The Contractions of American Capital Punishment


Capital punishment can be described as the practice of sentencing a person to death after being judged and found guilty for a dreadful crime (Schaefer, 2011). Constant debates have been going on whether capital punishment should continue or be done away with and different organizations have taken varying positions with respect to the issue. Below are some of the existing and proposed solutions of different groups with regards to capital punishment (Schaefer, 2011).

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not support capital punishment. Instead, it has been calling for fair and just form of judgment of offenders without killing of anyone. The organization feels that capital punishment denies capital offenders the right to live (Zimring, 2010). Although the organization officials agree that criminals should be judged and punished, they argue that capital punishment is unfair way of passing judgment to offenders. They feel that the judicial systems do pass judgments unfairly such that some people get punished through imprisonment whereas some are sentenced to death in a way that has been regarded as racially based, unjust, and arbitrary (Schaefer, 2011). The commission proposes that the courts should consider abolishing capital punishment and use other alternatives to pass judgments. Other proposed alternatives are giving capital offenders life imprisonment with no option of parole or taking offenders to rehabilitations or reformatories so that they can also get the chance to live like other people.

Corporate Human Resource Departments

The Corporate human resource departments are against capital punishment because of its unfairness to individuals in the society. They view capital punishment as a way of promoting corruption and other social ills in the society. They argue that the judges in the judicial system have been known to favor the rich people by passing light judgments to them and giving stiffer punishments, including death to the poor who can not afford to bribe them (Zimring, 2010). They also argue that capital punishment has no public benefit at all since it is a waste of public resources, especially the tax payer’s money. They say that the government should find a way of reducing crimes by reducing the rate of drug abuse, creating a healthier economy with employment opportunities, and also increasing the number of law enforcers, instead of waiting for people to commit crimes and kill them with cruelty (Harvey, 2009). To them, capital punishment is a cruel way of eliminating potential businessmen and investors who are capable of improving the economy from the earth.

State Laws and Regulations

The state and federal capital punishment standards differ from state to state. Even though capital punishment has been on a steady decline since the year 2000 with many states abandoning the practice, there are still a number of states that embrace capital punishment. The decline in crime rates in many states and the current discoveries of innocent men and women being condemned to death have corroded the support of public (Harvey, 2009). A number of court rulings have also lessened the possibilities of continuing with capital punishment. The Supreme Court in the United States banned the execution of juvenile offenders in 2002 (Harvey, 2009). A number of states introduced new legislations that were aimed at revoking the capital punishment. Constitutional experts in the United States say that the Supreme Court strongly opposes policies or cases that are aimed at overturning capital the punishment system.

Political Strategies

There are many voters who are still in favor the capital punishment. The number of citizens who would like criminals to be punished fiercely has been increasing considerably (Schaefer, 2011). Even though many democrats are against capital punishment, the republican candidates in the United States have always supported it strongly. In their campaigns, the republicans always assure their voters of enacting tougher laws on crime. Many of the politicians believe that if capital punishment is abolished, there will be increased crime rates that will promote insecurity and terrorism in the states (Zimring, 2010). With the existence of capital punishment, the political class believes that the rate of crime will continue to decline significantly at almost every level of the sates. Being the world superpower, the American government regards any form of terrorism as a security threat and will always want to eliminate terrorists through capital punishment in order to continue enjoying political superiority in the world.

Government Agencies

Even though many government agencies work in accordance with the United States Constitution, many do not support capital punishment as a way of pronouncing judgment. The Constitution gives the judicial systems to prosecute offenders through capital punishment (Zimring, 2010). They believe that it does little in the prevention of crime. According to the government agencies, capital punishment undermines the dignity of human beings and that the government should consider using alternative ways of punishing offenders like life imprisonment without parole. Some government agencies feel that capital punishment is a way of discriminating against the poor in the society and that it also promotes racial discrimination. The agencies are calling for the elimination of capital punishment and replacing it with impartial judicial systems that can give a fair trial to everyone regardless of their racial or financial backgrounds. However, there are some federal prosecutions that sill require capital punishment when offenders are charged with capital crimes (Schaefer, 2011).

Religious Groups

Even though there is no official position on the issue of capital punishment among different religions, many religious groups around the world are strongly opposed to capital punishment. The churches have always differed on the issue of capital punishment with a few Christian groups such as the Evangelical denominations and Fundamentalist supporting it (Zimring, 2010). A variety of churches led by the American Baptist Churches are strongly against capital punishment. Most Christians criticize capital punishment on the grounds that the bible condemned Jesus’ execution. The Catholic bishops in the United States have constantly called for the elimination of capital punishment regardless of the circumstances (Zimring, 2010). Muslims do not have an official position on the issue of capital punishment in the United States. However, in Muslim countries, the Islamic Sharia law allows capital punishment only in two cases: cases that involve intentional murder or if a person or people threaten the state (Zimring, 2010).

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Discrimination

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance have always opposed capital punishment. They have constantly made calls for clear judicial system. They regard capital punishment as discriminatory and unjust because it is not efficient in improving the criminal justice system. The practice is full of inequities and majorly discriminates against people of color, poor people, and people with different sexual orientation (Harvey, 2009). The alliance considers capital punishment to be a barbaric practice that should be wiped out and never to be given a chance in the present civilized society. They insist that in many cases, innocent people have often been sentenced to death without proper judgment. They think that it is an unfair to punish a crime by committing another crime. They see capital punishment as vengeance that is disguised in the form of justice and practiced by the judicial system. They propose that the government should abolish capital punishment and introduce alternative judgments that are morally acceptable (Harvey, 2009).


Harvey, C. P., & Allard, M. J. (2009). Understanding and managing diversity. New York: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Schaefer, R. T. (2011). Racial and ethnic Groups. Michigan: Foresman /Little Brown Higher Education.

Zimring. F (2010). The Contractions of American Capital Punishment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.