Argues in favor of the death penalty based on considerations of the psychology of the murderer.
# 147136 | 2,018 words | 9 sources | APA | 2010 |
Published by Shaad on Feb 27, 2011 in Political Science (Mill, John Stuart) , Psychology (Theory) , Criminology (Criminal Justice and Corrections) , Hot Topics (Capital Punishment)
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This essay argues that the death penalty is justified as the highest form of punishment and bases its argument on considerations of the psychology of the criminal. It first of all considers the counter argument, that the death penalty is unconstitutional, inhumane and does not represent a greater deterrence than life imprisonment. In this context, it discusses Bedau's Minimal Invasion Theory. It then considers recidivism and the burgeoning prison populations to show that life imprisonment is not a satisfactory solution. It then sets out to argue that the death penalty does indeed deter, emphasizing common sense and judging the psychology of the murderer. Appeal is made to the ethics of Kant and to the opinions of John Stuart Mill, Professor James Q. Wilson and Louis Pojman among others. The gist of this argument is that the would-be murderer does not appreciate the arguments of the abolitionists, and yet common sense dictates that they fear the death penalty. Finally, it is argued that the death penalty is only humane if carried out swiftly. It considers the fact that the torture inflicted on prisoners on death row is not part of the decreed sentence.
From the Paper:"One of the arguments of the abolitionist camp is that the existence of the death penalty does not deter the potential criminal from committing first degree murder. This argument is usually based on statistical inference, even though it is generally agreed that the data is ambiguous on this front. On the other hand, those who would enforce the death penalty argue that deterrence must be judged from a common-sensical point of view. Basic psychology tells us that humans are motivated in their actions through rewards and punishments. The psychology of the gravest criminals cannot be immune from these basic considerations. And if it is agreed that death is the greatest fear, then it must also be admitted that the death penalty is the greatest deterrent. After surveying the literature on this debate, this essay aims to establish that the common sense argument in indeed a valid one, and that the death penalty is indeed a greater deterrent to further crime than is life imprisonment."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Bedau, H. A. (2005). "An Abolitionist's Survey of the Death Penalty in America Today" in Bedau, H. A., Cassell, P. G. (Eds). Debating the death penalty: should America have capital punishment? : the experts on both sides make their best case. New York: Oxford University Press US.
- Cassell, P. G. (2005). "In Defense of the Death Penalty" in Bedau, H. A., Cassell, P. G. (Eds). Debating the death penalty: should America have capital punishment? : the experts on both sides make their best case. New York: Oxford University Press US.
- Harries, K. D. and Cheatwood, D. (1996). The Geography of Execution: The Capital Punishment Quagmire in America. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Kant I. (1996). The Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by M. J. Gregor. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Kozinski, A. (2005). "Tinkering with Death" in Bedau, H. A., Cassell, P. G. (Eds). Debating the death penalty: should America have capital punishment? : the experts on both sides make their best case. New York: Oxford University Press US.
Cite this Argumentative Essay:
The Psychology of the Murderer (2011, February 27) Retrieved September 22, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/the-psychology-of-the-murderer-147136/
"The Psychology of the Murderer" 27 February 2011. Web. 22 September. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/argumentative-essay/the-psychology-of-the-murderer-147136/>