Running head: DEATH PENALTY 1


Death Penalty

Nathan Wedgeworth

Cameron University

26 November 2019


The death penalty refers to a government-sanctioned practice where an individual is put to death by a state or legal entity for the punishment of their crimes. It can also be defined as the ultimate cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment. This topic has been around and in question for several years. In most cases, the basic questions argued in most debates revolve around ethical aspects to put an individual to death for a crime they did even to those that are even heinous. Therefore, by focusing on the death penalty most benefits are realized, thus making it an effective way to punish criminals with capital crimes.

Identification of the problem

The problem in lawbreakers receiving the death penalty needs to be addressed to gather any solution. The main issue to focus on in this case is to address whether or not offenders even those who are subject to heinous crimes, ought to receive death sentences.

Five-Step Process of Death Penalty

1. Pre-trial

This step involves “arresting the criminal, arraignment, preliminary hearing, grand jury, indictment, and hearing of the pre-trial motions and intentions to seek the death penalty” (Birla, 2009). In this step the crimes committed by the person should be eligible to death sentence involve brutal murders that shock the society.

2. Guilt Phase Trial

This step involves “jury selection, opening statements, prosecutions and defendants Case, closing statement, jury instructions, and verdict” (Birla, 2009). A primary examination is conducted to see if the lawbreaker is qualified for the death penalty. If yes they move to the next step.

3. Penalty Phase Trial

The step involves, “aggravating and mitigating circumstances, victim impact statement jury sentence recommendation and judge sentencing” (Latzer, 2010). After the jury is recommended the court formally pronounces the punishment on the defendant.

4. Clemency if the defendant Appealed

It involves the Pardon Board and executive clemency. In this step, the clemency might lower the intended charges and maybe relieve the offender from the intended judgment.

5. Execution

This is the last step after an individual appeal fails. It involves death row, death warrant, and execution. The death sentence is carried through legal injection, electrocution, lethal gas, hanging, or firing squad.

Reasons Why the Death Penalty should be kept

There are several reasons why the death penalty should be retained and utilized in most capital offenses.

1. The justice system needs to be tough on crime by punishing criminals proportionally

2. They did the crime, they should do the time

3. It is cheaper and more humane to execute people(Amnesty, 2019)..

4. Death Penalty is the ultimate warning.

5. It might end the suffering and trauma of family members and friends of the murdered victim when they see the murder (Banner and Banner, 2009).

The solution to problems of the death penalty

a) Calling for legislative action – Amnesty and legal human rights authorities can call upon the legislature to come with better options to replace capital punishment.

b) Lobbying the Supreme Court – The Supreme Court can be appealed to set better ways to solve capital offenses thus giving all parties involved proportional benefits.

Other people’s Opinions against my problem

Other people argue; first, death punishment goes against the most basic human rights since no one has the right to kill a fellow human. Second, being killed through electrocution or lethal injection is not always smooth and might induce a painful death (BBC, 2011). However, I rebut these arguments because once an individual kills another person it means they do not care even if they are killed.


Punishing capital crime doers to the death penalty should be retained because although it seems inhumane it is a better way than sentencing inmates in prison for life. By focusing on the death penalty most benefits are realized, thus making it an effective way to punish criminals with capital crimes. The problem of criminals receiving the death penalty has to be addressed to gather better solutions. The call to action is to decide whether or not criminals even those who commit heinous crimes should be given death punishment. “Criminals should be treated in accordance with how they treat victims no mercy should be accorded to them.”


Amnesty. (2019). Five Reasons some People Think the World Need the Death Penalty. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org.au/5-reasons-some-people-think-the-world-needs-the-death-penalty/

Banner, S., & Banner, S. (2009). The death penalty: An American history. Harvard University Press.

BBC, (2011). The death penalty – the arguments for and against. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/15007511

Birla, R. (2009). Stages of Capital: Law, culture, and market governance in late colonial India. Duke University Press.

Latzer, B. (2010). Death penalty cases: Leading US Supreme Court cases on capital punishment. Elsevier.

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