The death penalty has been supported by the argument that it is a far better means of deterring criminal actions. However, the evidence does not attest to the practical value of the death penalty as opposed to alternative mechanisms like life imprisonment. In the United States, recently, the rates of crimes in states that use the death penalty and those that have it, historically shown no differences. Contrarily, the death penalty has been cited as an incitement to grievous criminal harm. The death penalty is challenged by the argument that espouses society’s duty to protect life and that individuals have a right to live. 

            The conflict and consensus models affect the death penalty’s deployment because justice and the law tend to have a social and political construct. Individual classes may fall victim to violent crimes or become perpetrators as opposed to others. Thus, the lack of universality of human conditions may affect the moral rectitude in the institutionalization of capital punishment in society (Adinkrah & Clemens, 2018). Consensus theories seek to justify commonalities among people and thus tend to overlook critical power differences. Conflict theory recognizes the influence of power imbalances in society and may advocate greater rationality in the systems of punishment and sanctions in the nation. 

            Capital punishment is necessary for certain respects, and it is also unnecessary, depending on how society is constituted in light of broad ethical and moral concerns. Advanced nations with suitable social and welfare safeguards and an appropriate mechanism for crime control may not need to scare its members with the death penalty as opposed to those underdeveloped societies where the animal state of existence reigns supreme (Swiffen, 2016). The modalities of punishment should have concord with social and political development in the community. Prisons are far safer places to lock criminals and correct criminal behavior in ways that do not take away life.    


Adinkrah, M., & Clemens, W. M. (2018). To reinstate or to not reinstate? An exploratory study   of student perspectives on the death penalty in Michigan. International journal of offender therapy and comparative criminology62(1), 229-252.

Swiffen, A. (2016). Mastery Over the Time of the Other: The Death Penalty and Life in Prison    Without Parole. Law and Critique27(2), 171-186.