Research Paper: “Death Penalty” – 20 Topic Ideas

Topics and ideas
Posted on September 5, 2018

Death Penalty Research Paper Topics
The question of crime and punishment has existed since the dawn of the humanity. The means of punishment varied differently starting with whipping and ending with a death penalty. The greatest fear of any person is the fear of death – understanding that after some flash of the moments, the life will cease to exist, and nobody knows what lies beyond the edge.

Death penalty research papers are among the top argumentative topics for writing as it sets the fundamental questions of what is right and what is wrong. It is among the most serious problems that demand a portion of a deeper insight and understanding. All the aspects of the death penalty can be questioned including the aim, methods, reasons, facts, philosophy, and social acceptance. The essay on the death requires accuracy and cold mind that will analyze all the material in possession. Moreover, the position of the author can change greatly from the one that was at the beginning, and the one at the conclusion of the assignment.

20 Topic Ideas for a Death Penalty Research Paper

Below, you will find a set of strong topics for death penalty research work that will inspire students for further writing.

  1. Can We Consider a Death Penalty as a Means of Revenge and Not the Means of Punishment?
  2. How Death Penalty Impacts the Lowering of the Crime Level in Dangerous Regions
  3. Does the Capital Punishment Save the Funding Which Would Be Spent on the Imprisonment of the Criminal
  4. Is the Death Penalty Equal Punishment for Death Committing Crimes
  5. The Capital Punishment Can Be Stated as a More Human Means of Treatment than a Lifetime Incarceration
  6. The Injection of Death as the Most Human Method of Capital Punishment
  7. The Policy of “Crime for Crime” Punishment as the Most Adequate Means of Preventing Crimes
  8. Are the People Condemned to Capital Punishment Lost to the Society without a Chance for Rehabilitation
  9. Means of Painless and Flawless Execution for Criminals
  10. The Chance of Executing Innocent People – Who Should Take the Blame
  11. The Act of Forgiveness – Is It Applicable for Serial Killers
  12. The Profession of the Executor is the Most Painful Profession among All
  13. God Will Forgive – the World Religions’ Attitude to Capital Punishment
  14. The Status of Death Penalty in the World’s Most Developed Countries
  15. Death Penalty – the Breaking of Fundamental Human Right for Life
  16. The Psychology of a Person Condemned to Death – What Hides beneath the Mask of Flesh
  17. The Necessity to Establish the International Norms for Capital Punishment
  18. The Responsibilities of Layers in Case of Condemnation to Capital Punishment
  19. The Racist Aspects among Prisoners Condemned to Death Penalty
  20. Does Capital Punishments Make the Society More Peaceful?

Sample Essay: The Philosophy of Capital Punishment from the Point of Its Actuality

The problem of the death penalty hasn’t lost its serene actuality since the start of the mankind existence. The issue is comprised of numerous aspects of political, ethical, philosophical, and religious nature.

During all times, the problem was a powerful magnet that attracted the attention as it is connected with the basic values of existence and the question of death, in particular. It constantly led to controversy regarding the point of its applicability and righteousness. During the whole period of time, there was an approximate equality between the arguments for and against the death penalty. Below are presented the facts to organize a better picture of the current state of affairs regarding the presented theme.

The first argument lies in the fact that execution can be justified if the crimes that were committed are extremely perverse, and the criminal is very dangerous for the society as he/she will continue committing terrible things again and again. Even if such a person is imprisoned, he/she can pose a threat even to cellmates, and death is the only means of saving hundreds of lives from violence. By means of it, the government protects the fundamental moral values of civilization and the right for life of innocent people.

The second argument states that the society is controlled with basic fear of death, and such a type of punishment is capable of preventing the further crimes. The statistics have shown that numerous people have a temptation to commit a criminal act. For a normal person, it is quite easy to restrain from such actions, but there are people who are not afraid of public accusation or any other means of control. That is why the fear of death is among the most effective means of criminal-level control. That is probably why the death penalty was so popular in England and France of old times.

The third argument states that death should be imbued for death as a means of retribution. There are no equal means of punishment that can justify death except death. According to such rule the logic of equal exchange can be considered the most righteous methods of punishment.

The fourth argument is that a victim should have a right for self-defense. If a criminal is coming to the victim with a murderous intent, the second party is often limited to protection only and cannot respond with the same action. The death penalty is the means of protecting the citizens from violence, and the government is the body that takes the role of an executor.

The opponents of the death penalty say that any person has the right for life. This argument is based on the fundamental religious statement that it is forbidden to slaughter the ultimate creation of divine power. Additionally, it is stated that human being was crafted according to the image of God. The lives of all people even sinners are under the protection of Almighty. In this aspect, the death penalty is also a sin and substitute of a Divine Truth.

Some types of suffering are applicable like a visit to a surgeon or a dentist. According to this argument, the death penalty is the violence that exceeds all the norms of society. The lifetime incarceration is said to be the best alternative for execution. At least, it doesn’t take away the chance for atonement and becoming useful for the society.

In case of a judicial mistake, the death penalty can lead to irreversible consequences. The argument states that there were numerous cases when innocent people were condemned to death. The end of life is the end of justice without any means of fixing in case the wrong verdict was done. That is why there always should exist a supposition that a person can be innocent unless there is enough evidence.
Some sociologists state that frequent public executions distort the moral values of the society. It destroys the principle of life values and makes people senseless and emotionless.

It will be constantly difficult to state for sure if we need the death penalty or not as there is an equal amount of statement for and against. However, in most cases, people are the ones who create the opinion of crime and appropriate punishment for it.


  1. Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist for Ordinary Crimes Only
  2. Baldus, David, George Woodworth, David Zuckerman, Neil Alan Weiner, and Barbara Broffit. 1998. “Racial Discrimination and the Death Penalty in the post-Furman Era: An Empirical and Legal Overview, with Recent Findings from Philadelphia.” Cornell Law Review 83:1638-1770.
  3. Lawrence W. Sherman, Douglas A. Smith, Janell D. Schmidt, Dennis P. Rogan. Crime, Punishment, and Stake in Conformity: Legal and Informal Control of Domestic Violence. American Sociological Review, Vol. 57, No. 5 (Oct., 1992), pp. 680-690
  4. Neumayer, Eric (2008) Death penalty: the political foundations of the global trend toward abolition. Human rights review, 9 (2). pp. 241-268. ISSN 1874-6306,%20E_Death%20penalty%20the%20political%20foundations%20of%20the%20global%20trend%20toward%20abolition_Death%20penalty%20the%20political%20foundations%20of%20the%20global%20trend%20toward%20abolition%20(LSE%20RO).pdf
  5. Schmalleger, F. (2009). Criminal justice today. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson
  6. Kenny Sarisky.  History and Controversies of Capital Punishment
  7. Susan F. Sharp.Hidden Victims: The Effects of the Death Penalty on Families of the Accused.,+M.+(1997).+Just+Revenge.+New+York,+NY:+St.+Martin%E2%80%99s.+pdf&source=bl&ots=0bOTkQBob9&sig=PjyTzcj-9bwMGg1_3xetf-KJeAY&hl=uk&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjhtIrDk-jbAhWBhiwKHR84CR4Q6AEISjAF#v=onepage&q=Costanzo%2C%20M.%20(1997).%20Just%20Revenge.%20New%20York%2C%20NY%3A%20St.%20Martin%E2%80%99s.%20pdf&f=false
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