The Ethics section of the course will be covered through an examination of arguments against and in support of the death penalty. Capital punishment pertains to the West Memphis Three case as Damien Echols was originally sentenced to death and served almost 18 years on death row. The debate on the use of death penalty involves focusing on some points that are not easy to measure and of course are sensitive in nature. While the bulk of research evidence indicates that the death penalty does not have a general deterrent effect on capital punishment warranting crimes (i.e., first degree murder) or other violent crimes, and is significantly more costly in some states than life without parole, these are not the only two issues that warrant consideration. There are major ethical points to examine as well. After all, the criminal justice system does not simply exist to deter crime. For your analysis, you should discuss and comment on these points as well as other key issues to consider.

Specific Requirements: Please develop a comprehensive analysis of arguments both in support of and against the use of capital punishment. The goal here is not necessarily convincing the reader of one perspective or another, but instead to fully examine all the evidence and ethical considerations pertaining to the death penalty. Consider all issues: ethical, moral, financial, legal, crime deterrent or criminogenic impact, etc. Your paper should be organized into the following three sections and labeled accordingly: A. Brief overview/introduction. B. Arguments In Support of and Against the Death Penalty, C. Conclusion and other considerations. You do not need to write the paper in traditional essay format-instead, simply list each section and include the material beneath it.

In the paper somewhere, you must address and discuss the following topics and questions:

  1. Consensus of study findings on general deterrent effects: Does the death penalty deter violent crime? Explain.

2. Consensus of study findings on financial cost-benefit analysis: Is the death penalty less or more costly than life without parole? Explain.

3. The most common moral and ethical arguments both in support and against capital punishment. This may include some of the findings pertaining to #1 and #2 but will also include discussions on the following example topics: retribution, justice, fairness, families of murder victims and families of death row inmates, chances of wrongful convictions, etc. You choose what to focus on for this part!

Conclude your paper by whether you are “in favor”, “against”, or “undecided” on the death penalty and why. You may have other conclusions as well! It is perfectly fine for the purposes of this assignment to “weigh” one point or issue heavier than others when making your decision.

Citations, Bibliography and Technical Requirements: APA Style ( 12 Times New Roman font, 1-page margins, Reference page, Title page-NO abstract or author’s note needed), At least Three (3) scholarly sources, 3.5 pages double spaced minimum of 900 words excluding title and reference pages.

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