It occurs to me that it might not be necessary to start with a thesis for or against the death penalty after all. Judgiing from my own thoughts and feelings, it would be hard for me to come out with a thesis statement that the death penalty should be abolished or that it should be retained. I simply don't know. It would be easy to say that the death penalty should be abolished because it is cruel and unusual punishment, because it is unfair to minorities, and because it doesn't deter capital offenses. It would also be easy to say that cold-blooded murderers don't deserve any consideration and that they ought to be eliminated--especially for such atrocities as torture-murders of women and children.
Another approach to a thesis statement therefore might be to state that the death penalty poses a moot question which has yet to be satisfactorily answered. Then the follow-up would be to present the arguments against the death penalty and the arguments in favor. (And there are plenty of people who favor retaining the death penalty and even using it more often.)
This would be a more difficult essay to write, and the conclusion would also be difficult to formulate, but many studies end with the time-honored, all-purpose conclusion that the problem needs further study. After all, your opinion is only one of millions, and your essay is not going to affect the death penalty one way or the other. The same would be true for me if I were to write an essay on the subject. I really don't know. I'm not crazy about the death penalty, but there are many cases I read about in which, to be honest, I certainly can't feel sorry for the person getting the lethal injection.
Best Answer: For the worst crimes, life without parole is better, for many reasons. I’m against the death penalty not because of sympathy for criminals but because it doesn’t reduce crime, prolongs the anguish of families of murder victims, costs a whole lot more than life in prison, and, worst of all, risks executions of innocent people.
The worst thing about it. Errors:
The system can make tragic mistakes. As of now, 142 wrongly convicted people on death row have been exonerated. We’ll never know for sure how many people have been executed for crimes they didn’t commit. DNA is rarely available in homicides, often irrelevant and can’t guarantee we won’t execute innocent people.
Keeping killers off the streets for good:
Life without parole, on the books in most states, also prevents reoffending. It means what it says, and spending the rest of your life locked up, knowing you’ll never be free, is no picnic. Two big advantages:
-an innocent person serving life can be released from prison
-life without parole costs less than the death penalty
Costs, a big surprise to many people:
Study after study has found that the death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison. The process is much more complex than for any other kind of criminal case. The largest costs come at the pre-trial and trial stages. These apply whether or not the defendant is convicted, let alone sentenced to death.
Crime reduction (deterrence):
Homicide rates for states that use the death penalty are consistently higher than for those that don’t. The most recent FBI data confirms this. For people without a conscience, fear of being caught is the best deterrent. The death penalty is no more effective in deterring others than life sentences.
Who gets it:
The death penalty magnifies social and economic inequalities. It isn't reserved for the worst crimes, but for defendants with the worst lawyers. It doesn't apply to people with money. Practically everyone sentenced to death had to rely on an overworked public defender.
Like no other punishment, it subjects families of murder victims to a process which makes healing even harder. Even families who have supported it in principle have testified to the protracted and unavoidable damage that the death penalty process does to families like theirs and that life without parole is an appropriate alternative.
It comes down to whether we should keep the death penalty for retribution or revenge—the only plausible reasons to support it.
Source(s): FBI http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm and
for state by state homicide rates from the FBI (alphabetically) showing which states have the death penalty
The Innocence Project, http://www.innocenceproject.org
page 3 and 4 on why the death penalty is so expensive
Susan S · 5 years ago