Capital Punishment Essay & Paragraph

Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal system where a person is given maximum punishment by the state for a serious crime. The history of the death penalty is very ancient. There are different ways to execute it. Here is a bunch of descriptive and argumentative essays and paragraphs on Capital Punishment or the Death Penalty, ranging from 100-850 words which shed light on the historical background of Capital punishment, its forms, and arguments on whether capital punishment is right or wrong.

Capital Punishment Essay & Paragraph -
There is a debate on whether capital punishment or the death penalty is right or wrong.

By: Haque | 850 Words | For class 11-12/HSC


Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal punishment prevalent in many societies. Capital punishment is invariably awarded for severe types of offenses such as murder, treason, rape, arson, keeping narcotics, robbery, etc. The objective of the death penalty is to set an example of severe punishment for such heinous crimes or anti-state activities so that people refrain from committing such activities.

Historical Background

Capital punishment for crimes like murder, treason, arson, and rape was widely employed in ancient Greece under the laws of Draco (fl. 7th century BC). The Romans also used capital punishment for a wide range of crimes. This punishment has also been sanctioned by most of the world’s major religions. In Judaism and Christianity there is justification for capital punishment in the Old Testament passage “Whosoever sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6). Capital punishment has been prescribed for many other crimes including adultery and blasphemy. The ancient legal principle Lex talionis (talion)—“an eye-for-an-eye, a tooth-for-a-tooth, a life-for-a-life”— which appears in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, was also used in many societies to ensure that capital punishment was not disproportionately applied. The Qura’n prescribes the death penalty for several Radd (fixed) crimes— including robbery, adultery, murder, and apostasy of Islam. In the case of murder, the relatives of the victim decide whether the offender is punished with death by the authorities or made to pay diyah (wergild) as compensation.

Death was formerly the penalty for a large number of offenses in England during the 17th and 18th centuries, but it was never applied as widely as the law provided. As in other countries, many offenders who committed capital crimes escaped the death penalty, either because juries or courts would not convict them or because they were pardoned, usually on condition that they agreed to banishment; some were sentenced to the lesser punishment of transportation to the then American colonies and later to Australia. Beginning in the Middle Ages, it was possible for offenders guilty of capital offenses to receive the benefit of clergy, by which those who could prove that they were ordained priests (clerks in Holy Orders), as well as secular clerks who assisted in divine service (or, from 1547, a peer of the realm), were allowed to go (ree, though it remained within the judge’s power to sentence them to prison for up to a year, or from 1717 onward to transportation for seven years. Because during medieval times the only proof of ordination was literacy, it became customary between the 15th and 18th centuries to allow anyone convicted of a felony to escape the death sentence by proving that he (the privilege was extended to women in 1629) could read. Until 1705, all he had to do was read (or recite) the first verse from Psalm 51 of the Bible—“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions— which came to be known as the “neck verse” (for its power to save one’s neck). To ensure that an offender could escape death only once through the benefit of the clergy, he was branded on the brawn of the thumb (“M” for murder or “T” for theft). Branding was abolished in 1779, and the benefit of clergy ceased in 1827.

Forms of Capital Punishment

From ancient times until well into the 19th century, many societies administered exceptionally cruel forms of capital punishment. In Rome the condemned were hurled from the Tarpeian Rock; for parricide they were drowned in a sealed bag with a dog, cock, ape, and viper; and still others were executed by forced gladiatorial combat or by crucifixion. Executions in ancient China were carried out by many painful methods, such as sawing the condemned in half, flaying him while still alive, and boiling. Cruel forms of execution in Europe included “breaking” on the wheel, boiling in oil, burning at the stake, decapitation by the guillotine or an ax, hanging, drawing and quartering, and drowning. Although by the end of the 20th century many jurisdictions (e.g., nearly every U.S. state that employs the death penalty, Guatemala, the Philippines, Taiwan, and some Chinese provinces) had adopted lethal injection, offenders continued to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia and occasionally stoned to death (for adultery) in Iran and Sudan. Other methods of execution were electrocution, gassing, and the firing squad. Historically, executions were public events, attended by large crowds, and the mutilated bodies were often displayed until they rotted. Public executions were banned in England in 1868, though they continued to take place in parts of the United States until the 1930s. Since the mid- 1990s public executions have taken place in some 20 countries, including Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria, though the practice has been condemned by the United Nations Human Rights Committee as “incompatible with human dignity.”


