Death Penalty from a Prison Officer’s Perspective

One of the most important issues in the criminal justice system is in relation to capital punishment. There are certain concerns when it comes to the aim to understand the said issue. These can include the question of the effectiveness of capital punishment and even the issues related to morality in terms of the imposition of the said punishment.

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In the study of the issues related to capital punishment, the presentation of the matters is related to the death penalty. The death penalty can be considered as an ancient form of punishment in relation to the type of crime that had been committed. For that matter, the said punishment is based on the laws and judgment of the authorities in the particular country. The study of capital punishment, it can be considered a difficult issue. Thus, it is important to present the points that can be understood.

In the study of the situations and the sides that are related to the death penalty, it is important to determine the different data that can be considered of importance. In the United States, the real scenario related to capital punishment can be viewed based on different concerns.

The implementation of the death penalty in the modern era had been started in the 70s when the need for death penalty as capital punishment. The issue of the probable conviction o innocent criminals is one of the issues that are needed to be taken into consideration. This can be attributed to the fact that approximately 200 convicted prisoners are needed to be released based on innocence. Thus, it can be considered as one of the concerns problems. On the other hand, critics of the said issue that is pro-death penalty perceived the said data as an overestimation (Sharp 1).

The situation caused a continuous decline in the confidence of the people regarding the effectiveness of the implementation of the death penalty as capital punishment (Dieter 2007 7). This can be considered as one of the most important issues related to the development of the view on the death penalty.

Upon the determination of the present situation concerning the criminal justice system, it can be considered important to study the different reasons that can make the people understand the view of the two sides of the issue. The said sides are the pro-death penalty and the anti-death penalty.

Pro-Death Penalty

There are different points that are included in consideration of the death penalty as an effective way of punishment. The said points can be summarized as related to deterrence, incapacitation, the state that certain groups believe it is more considerate of human rights than imprisonment, and a more economical resolution. In addition, cases of the death penalty can be considered safer for the victims and can be undertaken on time.

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One of the main reasons for considering the death penalty in terms of resolving crime ad violence in society is in relation to the theories on punishment for misconduct and crimes committed. Philosophical analyses and the presented ideas of the theories of punishment recognize the need for physical punishment to be able to leave a mark on the person that had done wrong.

Another viewed importance of criminal punishment and the death penalty is to be able to give security to the public and the members of the population against the harm that can be attributed to the crimes. Though the cases of different forms of crimes can be a great challenge to overcome, the state of security can be considered as important as the real sense of the word (Gibbons Justice and… 3). This can be attributed to the fact that there is an increased detrimental effect if the public would lose trust and faith in the laws and policies of the justice system. The said scenario is the worst that can occur in relation to pubic trust because although the laws are made to safeguard human rights, cases such as the loss of trust of the people can bring about danger.

One of the most important issues related to the death penalty is related to deterrence. It can be attributed to the effect that can be brought about by the said punishment to the occurrence of different forms of crimes. There are opposing results based on the effectiveness of the said punishment in the occurrence of crime, but the main reason is to be able to give warning to the perpetrators of violent crimes.

A different form of studies proved less effect of deterrence, but it is inevitable that, in some cases, the implementation of capital punishment can decrease the occurrence of crime. Although this is the case, such an effect cannot be maintained for a long time, specifically when the implementation if execution is failed to be done consistently. In this case, deterrence can be achieved at a certain point in time but not constantly.

Concerning the groups that can be perceived to agree and advocate the death penalty as capital punishment, the law enforcers are included in the group that is of the strongest belief. This can basically be attributed to the fact that they are the primary characters in the society that uphold the law, specifically that of the criminal justice system. Since the sector that is responsible for the enforcement of the law, it can be considered important to present the main view of the law enforcers with regards to the capital punishment and death penalty (Dieter 1995 4).

In a study conducted on the view of the law enforcers and police officers on the reduction of violence and crimes, the improvement and increased strictness in the implementation of the capital punishment and death penalty law are included.

The Primary Focus for Police Chiefs in the Reduction of Violent Crimes.
Figure 1. The Primary Focus for Police Chiefs in the Reduction of Violent Crimes.

