Death penalty argumentative essays are common for high school and college students. The death penalty represents one of the most debatable topics you can ever come across.
For starters, the argumentative topic is bound to elicit mixed opinions among different people. Everyone has their view on how the issue of the death penalty should be approached.
It can be regarded as a moral issue that raises an ethical dilemma of approaching it. The arguments will be based on personal attitudes towards the issue. Also, defining what is morally right on the subject will form part of this debate. By experience, issues raising ethical dilemmas form the best topics for an argumentative essay.
Given the opportunity, there would be so much you can write about the death penalty. However, your argumentative essay grading is not only limited to the points you present.
The structure and formatting are equally important in getting you that top grade. Therefore, let’s look at how to get the maximum points while writing an argumentative essay on the death penalty.
Why Is Death Penalty Argumentative Essay a Controversial Topic?
The statistics below tell why the death penalty argumentative essays are bound to raise controversies.
There were about 59 federal government and US military inmates awaiting execution as of July 2020. It would represent an increase from the 25 people that were executed in 2018. Worldwide, 657 inmates were executed in 2019. China led in the number of executions, followed closely by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Egypt.
These statistics have led human rights groups to call for abolishing the death penalty vehemently.
So, where does this school of thought lead to in your argumentative death penalty essay?
It should help you bring forward the point of how this penalty violates the human rights of prisoners. In such a scenario, your arguments will be hinged on the International Human Rights Treaty.
You will talk about the convention that condemns:
- Inhuman treatment
- And other forms of cruelty against prisoners
Where Do You Start When Writing a Death Penalty Essay?
How do you approach a death penalty argumentative essay?
To effectively write such an essay, you need to be sure about its nature. In this case, it falls under the argumentative essay category. Therefore, the most critical structural requirements are:
- And conclusion
While writing an argumentative death penalty paper, the thesis statement carries weight towards your grade. The examiner’s focus is on the stance you take on the issue. Will you be for the death penalty, or are you against it.
From there, the examiner will look to see whether you effectively defend this stance in the body of your argumentative essay.
When it comes to the body, remember to begin every paragraph with a point that reinforces your stance. By reading the first sentence of every paragraph, the lecturer should find one more reason why you either support or oppose the death penalty.
In this regard, here are some of the points that can be discussed on this topic.
How Effective Is the Death Penalty?
A controversial issue worth discussing in your death penalty argumentative essay is the effectiveness of capital punishment. The foundation of this argument in your essay is why capital punishment was established. Through its history, it is evident that this penalty was introduced as a means to deter crime. The fear of death is meant to scare criminals from engaging in capital crimes.
In your death sentence argumentative essay, it is worth reflecting on studies that have examined its effectiveness in deterring crime.
For example, the research conducted by the University of Colorado among leading criminalists in the country. The study found out that 88% of the criminologists do not consider the death penalty an effective means of discouraging crime.
However, the main controversy is that it is politically compelling for the leaders to look serious in combating crime.
How Do the People Feel About the Death Penalty?
Another issue worth talking about in your argumentative death penalty essay is people’s attitude towards this punishment. Based on the study highlighted in the previous section, you can propose that the political class seem to support the death penalty.
Moreover, the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976 would support this narrative. Your argumentative essay could also highlight the recent Supreme Court decision to reinstate the federal death penalty.
However, death penalty argumentative essays opposing this punishment could reflect on the attitudes of human rights groups. Organizations such as Amnesty International have always considered that a death penalty is an inhuman form of punishment.
Your essay could also include studies by various scholars criticizing capital punishment.
What Are the Justifications for Cancelling the Death Penalty?
If your death penalty arguments take an opposing stand, you will most likely add calls for its abolition. It will be expected that you should provide justifications that support these claims.
A different approach would be using the demand to abolish the death penalty as your central idea in the argumentative essay. Therefore, your body paragraphs will be based on providing reasons supporting this abolition.
Some of the points you can raise in the essay include:
- When executed, the penalty cannot be reversed in the event of a wrongful conviction
- Studies have shown it is not an effective strategy for discouraging crime
- It can be misused for political gains
- It violates the human right to life
The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Death Penalty
Essays about death penalty are largely controversial. On the bright side, it makes a good topic for your argumentative essay. However, on the tricky side, it is one that you are more likely to fail. The essay topic may appear simple, but it requires you to provide enough evidence to sustain your arguments.
How do you raise enough arguments in your paper?
Talk about the advantages and disadvantages of the death penalty. If you are against the death punishment, ensure that your cons are more than the benefits.
Below is a sample of the points you can include.
There is Minimal Evidence on the Workability of the Death Penalty
Several studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of this punishment in combating crime. However, the evidence gathered by most of these studies points towards its ineffectiveness. There is no significant evidence to justify the continued use of this punishment.
In your argumentative essay, include studies that have provided sufficient evidence on the cruelty of the death penalty.
The Ethical Dilemma Death Penalty Poses
You cannot write an argumentative essay on death punishment without raising the question of morality. The USA is a recognized democratic nation in the world. Therefore, such laws and practices are bound to raise moral concerns among different people.
Therefore, your essay could highlight the attitude of such people from an ethical perspective.
The Cost of Getting It Wrong
In America, it may take years before an inmate sentenced to death is actually executed. The reason is that we are primarily a democratic nation. Therefore, the prisoner has to be afforded enough time to appeal the sentence and prove their innocence.
However, this is not the case for other countries that uphold capital punishment. Luckily, your argumentative type of essay is not geographically limited. Therefore, discuss the irrevocable nature of this punishment in your essay.
Is it a justice system if it sentences an innocent person to death?
The Human Right Perspective of Death Penalty
A powerful argument you can raise in your death penalty paper is whether capital punishment violates human rights to life. The common understanding in society is that no one, including the judiciary system, is above the law.
Therefore, your essay could explore whether the law on capital punishment gives the system illegal power over life. Also, use your essay to question whether the various forms of death punishment are inhuman.
Death Sentence is Proportionate to the Capital Crime Committed
One of the advantages your argumentative essay could highlight is the frequency of the death sentences. There are very few inmates on death row in the USA.
Therefore, this sentence is only issued for aggravated crimes such as the rape of underage kids or brutal murders. Thus, the death penalty is considered a means to serve justice to the victims’ families.
Death Penalty Argumentative Essays Are Yours Now
We have reviewed techniques you can follow when writing death penalty argumentative essays. On top of the tips offered, we have provided samples on how you can approach such an argumentative paper. However, this does not mean that it is the much help we can provide for your argumentative assignment.
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