sentence suspect to death, people go through especially those who know the suspects many difficulties ( Lisa 67). In many cases, there are many challenges that people experience whey their loved ones are waiting to face the death penalty. For instance, families have to find ways of catering for their needs or having to live with not parents, siblings, or friends. This is a problem with a far-reaching effect on society, yet they justice systems can stop the punishing people in this way. In doing so, it is possible to provide families, friends, and sibling with the support necessary for them to have peace and hope that they will see their loved ones even after their arrest.


Without doubt, death penalty is wrong alternative that justice system exposes capital offenders who are charged with severe crimes. Today, there are many reasons as to why justice systems must abolish death penalty and utilize other alternative to ending the death of prisoners charged with capital crime. First, death penalty is cruel and does not serve justice to people related to the suspects. In addition, death penalty can be abused and can cause psychological burden to the people associated with these charges. With the practice of the death penalty, there are high chances that justice cannot be done to innocent people who may face death while they are innocent. Moreover, death penalty creates value for retribution in society where better alternatives should be exploited as an alternative for ensuring that justice is delivered to offenders. Indeed, there are many reasons why death penalty ought to be abolished and other alternatives used as a form of punishing offenders in the society.

Works Cited

Alexander Michelle. The New Jim Crow. The New Press, New York 2010. Print.

“Death Row in Pennsylvania.” New York Times 29 Oct. 2011: 20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

Ann Hornaday. “Moral dilemma of death penalty. ” The Washington Post 11 Nov 2011,ProQuest National Newspapers Core, ProQuest. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Banner, Sturt. The death penalty: An American history. New York: Harvard University 2003.

Berry, William W. “Ending Death By Dangerousness: A Path To The De Facto Abolition Of The Death Penalty.” Arizona Law Review 52.4 (2010): 889-924. Academic Search Complete. Web. 28 Nov. 2011.

Gershowitz, Adam M. “Statewide Capital Punishment: The Case For Eliminating Counties' Role In The Death Penalty.” Vanderbilt Law Review 63.2 (2010): 305-359. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Guernsey, JoAnn Bren, Death Penalty: Fair Solution or Moral Failure?. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group.

Li, Xiao-jun, and Xiu-ying Yang. “On The Marx's Death Penalty Thought: Inspirations To China Death Penalty Reform.” Journal of China Lawyer & Jurist 5.4 (2009): 17- 20. Academic Search Complete. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Lisa Miller. “Scalia speaks for self on death penalty, not Catholic Church. ” The Washington Post 29 Oct. 2011,ProQuest National Newspapers Core, ProQuest. Web. 17 Nov. 2011.

Pojman, Louis P. and Reiman, Jeffrey, H. The death penalty: for and against. Maryland: Rowman & Littefield: 1998..

Walker, Ida . The Death Penalty . Minesota. ABDO publishing Company.

What Do Murderers Deserve? In a responsible society, the death penalty has its virtue. Web. Retrieved from: