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Research Paper - Death Penalty

I think I'm going with death penalty even though that is rather generic. It seems like the teacher doesn't really care about the quality of the content as long as it meets the 10 page requirement and we follow APA guidelines.

I just need a little help structuring the paper in regards to what points I want to make in the paper to keep it focused.

Thank you.

Solution Preview

Indeed, there are many different approaches to take. One approach is to focus your research paper on the history of death penalty punishment. You might include information about its history in terms of how it has changed over time based on different perspectives e.g., opponents and proponents of the death penalty, and whether or not there is evidence to support the death penalty as a reliable and valid method of punishment e.g., does it decrease the crime rate or act as a deterrent of crime? You would present both sides on the argument, and perhaps provide an alternative, such as crime prevention.

Your tentative outline might look something to the effect...

I. Introduction (about ½ page)

E.g. introduce topic of death penalty e.g., statistics;

Your thesis statement could be something to the effect: Although the death penalty is often seen as a viable form of punishment providing justice, it does little to reduce the crime rate or act as deterrence for crime.

Your purpose statement: The purpose of this paper is to present both sides of the death penalty arguments, and so...)

II. Recent Statistics (to consider) (about 1 Page)

III. Arguments for the Death Penalty (about 2 ½ pages)

See http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/
Also see http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/news.htm

IV. Arguments Against the Death Penalty (about 2 ½ pages)

See http://www.fdp.dk/

V. Is it working? (About 3 pages)

a. Does it reduce crime rates?
b. Does it act as a deterrent of crime?

See http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/state/ crime statistics by state
Also see http://www.fdp.dk/, where a Hart research Poll reported that most Chief of Police do not see the death penalty as an effective tool for crime reduction.

c. Alternative view
(E.g., crime prevention versus death penalty by reducing drug abuse, better economy, increasing jobs, simplifying court rules, longer prison sentence, more police officers, reducing guns versus death penalty (Hart Research Poll of the Chief Police in U.S. see http://www.fdp.dk/).

VI. Conclusion (about ½ page)
a. Sum up main points

Let's consider some information for you to consider for the above tentative outline.

I. Death Penalty -

Throughout history, various forms of executions such as this one have taken place as a punishment for crime. In 1976, the United States reinstated the death penalty after having revoked it in 1972 on the grounds that it "violated the Constitution" http://www.123helpme.com/preview.asp?id=33973

Their reason for this decision was that the death penalty was "cruel and unusual punishment" under the Eighth Amendment. In 1976, however, the court reinstated the death penalty after the adoption of new procedures. From 1982 to 1999, 250 to 350 persons were annually sentenced to death but in the last three years the number of death sentences has dropped dramatically. (Click to see chart) The number of executions has gradually increased as appeals have become exhausted. In 1999, the number reached 100. In 2003, the latest year for which statistics are available, 65 were executed which represented less than 2% of those on death row. Among the 50 states, the death penalty is abolished in 13 states and 5 more states have not carried out any recent executions. Five states have carried out over 2/3 of the executions since 1977. There are also significant differences among the states in the way the death penalty is enforced as illustrated by the percentage of inmates on death row. In most states, the method of execution is by lethal injection although in several states the prisoner may choose an alternative method. Nebraska stills mandates electrocution. http://www.newsbatch.com/deathpenalty.htm

Your thesis statement could be something to the effect: Although the death penalty is often seen as a viable form of punishment providing justice, it does little to reduce the crime rate or act as deterrence for crime.

The death penalty is controversial. The purpose of this paper is to present both sides of the argument and provide an alternative to the death penalty.

II. Recent Statistics (optional depending on the length of your paper and if you need a filler)

? In 2006, 53 inmates were executed, 7 fewer than in 2005. (For the number of Executions from 1930-2006 see http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/cp.htm).
? In 2006, 53 persons in 14 States were executed -- 24 in Texas; 5 in Ohio; 4 each in Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Virginia; and 1 each in Indiana, Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, California, Montana, and Nevada.
? Of persons executed in 2006: 32 were white and 21 were black. Perhaps not surprising, all 53 inmates executed in 2006 were men.
? Lethal injection accounted for 52 of the executions and electrocution for one. Thirty-eight States and the Federal ...

Solution Summary

Through detailed outline, informative and research, the solution provides assistance for structuring a research paper on the death penalty. It provides information on both side of the debate about the death penalty, statsitics on whether or not it reduces crime and an alternative solution. An excellent APA resource is also provided.

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