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Top 9 Pro Death Penalty Arguments

Wonder how people can support the death penalty? Look at the top 9 pro-death penalty arguments on the internet. The 2017 Gallup Poll, found that around 55-percent of Americans were in favor to the death penalty. The 2017 poll is down about 5 percent from a similar poll that was conducted back in 2016. 

Pro Death Penalty Arguments

However, it does not matter entirely as that number still represents most Americans. Whether you are in that number or not, here are some of the common reasons that Americans are in total support of the capital punishment. 

Capital Punishment Pros & Cons: Morality

In the United States, one of the main reasons to support the death penalty is because it is used in the most heinous crimes available. These crimes typically will consist of conscienceless and brutal murders. 

However, one could debate that this way to pick who gets the death penalty and who does not is some sort of state-run lottery and only the unfortunate will get their number called. But that is untrue as states have criteria, they must meet for capital punishment to be eligible to be put on the table as it is reserved for the worst of the worst crimes. 

Let’s put it this way, to sentence a murder as described in the above paragraphs, would not do justice to those who this crime effected. The reason why it would not do justice is the murder will be in prison for a long period of time (until they die of natural causes) and this is highly disproportionate to the crime that was committed. 

Most importantly, the death penalty promotes the belief in the moral order. 


Petitioners also known as the people who have been sentenced to die for their crimes that were committed can come before the Court to ask to nullify his or her sentence as a ‘cruel and unusual’ within their Eighth Amendment. 

This provision is typically one of the only provisions these petitioners can solely rely on as they were convicted and charged by the sovereign state. 

They were given legal counsel and they were not only tried once, but they were tried twice, once in front of their own peers (jury) and again to decide whether the death penalty was appropriate punishment for this case at hand. 

So, the petitioner was 100-percent duly convicted and sentenced. 

You should note that the Eighth Amendment was typically always understood to only bar those punishments that were permissible capital sentence, which typically would add pain, disgrace, or terror. 

Effective Deterrent

Most Americans can typically agree that there are some crimes that are just so wrong that a life sentence cannot do this family justice. 

There are many studies out there that have stated that the death penalty is highly effective when deterring crime. You will find a few studies that have tracked the effects of the death penalty over a few years and they have all found it is highly effective when deterring crime. 

Even though it is highly effective, it is also highly expensive as well, but many people will say you cannot put a price on keeping everyone safe, which is true as well. 


Many Americans also will argue that those who have committed a crime and this crime does not have to apply to the death penalty, that they should be responsible for the sentence that they so deserve. 

This can also be translated back into the death penalty as well. Now, that we have talked about it deterring crime, it can also be retribution for those crimes where life in prison is not enough justice. 

As many retributivists will say it is a fair price to pay for the crime they have committed. It is all about having the punishment fit the nature of the crime. The worse off the crime was the worse off the punishment should be to make it fair for everyone involved. 

You should also note those that will debate against you on the death penalty will state that retribution can tie into revenge, which is not true. You are advocating not for revenge, but for a fair punishment for a crime that was committed that was not something so small. 

Only those who truly deserve it will be executed. These will NEVER be random executions.

Irrevocable Mistakes

Those who want to abolish the death penalty will also point out that there is a chance that you may or may not execute the wrong person. 

However, while that can happen, but there must be a unanimous jury of 12 of his or her peers to vote on the death penalty for it to be upheld. You should also note that this unanimous decision will only come AFTER a very thorough trial where the offender will have two competent attorneys to come up with their defense case along with an independent judge whose job is to ensure that the offender receives a fair trial. 

When the jury is voting on the death penalty, they also know that this crime must meet certain criteria along with keeping in mind of the victims who were left behind grieving their loss. 

Cost of Death vs. Life in Prison

Money, money, money. Money is always something to fight over. 

With the death penalty, it is a big thing that frequently gets brought up. The cost of death vs life in prison is a hot debate always. 

Yes, the cost of death is expensive due to the cost of decades of appeals before the inmate will even make it to the death chamber. 

But, on the other hand, the cost of life in prison can be VERY astronomical as well. Dependent on when the offender committed their crime, they can be sitting in a jail cell for 3-5 decades minimum costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly. 


The race card gets pulled in many debates and nonetheless it is frequently brought up in the great death penalty debate. 

Those who oppose the death penalty, will ALWAYS state that the death penalty is given to more blacks, which in return makes it racially biased and unfair to the black community. 

But let’s stop for a minute here. Let’s do a break down on ALL races that received a death sentence since 1977. 

  • White: 48.6%
  • Black: 40.9%
  • Hispanic: 8.9%
  • Other: 1.6%

Closure for Victims’ Families

If you have never experienced a loss, you will not know the feeling that most people who support the death penalty knows. 

The death penalty is not going to bring the victim back to his or her family, but it will at least give the grieving family, community, and friends that much needed closure that they need. 

As we have already stated many times that the death penalty is ONLY reserved for those senses worse of the worse crimes. 

Attorney Quality

Another hot debate topic is attorney quality. Many people say that these death row cases are always just represented by a flaky under-skilled public defender and that these defenders are battling an uphill battle. 

This is not always true. In the last few decades, there have been many highly skilled public defenders that have rivaled against the best attorneys out there. 

But you will also note that there are many law firms that will provide pro-bono counsel in these capital cases as well. 

So, the attorney quality can be quite good, if you know where to look and how to retain the best of the best. 

Offenders can find many great attorneys that will want to take over their case, especially if it is going to be a capital case, which gives the law firm more exposure.