Sample Criminal Justice Essay Paper on An Eye for an Eye or Just Political Rhetoric and Maneuvering

An Eye for an Eye or Just Political Rhetoric and Maneuvering

Proponents of the death penalty assert that it acts as a better general deterrent against crimes, as compared to other punishments such as life imprisonment (Siegel, 2016). They believe that normal people fear death. Consequently, most individuals are less likely to commit a crime when they understand the possibility of capital penalty. Amnesty International (2014) notes that most countries that use capital punishment use it to deter perceived threat to both state and public security.

According to Hood and Hoyle (2015), the purpose of punishment ought to be deterrence, incapacitation, retribution, restitution, and rehabilitation. The death penalty deters future crimes by incapacitating the criminal through eliminating them from society. It also prevents the public from committing future crimes since they understand the eminent threat of losing their lives through capital punishment.

The society also finds retributions when offenders are adequately punished. Capital punishment also offers restitution since the criminals pay for their deeds (Siegel, 2016). On rehabilitation, the death penalty may also alter the behaviors of other offenders who would fear execution. The death penalty is thus a valid form of punishment as it satisfactorily covers the purpose of punishment.

Amnesty International (2014), states that there has been a decrease in capital punishment around the world. However, it is highly unlikely that the death penalty will be abolished soon as there are high approval rates for capital punishment (Siegel, 2016). The death penalty offers a valid form of punishment and provides justice and respect for life. However, it should be applied only to the worst offenders such as terrorists. Further, criminal justice systems ought to ensure adequate protections system to avoid execution of innocent people.


Amnesty International. (2014). Death Sentences and Executions 2014. United States Amnesty International Organization.

Hood, R., & Hoyle, C. (2015). The Death Penalty (1st Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Siegel, L. J. (2016). Criminology: The Core. (6th Ed). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.