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Word Count: 681
How criminals should be punishedBefore any test in class some students who are not well prepared for the test usually think about cheating in class But when they know that the punishment for being caught will not be just a zero on the test as usual but an F for the class they will think about it ten times before they do it So I believe that all sentencing is based on the principle that punishment should be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime especially when it is about a crime like murder While the debate over capital punishment wavers between its pros and its cons the major questions are usually framed in terms of practicality is execution of an offender the best way to protect society Was the capital punishment fairly administered Was the death penalty effective in deterring crime Many of our present-day murderers are professional criminals whose victims were slain in the course of holdups robberies and other crimes committed for profit So many murderers do not kill for revenge they have no malice against the individual they kill Instead they kill out of cold-blooded calculation Society for its own protection should make it impossible for these men to kill again In recent years the American public has been influenced to some extent by an active persistent sympathy for the person accused of crime But I consider it a misplaced sympathy because it is a sympathy guided by emotion and impulse It is so deep and passionate that it loses its senses of proportion It forgets the life that was blotted out It forgets the broken-hearts left behind It forgets the fatherless and sometimes homeless children which should be the real object of pity However variations of the abolitionist moral arguments suggest that the death penalty may be applied discriminatorily and disproportionately or that innocents may be executed Great effort has been made in pretrial trial appeals and clemency procedures to
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