Death penalty

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According to historical research, the death penalty has been a widespread form of judgement since the dawn of human civilization. Throughout milleniums, the supreme punishment laws and the list of offences resulting in death changed, but the threat of being tortured and killed by the state remained even in the relatively civilized societies, like Ancient Greece and Rome. Still, the Enlightenment years overturned the way society treated the death penalty. Instead of being a human-perpetuated form of divine intervention, it was considered a way to protect the masses from dangerous criminals.

And while dozens of nations have altered their death penalty laws and given up the right to kill their citizens, supreme punishment remains a hot topic, especially when combined with the authoritarian nature of non-democratic regimes, like those in China or North Korea. While gruesome and disturbing for many students, death penalty essay topics remain popular among college professors, as they provide ample opportunity for students to demonstrate their research, argumentative and persuasive skills. And some students choose to write about the death penalty of their free will, as it is an easy contentious issue, perfectly suited for many assignment types. 

If you find yourself saddled with essays on death penalty, getting a fresh perspective can be a chore, considering the number of papers already written on the topic. It’s always a good idea to see for yourself what others write on the issue to avoid repeating stale arguments and gain inspiration. 

Our essay examples database is open for your use, so feel free to check out any samples that catch your eye. Stay on the lookout for strong arguments, and make sure to cite the sources if you find any relevant info there.

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What is death penalty?

The death penalty is a state-approved practice of executing convicts in judgement for gruesome offenses from murder to war crimes. Also known as supreme punishment, it is illegal in the majority of the countries across the globe, though some of the most densely-populated territories, like India or China, still execute their citizens for capital felonies. Although the number of executions goes down year-on-year, in 2020, almost 1,500 people were killed in 50+ states.

Is the death penalty effective?

Retentionist states claim to retain the death penalty to modulate crime levels. However, numerous studies demonstrate without a doubt that the death penalty isn’t more useful in preventing crime than other severe forms of judgement, like a life imprisonment. Others cite the continued danger to the society capital offenders pose and the need to support their incarceration through taxpayers’ money. However, autocratic systems use supreme punishment to control the population as a political and discriminatory tool against dissidents and minorities.

Is the death penalty moral?

Killing is against the moral mores of most religions and ethics schools. Instead of breaking the cycle of violence, the death penalty perpetuates it. However, the biggest issue of the continued use of supreme punishment is its irreversible nature and the number of wrongful convictions. Over the last fifty years, 180+ American death row prisoners were found innocent and were exonerated. The overall number of state-mandated executions through the death penalty across the globe exceeds thousands. Luckily it dwindles thanks to the efforts of human rights organizations, like Amnesty International.

What states still have the death penalty?

The death penalty is legal in 25 US states, while it is illegal in 22, and PA, OR and CA initiated governor-level moratoriums. The list of states using supreme punishment comprises most Southern states, including TX, OK and FL, all of which have executed 99+ convicts since 1976.

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