Death Penalty Thesis Statement

While the death penalty has no history because it was born with humanity, the doctrine distinguishes two major phases in the history of capital punishment that separates the eighteenth century. Thus, prior to this, the death penalty was applied to a large number of crimes and its various forms of execution were characterized not only by killing, but by doing so producing the greatest torments and suffering to the victim.

From the illustration to the present, both a noticeable decrease in executions and a decrease in the catalog of crimes punishing the death penalty, which generally reduces, in the countries that recognize it, to the qualified homicides, child rapes or illicit drug trafficking. Contemporary states have gone from an inordinate extension of the death penalty to an exceptional, scarce and infrequent application of the death penalty. In this new configuration the democratic principles of humanity, equality, fraternity and the monitoring of Human Rights in contemporary society have influenced.

Nowadays, the legal treatment of the death penalty varies between an extreme abolitionism, for which the death penalty is not applied to any crime (Germany, Austria, Denmark, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Uruguay and Venezuela) , and a moderate conservatism, which is characterized by restricting its application, to a certain number of crimes (Saudi Arabia, China, USA, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru), passing, previously, by an exceptional conservatism, reserved for crimes derived from an emergency situation, as is the case of foreign war (Spain, Italy, Peru in the period between 1979 and 1993)

Death penalty thesis: arguments that are used in favor of the death penalty

The arguments that are used in favor of the death penalty try to demonstrate appealing to rational or emotional criteria, the coexistence of its establishment or conservation in a certain legal system:

a) Historical origin. In line with thesis statement about death penalty, it is pointed out that the death penalty has been practiced by all peoples and at all times and still survives today in some fully developed nations like the USA. Its eradication of the punitive catalog would not make sense because humanity throughout its history has shown itself favorable to its application. It is also pointed out that the restriction of capital punishment does not necessarily imply its disappearance.

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b) Preventive effect. Faced with the commission of crimes and serious crimes, the immediate, indifferent and prompt application of capital punishment thesis is postulated with the aim of restoring the normative trust of society in legal norms and law. By executing the culprit, society recovers from the commotion produced by the perpetration of the crimes and potential criminals are intimidated and persuaded about the consequences that their criminal act can bring. The severity of the sanction has a double effect; On the one hand, it allows society to rekindle its confidence in the norms and renew your faith in the law, and on the other hand help to instill fear to all who intend to commit criminal offenses.

c) Criteria of Justice or remuneration. This postulate states that capital punishment is justified on the basis of justice reasons that are summarized, according to the approach of Kant, in a categorical imperative: “You have killed a man, and then you must die.” The penalty, according to this criterion, does not have a preventive sense, but mainly a retributive one that is imposed for the crime committed. St. Thomas Aquinas already pointed out that in the same way that the surgeon must amputate the arm to prevent the infection from spreading to the rest of the body; thus, the delinquent must also be eliminated to avoid contaminating society.

d) Utility Criterion. According to criterion of thesis statement on death penalty, capital punishment favors the offender, the treasury and society. The offender benefits because he is provided with a quick and immediate death instead of spending his life “buried alive” in a prison. The supposed utility to the treasury is manifested in the high cost that represents the maintenance of the wrongdoer that is opposed to the lowest sum of the cost of execution. The social benefit would be achieved, in relation to preventive criteria, when society escapes the dangerous presence of the criminal, counteracts the inclination to crime.

Thesis statement for capital punishment: Criminal Code of our country

Deputies from two political parties have proposed a bill so that the death penalty, already contemplated in the Criminal Code of our country, can be imposed on kidnappers, murderers, parricides, sexual violators and perpetrators of enforced disappearance. Allow me to expose, on the death penalty, some theses.

  1. The majority of Guatemalan citizens approve imposing the death penalty, in line with capital punishment thesis statement, on those who commit very serious crimes, such as murder. However, invoking that majority is not precisely the best argument to impose the death penalty. It could be only a minority of citizens who approved to impose it; which would not imply that, then, it should not be imposed. Of course, if a controversy arises over the imposition or non-imposition of the death penalty and until a threatening foreign opposition arises to impose it, consulting the citizens would be an ideal resource.

  2. The death penalty is not completely dissuasive. That is to say, it does not prevent someone from committing the very serious crimes that with the imposition of that penalty are intended to punish. In general, no criminal law can be completely dissuasive; and murders are committed even if the death penalty is imposed on those who commit them, as well as robberies even if a penalty of imprisonment is imposed on those who commit them. It is not valid, then, to argue that the death penalty is useless because it does not prevent murders from being committed, nor is it valid to argue that imprisonment for committing robberies is useless because it does not prevent robberies from being committed.

  3. According to the thesis statement for capital punishment, reliable statistical research shows a correlation, particularly between the imposition of the death penalty and the reduction of murders. They even show a correlation between moratorium on the imposition of that penalty, and an increase in those crimes. One of the investigations was undertaken by professors specializing in crime economics, H. Naci Mocan and R. Kaj Gittings, from the University of Colorado. One of his conclusions was that “each additional execution reduces between five and six the number of homicides; but three additional pardons increase between one and 1.5 the number of homicides.

  4. No legislative, judicial or executive authority should have the power to grant the remedy of grace to those who have been sentenced to death, after the due judicial process has been fully complied with. In this thesis, it is implicit that no authority can have the power to replace the death penalty with a prison sentence, even if it is life imprisonment. The sentence dictated by the judge must be fulfilled. Precisely the appeal of grace can reduce the dissuasive effect of the death penalty.

  5. The right to life cannot be the right of those who have committed very serious crimes, such as kidnapping and murder, and also the right of those who have not committed those crimes. My opinion is that who commits very serious crimes, loses the right to life. It is unworthy to live. It is a social curse that must be eliminated. It can be argued that, in the case of Guatemala, the State protects life; but to protect life it may be necessary that the State itself, that is, the entire legal community of citizens, through the legitimate judicial authority, order the elimination of those who have committed very serious crimes.

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The death penalty, while not completely dissuasive, can help save the lives of tens or hundreds of innocent human beings.