The Folly of Capital Punishment Article Review

The Folly of Capital Punishment
A critical review of Jeffrey Reiman's article, "The Folly of Capital Punishment".
# 149446 | 1,997 words | 1 source | MLA | 2009 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper outlines Jeffrey Reiman's arguments in his article "The Folly of Capital Punishment", and asserts that overall, his article is sound and consistent. The paper describes how Reiman combines the uselessness of the death penalty with the usefulness of abolishing it to present a solid argument against executing murderers as a form of punishment. The paper does posit, however, that Reiman needs only to remove the almost apologetic undertone created by admitting that murder is deserved for murderers to give his arguments a little more strength.

From the Paper:

"Jeffrey Reiman's article "The Folly of Capital Punishment" argues for the abolition of the death penalty by exemplifying the fallacies in the death penalty's intentions for society and suggesting the moral and social benefits of abolishing the death penalty. First, he discusses the deterrent effect of the death penalty on potential murderers. Then he chronicles the governmental trend of punishment throughout the advancement of civilization and suggests that further institution of the death penalty marks a regression in civilization. Overall, he makes a convincing argument, although he commits at least one error that weakens the article.
"The primary intention of capital punishment, other than retribution, is to deter future murder from taking place. Reiman contends that the threat of death for potential murderers has no effect on their decisions - or at least no more of an effect than the threat of life imprisonment. He says, "Most of the research we have on the comparative deterrent impact of execution versus life imprisonment suggests that there is no difference in deterrent impact between the death penalty and life imprisonment." (p. 283) The low probability of death by execution keeps the threat from entering the minds of murderers, just as "we are undeterred by small likelihoods of death every time we walk the streets.""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Jeffrey Reiman. "The Folly of Capital Punishment". The Death Penalty (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998)

Cite this Article Review:

APA Format

The Folly of Capital Punishment (2011, December 16) Retrieved March 29, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Folly of Capital Punishment" 16 December 2011. Web. 29 March. 2023. <>