Example research essay topic: Making The Death Penalty A More Effective Crime Deterent – 947 words

Over the past many years, people have argued over
the effectiveness of the death penalty. The
majority of executions have come from convictions
of homicides (murder), though execution has been a
choice in punishment for rape, treason,
kidnapping, and armed robbery. Many people
consider the death penalty as immoral and
ineffective to deter crime. These people are half
right; it is an ineffective means to deter crime.
With this understood, it is time that we need to
make a reform in the death penalty to make
criminals, or future criminals, stop from
murdering, raping, kidnapping, or robbing. Back in
Ancient Rome, under the reign of Justinian I,
around 533 AD, many crimes fit the description for
the death penalty. These reasons included, but
were not limited to, rape, treason, embezzlement,
forgery, and kidnapping.

Murder, however, was
punished by banishment, a worse punishment than
death itself in those days. In England during the
Middle Ages, any serious crime, listed as arson,
burglary, counterfeiting, murder, rape, and
treason, was punishable by the death penalty.
Currently, the death penalty is used mainly in
cases of treason and murder. Most of the other
listed offenses are punished with lengthy jail
terms. Through these ages, technology has helped
advance the uses of the death penalty. In the days
before Justinian I, most criminals were put into
the Coliseum and made to fight either trained
gladiators or half-starved lions. Later, after
many centuries, executions became a popular public
affair.

Customs of those days were to pay the
executioner some money for a clean swipe; using an
axe was not very accurate, and most executioners
took two or three hacks before cutting through the
neck, as most executions were beheadings. Hanging,
of course, was still an option, but if the rope
did not snap your neck, then you would slowly
choke to death on the rope. In those days, public
executions was a very useful deterrent for crime;
many people feared the execution for the possible
mishap that might occur. The advent of the
guillotine quickened the rate of executions to as
many as 12 a day, rather than 3-4. Many other
forms of execution existed during the Middle Ages.
Drawing and quartering, where a person is
basically de-limbed by various methods; dunking is
when a person is strapped into a chair and dunked
into water, then brought up, and switched back and
forth until the person dies from drowning.
Crushing is a method in which a person is strapped
down on a table and has a weight placed on top
their chest; each day 10 lbs is added to the
initial 50 lbs. Eventually, the stress of the
weight will exceed the capacity of the chest, thus
crushing the criminals chest, killing him.

Finally
comes the guillotine; the guillotine made an
execution quick and painless by having a large
slanted blade [to slice through, rather than hack]
travel downwards between two grooved posts until
it went through the criminals head. In current
America, the death penalty is generally limited to
electrocution, lethal injection, and gas chamber.
Two states, Idaho and Utah, have a firing squad as
a choice, and three states, Montana, New
Hampshire, and Washington, have hanging as an
option. The guillotine, beheading in general, and
other more cruel and unusual executions have
become illegal because of the cruel and unusual
punishment law enforced in America. Our current
primary method of execution, lethal injection, is
not very costly; the average cost for lethal
injection is about $100 for the three drugs (5.0
grams of sodium thiopental, 50 ccs of pancuronium
bromide, and 50 ccs of potassium chloride [not to
mention the saline solution to clean the IV
line]). That is not the problem, our laws say that
criminals have unlimited appeals, each appeal
costing the taxpayers a large sum of $2 million
plus dollars. When looking at all the criminals in
death row, one could see that $2 million dollars
per person per trial is a lot of money being
wasted on obviously guilty criminals.

An obvious
solution to this lack of deterrence is to bring
back public executions. After watching a person
being put to death, would anyone want to commit a
crime with a punishment such as that? After
bringing back public executions, we should bring
back a more rudimentary form of execution, such as
the guillotine. We can modify it so as to not get
anyone covered or splattered with blood,
especially in these times with transmittable
diseases. The other methods, dunking, crushing,
and drawing and quartering, are not exactly
effective means of executions. Another idea is to
get rid of the appeal and re-appeal many criminals
use. Putting a limit on the number of appeals, say
perhaps two appeals per inmate, will be very much
less costly.

There is one large group of people
who are opposed to the death penalty, the Catholic
Church. Their main reason for opposing the death
penalty is that God will punish the guilty in the
afterlife and that here on earth; everyone should
be given a second chance. For the chance that the
murderer might kill again, for the safety of the
planet, the killer must be brought to justice on
earth, not in the afterlife. The death penalty is
not for our own amusement, nor for our
justification, it is for the safety of the general
public of America. With this all said, we should
come to the same conclusion, we should not hide
executions behind curtains and glass; executions
were meant to deter crime by publicly showing
them. Our government should bring back public
executions and with it, a decrease in murder.

That
is the reform needed to prevent repeat and future
criminals from doing any harm to our society..

Research essay sample on Making The Death Penalty A More Effective Crime Deterent