Top Arguments for the Death Penalty

Updated on May 23, 2014

Arguments For the Death Penalty; Death Penalty Pros


1. The Death Penalty Can Properly Deliver Justice to Those Who Have Killed Others

Capital punishment is necessary to deliver justice -- especially to victims of murder and extreme violence. The death penalty provides for retribution against perpetrators and makes sure that they pay for their actions. Without the death penalty, it's otherwise difficult to make murderers pay sufficiently for their crime, as no punishment other than death really equates to that of the crime of killing.

A society that doesn't deliver justice is a society which will collapse. Criminals need to be held accountable for their actions. While no one enjoys the thought of having to kill someone, it can also be argued that the murderer bought the punishment on him or herself when he or she took the life of another.


2. The Death Penalty is Necessary to Deter Other Criminals

One of the best arguments for the death penalty is that capital punishment is a huge deterrent we have to prevent others from committing heinous crimes. The best way to deal with crime obviously is to stop it from happening in the first place. In turn, the best way to do that is to deter criminals from committing crimes.

When it comes to murder, torture and other heinous crimes, the best deterrent we have is the death penalty. Criminals should be aware that that if they commit a serious crime, then their punishment will be equally as serious. No one wants to die -- this is why using the death penalty as a deterrent is an effective way of stopping crimes from happening in the first place. It's also in the criminal's best interests. How so? Because, ultimately, not turning into a criminal in the first place should be in anyone's best interests. It can be seen as a disservice to those in the criminal justice system if our punishments aren't severe enough when we haven't effectively deterred criminals from entering the system.

3. The Death Penalty is Necessary to Protect Society

Some criminals simply cannot be allowed to keep living because every moment they're alive is another minute that they're a threat to the community. These criminals must be killed because keeping them alive puts their fellow prisoners, their guards, and the wider community at risk. Some criminals are simply so far gone that they're beyond help and will always be a major risk to society. For these criminals who essentially have no hope for redemption anymore, the only remaining option is to remove them from existence.

Violent criminals pose risks that are just too great for them to be allowed to live. Many run the risk of being at risk by these criminals, including but not limited to:

  • Fellow prisoners are the people who are most at risk. One of the reasons prisons are so dangerous is because they are full of murderers and rapists -- it would be unjust to the other inmates to expose them to such violent offenders.
  • Guards are at risk, as well. Prison officers are often assaulted and even killed by offenders who should have received the death penalty.
  • The wider community is also at risk from violent offenders who either escape prison or are paroled early due to an ineffective parole system.

The safest solution, therefore, is to kill violent offenders before they can be a threat once again.

4. The Death Penalty is Necessary for Families of Victims to Move On Properly

The death penalty is necessary because many victims' families will never be able to feel safe or live a normal life again if they know that the person who killed their family members is still alive. Even if the criminal is placed in the most secure facility possible, fear still grips the families of the victims. While this fear may be irrational, that doesn't make it any less real.

We must consider the rights of these families to live normal lives when sentencing murderers; we should prioritize their rights over those of the violent criminal. We also mustn't let a violent offender continue to harm others from the inside, even if they're not intentionally doing so. This applies especially to criminals who have made threats against other people in society and family members of other victims.

5. The Death Penalty is Cheaper Than a Lifetime Prison Term

One of the more controversial arguments for the death penalty is that the cost of keeping someone incarcerated for the duration of their natural life is huge. This is a cost that society shouldn't have to pay. Violent criminals and murderers shouldn't be taking away tax dollars from things like education and health care. The argument here is that we simply can't afford to keep these people alive nor do we have any responsibility to do so. It can be said that they brought their punishment on themselves when they committed their crime and they're the ones who should have to pay for their crimes, not us.

Which of the above arguments for the death penalty is the strongest

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Looking for arguments against the death penalty?

  • Arguments against the death penalty
    The death penalty is a heavily debated issue. Below you will find some of the best arguments against the death penalty which should prove useful when arguing against capital punishment


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    • profile image

      cameron 5 weeks ago

      i agree with all of you people

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      the great debater 2 months ago

      all your points can be nallified as they hold no water .. it is cheaper to keep a person in jail as it costs 500 000 compared to the 2 million for the death penalty .thats the first thing ..secondly murder is can you control death rate when you kill the killer ..exactly what message are yu sending.....death penalty sends a message of that human life is variable ..death penalty goes against all the laws ..the right to life ..right to human dignity ...right to equality and the right to be free from cruel inhuman punishments ...furthermore, death penalty manifests philosophy of indefensible dispair i.e no reform, no repentance, no inherent spectre of hope or spirituality .... with this i rest my case .... basically, killing does no justice as society cannot succumb to the eye for an eye doctrine,and the state rather the world must not stoop to the killers level...... i am only 16 but i know whats right for a parent and knowing that your child was murdered is not the best way to go ... thank you ...

