Academic Reading and Writing 1
Instructor : George Rueckert
Critical Review on the topic “Should there be a Death Penalty?” Introduction
While capital punishment has been practiced since ancient times, debate over its use has taken place since the eighteenth century. I wrote my critical review on the topic which is one of the most controversial topics nowadays, and everybody has his or her own opinion on this subject. So my topic is “Should there be a Death Penalty?”. The reason I have chosen this topic was my desire to compare the arguments for and against the death penalty used in the judicial system and establish on this subject my opinion augmented by the facts and logical conclusions. I think the majority of the people would vote for using the death penalty in the judicial system but I am sure that the majority of them wouldn’t have a reasonable point of view on this topic. The judicial system and the methods of punishing the criminals, or anti-social elements, is one of the key factors in the structure of every country and that’s why I want to have a logically based attitude toward this subject. There are many opponents and supporters of the death punishment and they have a long list of arguments in favor of or against this practice. So we have to carefully examine all aspects of the death penalty to come to a conclusion. I used some academic articles to write my critical review. One of the most important points of these articles is the statistics. According to that graph, about 67 percent of the people in United States who were asked the question “Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?” answered “yes”. And about 28 percent answered “no”, whereas others didn’t give a concrete answer to this question or didn’t have an opinion.
So the ratio of the number of people who are in favor of the death sentence to the number of people who are against is 2:1. Gallup opinion polls demonstrate that the American public overwhelmingly supports capital punishment. (Muhlhausen, 2007) Critique of the Death Penalty
As I said before, those people who advocate the death penalty claim that demanding the life of someone who murdered someone else is not anything but justice. So in other words, in this case the murderer must be given the punishment the same as the crime he committed, because the person who kills someone doesn’t have a right to live. The author of the article “Pro Death Penalty Arguments”, Abhijit Naik, says that the champions of human rights need not pay so much attention to these criminals who themselves don’t respect other people’s right of life. In addition he argues that the meaning of taking the life of the murderer is not to comfort the victim’s family or relatives and is not for their revenge but to restore the imbalance resulted after an individual has taken someone’s life.(Naik, 2010) George W. Bush said it best :
I don’t think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. I don’t think that’s right. I think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people’s lives. That’s why crimes such as murder are not tolerable in this society. To conclude this issue, the author says that the death penalty highlights a simple fact - a murderer has to die for justice to prevail. Second, and the most prominent death penalty pro argument proposed by the supporters of the death penalty, is the fact that the death penalty serves as a deterrent for other individuals. There is a deterrence theory, which supposes that the awareness of the risk of being executed for crime deters individuals from commiting crime. To prove that theory, the author of the article “The Deterrent Effect of the Death Penalty”, David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., Senior Policy Analyst in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, did researches using sophisticated panel data methods, in order to demonstrate interconnection...
References: Muhlhausen, David. (2007). “The Death Penalty Deters Crime and Saves Lives.” Retrieved
on October 13, 2011 at http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/the-death-penalty-deters-crime-and-saves-lives
Naik, Abhijit (2010). “Pro Death Penalty Arguments.” Retrieved on October 13, 2011 at http://www.buzzle.com/articles/pro-death-penalty-arguments.html
Nair, Tulika (2011). “Arguments Against the Death Penalty.” Retrieved on October 13, 2011
Pham, Xuanlan (2005). “The Death Penalty Should be Abolished.” Retrieved on October 13, 2011 at http://www.eslstation.net/Lab_Information/Our_Lives/Viewpoints/Death_Penalty1.htm
Meehan , Mary (1982). “A Dozen Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty” Retrieved on October 13, 2011 at http://www.meehanreports.com/dozen.html
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