Cruel Choice: The Ethics and Morality of the Death Penalty

Ruth Endam Mbah, Tanisha Pruitt, Divine Forcha Wasum


The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, has been and is still a highly debated issue in society. While many nations around the world have abolished the death penalty as a form of punishment, some nations still emphasize its importance as a valid means for punishing specific types of crimes.  The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of the death penalty on the families of the executed, families of the murder victim and the executed or murderer.  This paper is an in-depth analysis of various facts and evidence focusing on the death penalty in the USA. Special attention is paid to the 31 states whose laws permit death penalty as a form of punishment. The evidence reviewed indicates that capital punishment impacts seriously all members of the families involved on both sides, victim and perpetrator, and the entire American society. Specifically, the evidence shows that most of the children of the executed face emotional and financial problems while some of them develop bitterness and an urge to revenge. Surprisingly, some victim family members regret accepting the execution of the murderer of their loved ones because it did not give them the healing they expected. The evidence also shows that some persons were wrongly murdered; a court of law declared their innocence and freed them from any law breaking several years after their execution. The implication is that because executing an innocent person is one too many, courts must be very cautious and not permitting any execution unless there is an overwhelming verifiable evidence that cannot be reversed.

Keywords: Death penalty, crime, execution, murder, victim

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-24-03

Publication date: December 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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