The main concerns of the law enforcers representing their beliefs are the main resolutions to be able to diminish the crimes with violent effects. The authorities are needed to focus on the implementation of the different resolutions. Included in the said resolution based on the study to reduce crime is the reduction in the abuse of drugs, the improvement of the economy, the simplification and modification of the court rules.

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The increase in the number of law enforcers in the streets to safeguard the peace and order situation is also another method perceived to be important, along with the decrease in the proliferation of guns. Most importantly, the increase in punishment that is correspondingly given to the perpetrators of crimes is also included in the resolutions to decrease the rate and occurrence of crimes. The latter can be presented through the increase in the prison time needed to be served and the implementation of capital punishment (Dieter 1995 3-6).

These points are considered to be included in the main reasons that can be cited in relation to the need for the implementation of the death penalty as capital punishment in the criminal justice system.

Anti-Death Penalty

Compared to the reasons that can be considered to be presented on the side of the death penalty, there are different reasons that can be considered in relation to the anti-death penalty belief of the population members. One of the most common anti-death penalty reasons is related to morality and being an inhumane act. In addition, it was presented that it can violate the rights of the convicted to live. These issues surround the moral argument in the situation. Another is the possibility that the convicted is innocent.

Morality is considered the most serious question in relation to the implementation of the death penalty. The confusion regarding the decision to prioritize the lives of the convicted prisoners, which can be innocent to the lives of the victims, is one of the most important roots of doubt in the implementation of the death penalty (Sunstein & Vermeule 14). Basically, the doubt is considered by the anti-death penalty groups as one of the points needed to be considered in the study of the provision of support to the said law. This can be attributed to the fact that compared to the life sentence, which has a higher probability of proving the case for those prisoners that can be innocent, morality and the choice in terms of importance in relation to being humane is out of the question.

Based on the issue regarding the death penalty, one of the current issues is the doubt on the effectiveness of the implementation of the death penalty to convicted criminals as capital punishment. In relation, the doubt is escalating in the United States on the basis that contrary to the belief of the death penalty as a threat to criminals, crimes are even viewed to be escalating for every execution that is undertaken (Sunstein & Vermeule 3).

The present scenario related to the increasing doubt is the fact that there is a lack of observed change in terms of the crime and criminal justice situation in the country. The said increasing apprehension can be considered to be taking the side of the anti-death penalty based on the presented reasons (Sharp). The said perception of the population can be viewed in the results of different studies, such as the survey that was conducted to be able to determine the opinion of the population regarding the death penalty as the punishment that will be given for capital crimes.

The preference of the public regarding punishment.
Figure 2. The preference of the public regarding punishment.

Based on the result of the study, the preference of the population is increasingly towards the alternative ways of punishment rather than the death penalty. One of the important factors that can be considered in the decrease in support towards the death penalty is the improvement in the rules on alternative punishments such as life imprisonment. One example that can be cited is the guaranteed restitution without release in a minimum period of 25 years (Dieters 1993 2-5).

Upon the study of capital punishment, it can be considered punishment that is agreed upon only by a part of the population. Not the majority of the nation chose the said decision. Based on the diagram presented, the largest part of the public chose not to implement the said punishment.

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With the consideration of the present state and openness of the people in the United States and the western region with regards to capital punishment, the need for execution of convicted criminals became decreasingly of importance. Punishment can be defined by the implementation of imprisonment. This can be attributed to the low capital crimes being committed in a particular period of the country’s history. In addition, the implementation of capital punishment was perceived to fail to stop crime but caused agitation of the public, a result based on different studies (Gibbons Penal Options… 4).

Opinion

The effectiveness of the death penalty can be viewed based on an experience of first-hand interaction with the prisoners serving their sentences in prison. It is a personal notion that there are still criminals that fail to be disciplined even if punished and imprisoned is already a failure in contributing to the betterment of society. On this note, the death penalty can be considered an inevitable choice.

