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Roots of Public Support for the Death Penalty

Introduction

In his article, Daniel LaChance analyzes the phenomenon of the death penalty in America and the social attitude towards it. LaChance (2014) expresses a negative attitude towards this punitive measure calling it “an intolerable affront to human dignity” (para.1). The author tries to evaluate the prospects for the abolition of capital punishment and points out the potential triggers of this important event.

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The roots of the public support of the death penalty

First and foremost, LaChance examines the initial roots of the public support of capital punishment. Thus, the author refers to the events of 1972 when even though this measure was admitted to be unfair, it was not restricted completely –the criminal growing activity made the society admit the necessity of the radical methods of punishment.

The associated implications

Further on, the author describes the implications of the death penalty in America. Upon a brief mentioning of “wrongful convictions and botched executions,” LaChance (2014) puts a particular emphasis on the appalling gap that exists between the delivery of a sentence and its execution (para.5). Hence, the author describes those cases when people stay imprisoned and wait for the sentence execution for decades. The author points out that the state has to allocate additional funds for hiring professional lawyers to reduce this gap. In the meantime, he admits that this alternative solution is considered inadmissible by both the state and society.

The social indifference to the death penalty

It should be pointed out that the pivot question of the article is not the death penalty but the social indifference to this inhuman measure. Hence, it seems that the author does not trust in the moral attributes of modern people. While considering different ways of abolishing the death penalty, LaChance (2014) notes that even if it happens, it will be due to the appeal to people’s “wallets more than their hearts” (para.10). In other words, the author believes that the only alternative solution resides in convincing people of the economic disadvantageousness and impracticality of this punitive measure.

Psychological motives of the support of the death penalty

Another important idea that the author elucidates is the hidden psychological motives of the social support of the death penalty. Thus, he refers to the case when there were no executions in California for seven years, and people were almost ready to agree upon its needlessness. LaChance (2014) assumes that this phenomenon can be explained by the fact they stopped receiving the targeted emotions such as “the sense of control, closure and confidence” that they expected to buy for their taxes (para.10).

The prospects of the abolition of the death penalty

The author’s vision of the future of the death penalty in America is rather pessimistic. He assumes that the Americans feel little sympathy for the executed – thus, it is irrational to appeal to their humanity in the search of support. Meanwhile, LaChance notes that abolitionists can make good use of the social inclination to blame the government and its initiatives. Otherwise stated, LaChance (2014) believes it critical to put a particular emphasis on the bureaucratic and cost-effective disadvantages of the existing penalty system “portraying it as another failed government program” (para.13).

Conclusion

Thence, it might be concluded that the author believes that the key trigger of the abolition of capital punishment is the society’s realizing the impracticality of this punitive measure. The author’s main recommendation to abolitionists resides in representing the matter from a negative perspective with a special focus on the government’s fault. LaChance (2014) believes that the method of “appealing to the humanistic ideals” has proved its inefficacy, and it is high time to change the strategy.

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Reference List

LaChance, D. (2014). What Will Doom the Death Penalty: Capital Punishment, another Failed Government Program? The New York Times. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 9). Roots of Public Support for the Death Penalty. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/roots-of-public-support-for-the-death-penalty/

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StudyCorgi. (2020, December 9). Roots of Public Support for the Death Penalty. https://studycorgi.com/roots-of-public-support-for-the-death-penalty/

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StudyCorgi. "Roots of Public Support for the Death Penalty." December 9, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/roots-of-public-support-for-the-death-penalty/.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Roots of Public Support for the Death Penalty." December 9, 2020. https://studycorgi.com/roots-of-public-support-for-the-death-penalty/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Roots of Public Support for the Death Penalty'. 9 December.

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