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Within the context of America’s criminal justice system, the idea of punishment is one of - page 3 / 4

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deserve to continue to live within society? Are we, as a society, acting in the best interests of society to completely remove these individuals from any chance of living – and, do the fiscal benefits outweigh the moral benefits (Zimring, 2004).

It does seem, also, that it is very dependent upon the crime. A crime of passion, say a husband walks in on his wife with another man, grabs a shotgun in rage, and kills them both; as opposed to someone like a serial killer who, for decades, kills, tortures, or even cannibalizes numerous innocents. Does not society have a duty, much less a right, to hunt down and rid the world of these monsters? Do not some of the world’s major religions even say that if someone acts out of hate that they should e dealt with in a similar way?  Looking at the debate objectively, from a distance, one can still see that in certain instances, it may be in the best interests of everyone to execute a convicted criminal. In other cases, perhaps it is a rewriting of the laws that allow capital punishment that are needed, rather than simply doing away with the institution as a whole (Banner, 2003).

References:

Banner, S.  (2003), The Death Penalty: An American History, Harvard U Press.

Bedau, H. and P. Cassell, eds., (2005), Debating the Death Penalty: Should America

Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Case,

Oxford.

Haines, H. (1999), Against Capital Punishment: The Anti-Death Penalty Movement

In America, 1972-1994,  Oxford.

Mandery, E. (2004), Capital Punishment in America, A Balanced Explanation. Jones

and Bartlett.

Zimring, F. (2004), The Contradictions of American Capital Punishment,

Oxford.

www.pro-capital-punishment.com

www.captialpunishmetuk.org

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