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Capital Punishment: The Advancement of Modern American Society

by Telson94


Capital Punishment: The Advancement of Modern American Society

Over the course of history, capital punishment (or the Death Penalty) has been practiced since man developed law. Before Christ, it was extremely cost effective and much easier than jailing someone for life. After the birth of Christ, nothing much changed. It was still unimaginable to detain a person for their whole life unless they were forced into slavery, only because it would then make that person into a resource. The philosophy behind death rather than a life of punishment, after committing a felony offense, was pushed by a lack of resources and a waste of money. It was simply dismissed as impractical to preserve the life of a felon.

In modern times, the death penalty is a common sentence sought by the United States Criminal Justice System for capital crimes. While the U.S. still commonly pursues the death penalty in the case of a capital crime, other countries have either abolished it or put it into moratorium (a suspension of use), to decide the practicality of such a sentence. The purpose of the death penalty is to serve as a deterrent of the capital crimes in which it is practiced. This method is ironic in its attempt to discourage the murdering of human beings while exploiting the death of another. There have been many debates on whether or not the death penalty is a method of cruel and unusual punishment, or if it's morally just for a law-abiding citizen to punish someone by way of death. It has also been recognized to be extremely expensive, still continuing at an all time high in terms of Death Row population, while maintaining a relatively low average rate of executions per year.

Many Americans who disagree with the death penalty, regardless of their reasons or beliefs, typically agree that a sentence of "life in prison, without parole" should be used in lieu of the death penalty for all capital crimes. Eliminating the death penalty would relieve any pressure from a moral standard, however, in a time of economic struggle it should be seen as senseless to waste a "lifetimes" worth of resources on a person who has committed a capital crime, as this person has proven they do not wish to be bound nor protected by the laws of society.

Death or a life of imprisonment; the options of degrading ourselves down to the level of the perpetrator or doing nothing, except providing that person with shelter and food for the rest of their life, only at the expense of the taxpayers. Are these really the best methods to deliver justice to those who commit such heinous crimes? No they aren't. These methods do not deter criminals from committing such offenses. They are not afraid of the punishment for committing capital crimes, they know they will either be put away for life or eventually, put to death. They also know that either method impacts society in a negative way, all the while, they will carry no regard for the grief they have caused us, the people of modern American society.

In turn, should we carry any regard towards the sentence of the person who was found twice guilty (in regards to an appeal) in a case of terrorism, murder, treason, child molestation or rape? No, we should not, but as an advanced society in the 21st century, we do. We have become so advanced that we have challenged an ideal that has been upheld since our counter-parts first developed law, long before the birth of Christ, with our own question of morality. Is it right or is it wrong to put a person to death after they have committed such a terrible act? Why must we return to death in order to find justice?

As part of a law-abiding society, which supports the well-being of all included, it is easy to understand the need for separation between criminals and law-abiding citizens. Criminals take part in crime, while law-abiding citizens take part in commerce. In ethics, it is the citizen who is stimulating the economy as well as society, while the criminal in essence, incapacitates society and the economy. With this being said, would it not be best to remove the capital criminal all together? The most effective way to remove this criminal from the law-abiding society, within which they have chosen to not oblige, would be to sentence such persons to permanent exile; not death nor a life of imprisonment without parole.

Today, the United States of America is home to over 310 million people, while over 2.2 million of these people are currently incarcerated. (Census-BJS) Of the 2.2 million people who are incarcerated, 159,000 are serving life sentences, -50,000 of which are without parole. (Sentencing Project) In January 2013, there were also 3,095 inmates on Death Row awaiting appeal and execution. (DPIC) The U.S. Department of Justice plans to spend over $111 million dollars between 2010 and 2014 to 'fully' open two prisons (FCI Berlin, NH, and FCI Aliceville, AL) to alleviate overcrowding. This project began in 2010. (Federal Budget 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 request)

On the contrary, if the millions spent on these “two new prisons” by the U.S. Federal Government were to be redirected, the United States would be able to purchase or create an island in the middle of the ocean to which we would exile all capital criminals and those serving life sentences without parole. The island would be developed with basic resources and tools to maintain and support life. The exiled would be given a built structure, tools, and books necessary to create and establish a functioning society. Then given a moral choice, the right to survive and prosper, or the right to die, the exiles will decided internally. The island would not be a case of inhumane treatment, as it would be habitable and fair to all those who choose to commit such crimes, their only punishment being freedom. The advent of community policing would be completely necessary between the exiled, which should ultimately teach rehabilitation to the island society.

To ensure the sentence of exile to only the island, said island would have to be protected by the U.S. Armed Forces. The island would not be under patrol but surrounded by the U.S. Navy on all sides, constantly. Ships surrounding the island would be training vessels only, used for recruits to gain experience. Anyone found trying to escape the island will either be captured and returned or killed; no man shall fire unless fired upon.

As a result, this would include the reduction of more than 53,000 extremely violent criminals from federal and state prisons, which would not only “alleviate” overcrowding but completely recondition all prisons in the United States with many positive aspects. Foremost would be the fact that prisons and jails would be far less violent, making it much safer and easier to maintain. While another great aspect of this change would be the allowance for separation between violent and non-violent criminals, which would inevitably make for a more useful practice of rehabilitation for both. For example, any prisoner who would like to pursue an education would be easily allowed to, due to the fact that they do not wish to exert violence and are becoming safe beings. To put it differently, the sentencing of exile to extremely violent criminals will put the rehabilitation of the less violent and non-violent on the fast track, which would be an improvement to society all together.

In addition, this course of action, if taken by the United States would be considered a very noble step in the advancement of modern American society. Why noble? If pursued, the sentence of exile will be controlled, bringing forth the most humane treatment of a criminal ever before, with freedom being the criminals only punishment. Criminals interacting with other criminals who think and act similarly, all of whom carrying a uniform belief of self-righteousness. A completely impartial society, where the morality of all included will be proven. Naturally this nobility will draw close attention to the United States from other countries, many of which may decide to take a similar step in criminal correction or may even wish to engage in this matter with the U.S., as it would be considered a foriegn affair.

In simpler terms, the removal of all criminals who are serving life sentences without parole and those on Death Row through the sentencing of exile to a secluded, protected, and inhabitable island will be the beginning of a new advancement in modern American society. This advancement will make way for a far greater change in the direction of future generations to come. It will give more focus and security to those who deserve another chance to thrive in our society. Most importantly, it will be a noble step towards forgiveness, the key factor to the spreading and preservation of peace.


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Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:50 am
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MooCowPoop wrote a review...



This is really cool. I'd never thought about the death penalty in this way.

A little suggestion from me is hat you provide the evidence somewhere closer to the beginning of the essay. For instance, you made lots of points which, I feel neded some solid evidence, like this sentence:

"Many Americans who disagree with the death penalty, regardless of their reasons or beliefs, typically agree that a sentence of "life in prison, without parole" should be used in lieu of the death penalty for all capital crimes. "

I may have read this wrong or missed it if its already in there, but I feel that you should give more evidence that connects to how this is the advancement of modern society, maybe quotes by some people. Or not...

Feel free to disregard all of this advice if you wish. It's still an awesome essay!




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Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:49 am
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liesgirl wrote a review...



You make a great point, about the death penalty. The idea is a fresh one, and sounds like it would work for all those concerned.

There is only one thing I would do to change your organization. In your 10th paragraph you first say that prisons would be less violent, then go on to say that we could separate the violent from non-violent criminals. The first point seems to support the second better than vice versa.

Maybe I missed this, but would this island be only for those with life sentences, or might others be put there?

Good job on a great paper!





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