Sunday, July 28, 2019

Policy Issues in the Criminal Justice System Essay

Policy Issues in the Criminal Justice System - Essay Example Indeed, never before in history has the controversial practice appeared to be under such a threat. These people consider the death penalty to be a form of cruel and unusual punishment. They argue that it is a part of a barbaric ancient world and as such it no longer has any place in our contemporary world. This is a popular opinion. But upon critical consideration, the idea that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment does not stand up to scrutiny. Just because something had been used for many millennium does not mean it is barbaric or obsolete. People in the past knew a great deal about human nature; Michelangelo, for example, painted the Sistine Chapel. He was not a barbarian. The truth is we need to look at the death penalty in the contemporary world and examine its effectiveness. We need to look closely to see if it is cruel and unusual punishment or if it is an effective and responsible way to punish murderers and allow society to act as it feels is necessary in the fa ce of certain heinous crimes. Society needs to be able to make a statement about the worst crimes. One of the few developed countries to still use the death penalty is America. In America today capital punishment is legal in around thirty-seven states. It enjoys substantial popular support (Clark County). Most Americans do not believe it is cruel and unusual punishment. They believe it is an appropriate form of censure. ... If it is cruel—and that is an open question—it is plainly in response to the cruelty of the acts committed by those who have received the death penalty. The truth is that there is a strong argument that the death penalty is a deterrent to those who seek or plan to commit heinous crimes—this would therefore justify those who suggest the death penalty is beyond the pale. The death penalty prevents people from committing crimes. No one criminal wants to end up subject to capital punishment and on death row. That is only part of the argument in favour of capital punishment however; more than that, the death penalty is the ultimate sanction that society can take against those who commit the most serious crimes. As a whole society needs a mechanism through which to express their extreme displeasure at acts of extreme violence. This simply make sense. Many scholars also believe it works effectively as a deterrent (Mappes, 98). Those who study criminology and who take a serious interest in this question, often agree that the death penalty has that kind of impact. The statistics, however, may not be so clearly demonstrative. The reason why statistics are so open to misuse and manipulation by death penalty opponents is the fact that many murders committed by murderers are not actually first degree and do not involve a lot of premeditation. They often occur on the spur of the moment or by negligence. For these sorts of crimes, death penalty is not much of a deterrence—and this fact will be reflected in the statistics used by opponents. In fact, it is difficult to think there is much of a correlation between crime rates and capital punishment to begin with. Homicide is but a very small portion of crime

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