It is a matter of debate whether capital punishment is right or wrong. But, there are certainly some positive aspects of capital punishment. It deters people to commit heinous crimes. In Bangladesh, capital punishment is prevalent f for certain types of crimes.

An Expository Essay on Death Penalty: Its Pros and Cons

By: Haque | For class 8 | 27-01-’23


The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is the legal process of putting a person to death as punishment for a crime he has committed. This punishment is typically reserved for the most heinous crimes, such as murder, treason and espionage. While the death penalty has been used throughout history, its use and acceptance vary widely across different cultures and time periods. In this essay, we will examine the pros and cons of the death penalty.

Pros of the Death Penalty

  1. Deterrent effect: One of the main arguments in favor of the death penalty is that it serves as a deterrent to others who may be considering committing similar crimes. The idea is that the threat of the death penalty will discourage people from committing crimes, as they will be aware of the severe punishment they will face if they are caught.
  2. Closure for victims’ families: The death penalty can provide closure for the families of victims who have been brutally murdered. Knowing that the person responsible for their loved one’s death has been punished can bring a sense of justice and peace.
  3. Protection of society: The death penalty can be seen as a way to protect society from dangerous criminals who pose a threat to the safety and well-being of others. By removing these individuals from society, the death penalty can help to prevent future crimes and protect innocent people.

Cons of the Death Penalty

  1. Risk of executing innocent people: One of the main arguments against the death penalty is that it poses a risk of executing innocent people. The criminal justice system is not perfect, and there have been cases where people have been convicted and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit.
  2. Cost: The death penalty can be significantly more expensive than life imprisonment. The cost of appeals and legal representation for death row inmates can be substantial, and these expenses are passed on to taxpayers.
  3. Racial and socioeconomic bias: Critics of the death penalty argue that it is applied disproportionately to people of color and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. This can lead to a perception of bias and injustice in the criminal justice system.
  4. Alternative punishment: Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is considered as an alternative punishment for serious crimes, and it also serves as a deterrent.


The death penalty is a highly controversial and divisive issue that has been debated for centuries. While some argue that it serves as a deterrent and brings closure to victims’ families, others argue that it poses a risk of executing innocent people, it is costly, and is applied disproportionately to marginalized groups. Ultimately, whether or not to support the death penalty is a matter of personal opinion and moral conviction.


A Paragraph on the Arguments for Capital Punishment, 200 Words

By: Haque | For class 9-10/SSC | 27-01-’23

Capital punishment or the death penalty is a controversial matter of the present time. It is a matter of debate whether capital punishment or the death penalty should be allowed in modern societies. Many countries have already withdrawn the death penalty from their legal systems. Still, the death penalty is considered an essential part of justice in many countries. There are some strong reasons in favor of capital punishment. First of all, there are some offenses that cross the border of forgiveness or endurance. Such crimes shake the basic foundation of our society and require the utmost punishment. Secondly, if heinous crimes like murder, rape, arson, and genocide are allowed in our society and we show mercy to the perpetrators of such crimes by sparing them from the death sentences, the wrongdoers will be encouraged to commit such crimes even more. Then crimes of those kinds will go out of control. Thirdly, forgiveness should only go to somebody who deserves it. Showing forgiveness to a person who does not have any respect for other people’s life or rights means encouraging a criminal and conniving in his action. At last, crime has a contagious pattern. In many cases, the magnitude of committing a crime only increases for somebody. Such criminals are not correctable in any way. The death sentence is the only option for them.


Death Penalty Paragraph, 100 Words

By: Haque | For class 5 | 27-01-’23

The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is a legal punishment in which a person is put to death by the state as a consequence of a crime. The death penalty is a highly controversial issue, with arguments both for and against its use. Its supporters argue that it serves as a deterrent to crime and is an appropriate punishment for heinous crimes. Opponents argue that it is inhumane, there is a risk of executing innocent people, and it is not an effective deterrent. The state of the death penalty varies from country to country. Some, especially developed countries, have abolished it altogether; And others continue to execute it.

About the Author

A teacher, writer and blogger, started allparagraph noting students search online for paragraphs on various topics, short and simple essays, edifying stories and other materials of study. In composing these lessons we have tried to use as simple language as possible, keeping young students in mind. If you find any text inappropriate, please let us know so we can make it more useful through necessary corrections and modifications. Thank you!

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