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Essay Sample - Introduction Capital Punishment

12 Jun 2017Essay Samples

According to the “Office of Justice Programs”, in 2008 alone, there were thirty seven individuals were annihilated (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009, n.p.). A year before that, there were forty two (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009, n.p.). Eighty five(85), sixty six(66), seventy one(71), sixty five(65), fifty nine(59), sixty(60), fifty three(53) people executed from the year 2000 to 2006 respectively (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009, n.p.). 

This statistical information shows a decrease in number with time except for 2004 and 2005 wherein it increased but only slightly since only one person was added (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009, n.p.).

What does this decline in number mean?

Could it mean that capital punishment hinders the occurrence of crimes punishable by the aforementioned? Is it advantageous to society then? This essay will attempt to answer the aforementioned questions. 

What Does this Decline in Number Mean?

The decline in the number of executions may mean lesser crimes committed (Gluckstein, 2007, n.p.). Lesser crimes may be related to “economic factors” (Gluckstein, 2007, n.p.). Criminal acts like theft, bank robberies, murder, etcetera will be lessened if there would be less frustrations like a slower economic growth to bring about the aforementioned (Gluckstein, 2007, n.p.).

If the income of individuals is extremely low and jobs available are too little then it may lead to frustrations which in turn may lead to criminal acts (Gluckstein, 2007, n.p.).   

Furthermore, the decline in the number of executions may be due to the “effective strength of law enforcement agencies” (Marowitz, 2000, 7). “Law enforcement agencies” which considers “order” as their main focus and are very strict even with “small time crimes” will play a large role in the decrease of criminal acts (Marowitz, 2000, 7). For instance, loitering may be highly related to gangs and the latter in turn may be linked to “gun homicide” (Marowitz, 2000, 7).         

In addition to the aforementioned, the decline in the number of executions may be due to the manner or how the society takes the occurrences of crime (Marowitz, 2000, 14). The society already learned to cooperate with the law enforcers thus contributed largely to the decrease of occurrences of crimes (Marowitz, 2000, 14).

For instance, the members of the society now place security devices in their homes / offices to help prevent “property crime” (Marowitz, 2000, 14). Members of the society nowadays also help carry out information-dissemination, for instance, on drugs, in order for the youth not to utilize it and eventually become a factor in committing criminal acts (Marowitz, 2000, 14).

Does Capital Punishment Hinder the Occurrence of Crimes? 

Capital punishment may not necessarily hinder the occurrence of crimes (South Western College Publishing, 2003, n.p.).

Explaining further, “serious criminal offending and mental disorder” are highly related (Wallace et. al., 1998, pp. 477 – 484). A person suffering from a mental disorder does not have an intellectual capacity to comprehend that capital punishment is scary enough to change his or her mind about committing a crime (Wallace et. al., 1998, pp. 477 – 484). A criminal will not be objective or rational enough to weigh the consequences of what he or she will carry out (South Western College Publishing, 2003, n.p.).    

In addition to that, let’s take for instance murders committed during “domestic disputes”, in such cases, individuals who are highly emotional may kill compulsively without thinking what punishment he or she will receive after that (South Western College Publishing, 2003, n.p.).

Another example is that a rapist will not at all consider withdrawing from the crime he is about to commit; if his emotions are too extreme he probably would not even remember that he may later face “capital punishment” (South Western College Publishing, 2003, n.p.).   

Moreover, individuals who are exceedingly drunk or who have taken in illegal drugs do not really have the capacity to think about the negative effects of a criminal act; they will not really be objective about any action that they are about to carry out (South Western College Publishing, 2003, n.p.). Such individuals will also find it difficult to accept that they are accountable for such action (South Western College Publishing, 2003, n.p.).

Is Capital Punishment Advantageous to Society?   

The aforementioned kind of punishment entails annihilation of the person who committed a crime punishable by it. This means that the person subjected to such punishment will never be given a chance to change for the better. This is not advantageous for the society since the worth / significance of human life may be devalued by allowing such punishment to continue to be implemented. Those who originally consider life as extraordinarily important will be negatively impacted.     

In addition, there are cases when a person is executed for a criminal act he does not even have anything to do with; for instance in the case of “Ruben Cantu” who was annihilated in “August 24, 1993” (The Washington Post, 2005, p. A02). This is not an advantage to the society since injustice was presented instead of otherwise (The Washington Post, 2005, p. A02).


The decline in the number of people executed may be due to the following: 1) economic stability; 2) law enforcers; as well as 3) the society (Gluckstein, 2007, n.p.). “Capital punishment” cannot really hinder crimes especially if the offender has mental disorder, is too emotional, and is engaged in drugs/alcohol (Wallace et. al., 1998, pp. 477 – 484).

Most important of all, is it not advantageous to the society especially to those who value life so badly and because there is a possibility of annihilating an innocent person (The Washington Post, 2005, p. A02).


  • Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2009). Capital Punishment Statistics. Retrieved May 6, 2009 from www.ojp.gov/bjs/cp.htm.
  • Gluckstein, D. (2007). Crime: Capital’s Punishment. Retrieved May 6, 2009 from www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=9918.
  • Marowitz, L.A. (2000). Why Did the Crime Rate Decrease Through 1999 Sacramento: Criminal Justice Statistics Center Publications. 
  • South Western College Publishing. (2003). Policy Debate: Is the Death Penalty an Efficient 
  • Crime Deterrent? Retrieved May 6, 2009 from www.swcollege.com/bef/policy_debates/death_penalty.html.
  • The Washington Post. (2005). Witness Clears Man Executed in Texas for 1985 Slaying.  Retrieved May 6, 2009 from  www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/21/AR2005112101384.html.
  •  Wallace, C., Mullen, P., Burgess, P. Palmer, S. Ruschena, D. and Browne, C. (1998). Serious Criminal Offending and Mental Disorder. Case Linkage Study. 
  • The British Journal of Psychiatry. 172: 477 – 484.

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