Capital punishment is considered and decided upon by the factors such as the effectiveness in terms of the achievement of the discipline of the members of the population. This can be related to the deterrence in the participation and performance of crimes. Based on the said requisites, it can be considered that capital punishment death penalty is needed in the present era. Also, another reason is when any other punishment cannot bring about remorse from the criminal who committed the crime.

Although it was an opinion that the death penalty is the most effective capital punishment in the present state of society, the most important consideration is the effectiveness of capital punishment in terms of holding discipline with the members of the population.

The adherence and practice of the death penalty are related to the belief of the government leaders on the most effective way of achieving order. On the other hand, the move to completely abolish the death penalty can be based on culture and other related reasons such as the political aspect. Different countries transformed from a period of having the death penalty to abolition and then to the reintroduction. This can be based on the need of the public at a particular point in time.

When the scenarios leading to the introduction of the death penalty are considered, there can be different reasons. One is that the people who had been sentenced to life imprisonment are considered dead already. Based on the funds that are needed for them to be supported can be important for other purposes. For the issues related to morality, it is important to shift the view from the convicted perpetrator of the crime but to the victim. Is it not considered a crime when justice cannot be served from life or from happiness taken from the victim? These are some of the reasons that can be cited and evaluated to show approval of the death penalty. Although it is important to value the life of every person, it is essential to consider that the life and the suffering of the victim can weigh more.

The Reasons for Decrease in support in the Death Penalty.
Figure 3. The Reasons for Decrease in support in the Death Penalty.

Despite the data presented related to the decreasing support for the death penalty, the effect that can be achieved from the implementation of the death penalty is needed to be maximized. The convicted prisoners to the death sentence and those of life sentence can have minimal differences, and that is the hope of having a renewed life. But it is important to consider that the life of the victims of the crime is a life taken away and needed to be given justice.

Being a person representing the enforcement of the law, I can only consider that criminal justice does not consider the advantage of only one side, specifically the victim. The personal perception of justice is the equal rights of being heard in the justice system for a fair trial. Thus, if crimes are perpetuated, then punishment is needed. The question relating to the case of innocent prisoners convicted of the death penalty, I can only present that the criminal justice system, being a system made by man, cannot be perfect in every sense. Thus, since any crimes can also never be fair to the victims, the due process of being heard in court can be considered as a method to justify such shortcomings.

Conclusion

Based on the study conducted that focused on the implementation of the death penalty, the importance of capital punishment is presented. Primarily, both sides of the issue are presented, but a personal representation of the need for the said capital punishment is undertaken. Based on the gathered data, there is decreasing support for the death penalty in the US. Still, the need for the implementation of the death penalty is a personal perception based on the fact that it is considered within legal bounds.

In conclusion then, due to the fact that it is a law that the authorities are enforcing, the decision is still based on the people and the politicians. For it is a given notion that with capital punishment, the main goal is the protection of the rights of the public, it can be appropriate that if the people present that such punishment is not necessary, through legal considerations and ratification, the death penalty can be abolished. In that case, the resulting law is enforced. But in the end, my personal opinion stands a need for the death penalty.

Reference

Dieter, Richard C. A Crisis of Confidence: Americans’ Doubts About the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Information Center, 2007.

—. On the Front Line: Law Enforcement Views on the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Information Center, 1995.

—. Sentencing for Life: Americans Embrace Alternatives to the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Information Center, 1993.

Gibbons, Joel C. On Justice and Deterrence: The Case of Capital Punishment. Elmhurst, Illinois: Logistic, 2000.

—. Penal Options for Dealing with Grave and Heinous Crime: Another Way. Elmhurst, Illinois: Logistic, 2003.

Sharp, Dudley. The REAL Death Penalty in the US: A Review. 2005. Web.

Sunstein, Cass R. and Adrian Vermeule. Is Capital Punishment Morally Required? The Relevance of Life-Life Tradeoffs. Joint Center AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, 2005. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, August 27). Death Penalty from a Prison Officer’s Perspective. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/death-penalty-from-a-prison-officers-perspective/

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Death Penalty from a Prison Officer’s Perspective'. 27 August.

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