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      Sarah 2 months ago

      I totally don't agree with the death penalty

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      A guy 4 months ago

      Define "living life to the fullest". Do these guys really have a life to live? To me the life their living is a life of crime, some people never change...

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      batman 5 months ago

      I agree with the death penalty because criminals are getting off too easy these days. They deserve to die of any type of punishment that includes breaking the law.

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      Naruto 5 months ago

      I agree with the death penalty because the person gets to face his own action with is murder

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      medt 7 months ago

      Its matter of life and justice so its not apropriate to argue about cost. what I see is crime should be punished. You are not killing the henious offender, you punish them with death. Someone can't simply get away with killing and rape just with forgivness and 'salvations'.

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      Lol 9 months ago

      You guys are crazy! We all have life easier and we should save them no matter what!

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      jlyn 13 months ago

      i agree of death penalty for stop a murder

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      drake 14 months ago

      i am for it it gets rid of theses bad people as long as they can prove it

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      hippydude 14 months ago

      i'm in favor of death penalty and this just opened my eyes even more!

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      riinya enid 14 months ago

      kill them, true we cannot afford to keep them alive

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      jeff 14 months ago

      can i ahve the name of the person that made this post for research purposes

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      Erik 14 months ago

      The so called arguments for death penalty was pretty bad and almost all could you just be counterd. For example 2 its technically proventhat its not less killing then in the countries with out death penalty.

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      Joe 15 months ago

      I see the death penalty aka capital punishment as a good thing, because a killer can serve his life in prison for more than it cost to be shot in the damn head. We lead the nation in most citizens incarcerated per capita in the world...

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      Anon3 16 months ago

      So... every piece of existing evidence shows that the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent. This is actually pretty common knowledge.

      Executing someone is also more expensive than life in prison because of the burden of exhaustive investigation (someone cannot appeal their case after dying, after all).

      So two of your five points are just objectively false.

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      good job 16 months ago

      the author is absolutely right death penalty is what we need criminals are getting it off easy.

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      Adolf Trump 17 months ago

      we shouldn't kill them we should make them build my wall!!!

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      OK 17 months ago

      Is there any evidence of a full life sentence in prison being more costly than an execution? in another article it said the complete opposite

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      xxx_billy_xxx 18 months ago

      we should quickscope all the skrubs who try to attack lvl 1 skrubs.we should get them to wear a fedora then quickscope them

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      bill 18 months ago

      i rekon

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      Really? 18 months ago

      Really? @billy You're misinformed, and immature.

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      Brendan 20 months ago

      I know this here can debunk any anti-death penalty arguments.

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      billy 2 years ago

      I think that this is a very silly article and the author should probably be banned from this website: you are a bad person for supporting the death penalty

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      jeff 2 years ago


    • wckdstepmother30 profile image

      Wicked Stepmother 3 years ago from My Living Room

      I do believe some people are beyond rehabilitation as well. This should ideally be determined on a case by case basis. I'd like to hear what you think about sex offenders, since that is a hot topic these days. Offenders committed to programs are claiming that it amounts to life in prison without the opportunity of parole and they want out. The government seems to be open to accommodating their demands. I think this is a very dangerous and detrimental position to take.

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      Fire8storm 3 years ago

      I found this a very interesting hub. The death penalty is indeed a very emotive issue and one of great debate. While I agree criminals do need to be punished for their behaviour and that punishment needs to be severe, I am not totally convinced the death penalty is the best option. I have grave concerns regarding wrongful conviction. Also how can we determine which individuals can be rehabilitated and which cannot? I certainly agree with many of your points which you wrote very well, but do feel this debate is much more complex.

    • The Patriot Scoop profile image

      Art 3 years ago from California

      Great Post. I would have to disagree that it deters criminals, if that was so we would see less Homicides happening, the reality is that people are going to do what they do regardless of punishment. I do not agree with the death penalty as I believe that God is the only true Judge and only one who can take a life away justfully. I myself would never feel comfortable putting someone to death. But just my opion. Great Job!

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      annon 3 years ago

      Good reasons, but death penalty (4 million) is actually more expensive than lifetime prison term(1 million)

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      samuel 3 years ago

      I think the death penalty is only good for justice E.G. murder or extreme violence

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      Sanxuary 3 years ago

      All reasons are good valid reasons. I find it amazing that we have so many horrendous people who will never life outside again and yet we keep them around. Just as awful are the number of killers who took a plea bargain and have cheated death. When there is no question of guilt, no chance of remorse and no opportunity that society would ever release them to kill again. Have we not already killed them, lets finish the job. A super heated furnace where you sweep it out when you our finished would be fine.

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      ryan moodie 4 years ago

      i think i like the death penalty

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      Cici 4 years ago

      the cost is less it take 4 million to kill someone

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      Bob 4 years ago

      I agree but four comes before five

    • MG Singh profile image

      MG Singh 4 years ago from Singapore

      Very interesting post. I have always been in favor of death penalty