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Whats a good thesis statement arguing for the death penalty? I need to explain in the...

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sobasis | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2010 at 6:54 PM via web

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Whats a good thesis statement arguing for the death penalty? I need to explain in the thesis how this is a world issue.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 20, 2010 at 2:24 AM (Answer #2)

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I think that much of this is going to be dependent on what you have researched, understood, and/ or believed on the death penalty.  I think that you might want to make an argument about what the death penalty's relationship to human rights might be.  For example, does the death penalty violate human rights?  That would be one distinct starting point.  Seeing that human rights is a world issue, in your mind, how does the death penalty impact the discussion of human rights?  Does it violate human rights if the government takes human life?  I think that you might be able to start to construct the argument about the world issue of the death penalty by taking it as a human rights issue and expanding off of it.  I feel that this might be something to investigate and examine throughout the world.  If you looked at the top five nations that execute individuals, what are those nations and what is their stance on the issue of human rights?  This might be an interesting take on the topic.

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santon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:56 AM (Answer #8)

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What a great subject matter. The thesis you create must be in response to your real feelings, opinions, convictions and feelings about the topic. This helps make your thesis statement connect to your arguements and or debate. 

You have to tie this in as a world issue. We must consider that the French Revolution was a powerfully influential revolution of modern time. In this Revolution the death of over 2000 people for a social cause had a real consequential connection to "actus reas" and "mens reas."

The death penalty is one of the oldest consequences for an act or acts of murder around the world. Even if the death penalty as a punishment is not legal, there is still death of human life at work in society. I am a supporter of the death penalty, but how could we ever assess or measure its success if deterrent is the aim: the guilty party is dead. 

Potential Hypothetical Thesis:

  • The death penalty does not penalize a convicted person of 1st degree murder, rather it echoes ancient Roman spectacles staged at the Colosseum.
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Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 21, 2010 at 6:34 PM (Answer #3)

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For me, the issue of the death penalty is inextricably linked to the philosophy of punishment, deterrence, and rehabilitation.  In other words, why does a state or a country choose to impose the death penalty?  The answer to that question would be my starting point if this were my topic.  Good luck!

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted October 27, 2010 at 3:46 PM (Answer #4)

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I think post number 2 gives you a great starting point. I would think also you could look at countries that do not have death penalties and make a comparison to crimes against human rights between the two countries

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 21, 2011 at 8:47 PM (Answer #5)

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In a persuasive essay, you need to first choose a side.  You may decide to choose the side you morally believe or the side that is easiest to argue.  There is plenty of information on the death penalty, but you do not want to be wishy-washy in your thesis.  Choose one side, and write a clear thesis.  For example, your thesis could be:  The United States should abolish the death penalty because the system of implementation has serious flaws.  Then, you find evidence and statistics to back that up.

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samantha96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted September 30, 2011 at 9:32 PM (Answer #6)

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In life we are taught that violence is not the answer and that murder is a sin, whether you are religious or not. The death penalty goes against everything that we are taught in life and everything that our parents teach us. If murder is illegal than why should the death penalty be any different. I believe that making someone rot away in a cell for the rest of there lives in deplorable prison conditions is far worse than the moment of pain they will feel before decending into death and basically getting off free of charge. God puts us on Earth for a reason and only he can take away our lives, others or ourselves cannot make the decision for him.

I believe that there is more evidence to support the arguement that the death penalty goes against human rights and is morally wrong.

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hyderabadi | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 8, 2013 at 4:38 PM (Answer #7)

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Before you take a moral stand on the death penalty, do take the time to visit the inmates of death row. Once you know them, understand the nature of crime comitted take a while to introspect. 

For example, a serial killer, can he be reformed? or for that matter a child rapist. Is he fit to join society and live normally amongst others? Would you be able to sleep in peace if you knew that Dr. Hannibal Lechter was your neighbour? 

On the other hand, imagine somebody sick mentally unable to control himelf comitting a crime. Do we cure him or do we hang him?

In conclusion: Every situation in life has its own merits. Avoid generalisation and grand standing. A judge spends a lifetime seeing this stuff. Isnt he the right guy to make that decision?

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