Civilization or Brutalism? Capital Punishment in North Thesis

Total Length: 1213 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

Page 1 of 4

Civilization or Brutalism?

Capital Punishment in North Carolina

The threat of capital punishment has stood the test of time as the ultimate solution for any civilization to treat its unwanted criminals and enemies. As societies became more progressive, the form in which capital punishment took progressed as well, from poisons, nooses, electric shocks, firing squads, or even the good old axe to the neck, to modern chemicals whose sole intent is to stop the heart from beating. The way in which people may be executed has also developed, and with a modern court system has come the ability to seek several appeals to the justice system in order to delay and review cases for years. Because of the burden of the modern state, as terrible as some crime may be, capital punishment simply no longer makes economic sense. Also, psychologists have proven that the threat of capital punishment in no way deters would-be convicts from committing the crimes that put them on death row in the first place. The justice system should outlaw capital punishment in the State of North Carolina because it does not stop or slow crime.

North Carolina has not seen a decrease in its relative violent crime rates in comparison to non-lethal injection states, and therefore capital punishment cannot be cited as a crime deterrent as it often is. In recent challenges to the death penalty, the two sides were bared in Raleigh over the execution of Joseph Keel in 2003. (Charbonneau, 1) The argument served was that outlawing the death penalty would be unfair to the victims of violent crime and their families. This argument does not work well within the context of the death penalty as a whole, because lifetime behind bars is just as neutralizing to a criminal's threat as putting him on death row is, and therefore the death penalty is going beyond what it has to exact justice for the family.
The death penalty is an option of the judges, reserved for their judgment placed on a convicted felon. The person who commits a murder is doing so in the face of extremely harsh punishment anyway, and therefore continuing to act in such a way as to kill someone is a decision this person made with full knowledge of the effects of his actions. This means, therefore, that any murderer has forgone their rights to freedom in exchange for the murder, and thus will continue to murder their victim regardless of punishment when caught. In this way, the death penalty has no effect on the person committing their violent crime, and indeed the entire pro-death penalty argument for the death penalty reducing crime is poorly understood and misleading.

The act of execution has been outlawed in most of the world, and within the majority of American states. Currently in North Carolina, however, 158 offenders are listed as being on death row. (North Carolina Department of Corrections, 1) Compassion has been primary campaign to end any form of state execution, and Justin Smith, an anti-death penalty professor, states, "At the most fundamental level, the problem is that we are straining to retain capital punishment in a justice system that has already done away with corporal punishment. In such an odd -- and unprecedented -- state of affairs, the only way we could really live up to the prohibition without abandoning the practice in conflict with it is if we were able somehow to subtract souls from existence without having to work through the bodies these souls inhabit." (Smith, 2)

This execution mentality is contrary to American practices of doing away with corporal punishment, punishment to the body, and….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?