The Death Penalty vs. Life Without Parole Term Paper by Nicky

The Death Penalty vs. Life Without Parole
A review of the research on the attitude of Americans towards life without parole as a replacement for the death penalty.
# 148794 | 1,570 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2011 | US

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper explores the literature to demonstrate that not only the public, but also politicians, officials and researchers are joining the debate for life rather than death as the harshest form of punishment. The paper discusses how life without parole is a very severe punishment that is a viable alternative for the death penalty, as it does in effect deprive the convicted of life, it addresses the issues surrounding the high proportion of African-American executions and also addresses the main concern of capital punishment, that is the irreversible execution of the innocent.

From the Paper:

"Before substantiating their arguments with various interviews and examples, the authors briefly address two objections to life without parole: the first related to public safety, and the second to the appropriateness of the punishment to the crime. These arguments are refuted, as noted above, as invalid on the strength of research findings to the contrary - life without parole prisoners pose no special danger either to prison society or society at large; they also suffer substantially by the permanent removal of their civil lives. According to the authors, this is far worse than the death penalty, as prisoners are made to suffer for the rest of their lives, knowing that there is no reprieve besides death (Johnson & McGunigall-Smith 344).
"Richard C. Dieter also addresses the death penalty on the basis of a public opinion that is shifting towards lifelong incarceration rather than death. Dieter substantiates the issues mentioned above by noting three basic reasons for this phenomenon (Dieter 1). The first is the concern regarding the risk of wrongful execution, overall fairness in the process, and the apparent inability of capital punishment to accomplish the basic purpose of its existence in the first place. Indeed, according to a 2007 opinion poll mentioned by the author, a large amount of citizens believe that a moratorium should be place on all executions, in addition to the belief that
such executions are no deterrent to crime."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "A Matter Of Life And Death: The Effect Of Life- Without-Parole Statutes On Capital Punishment." Harvard Law Review 119.6 (Apr. 2006): 1838-1854. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. EBSCO U of MD U Coll. Info. and Lib. Services. 12 May 2009 <>.
  • Cholbi, M. "Race, Capital Punishment, and the Cost of Murder." Philosophical Studies 127.2 (15 Jan. 2006): 255-282. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. U of MD U Coll. Info. and Lib. Services. 14 May 2009 <>.
  • Dieter, Richard C. "A Crisis of Confidence: Americans' Doubt About the Death Penalty" A death Penalty Information Center Report, June 2007.
  • Johnson, Robert & McGunigall-Smith, Sandra. "Life Without Parole, America's Other Death Penalty". The Prison Journal, Vol. 88, No. 2, June 2008.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Death Penalty vs. Life Without Parole (2011, November 06) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Death Penalty vs. Life Without Parole" 06 November 2011. Web. 09 June. 2023. <>