Your initial response should be at least 200 words.

Unlike the Toulmin and Rogerian methods where one side is argued over another, the Middle Ground argument mediates between two sides of an issue hopefully arriving at a compromise solution between two positions.

Middle Ground Discussion:  For this discussion, choose an issue that you wrote about previously in this course (Capital punishment debate). Let the class know your previous claim and briefly how you proved this claim in your essay. After this brief review discussion, discuss how you would have approached this particular topic if you were to write a Middle Ground argument, instead of a Toulmin or Rogerian argument. Would you have adjusted your claim? If so, what sort of adjustment would you need? Would you have to find additional sources about your topic in order to prove this new claim? Is a middle ground solution a more practical solution to your chosen issue?

Capital punishment debate







For a long period of time, capital punishment has been viewed to be part of the human culture. The importalso the easiest way of liberating the public from the dangerous lawbreakers (Cohen-Cole, et al., 2008).  Currently, the majority of the individuals are still confused if capital punishment is appropriate to form part of the criminal justice system. Even though some of the Christians believe that this issue is clarified in the bible, some of them think the Old Testament law was replaced by the New Testament ethic of love. This paper explores capital punishment with both arguments for and against being discussed to support the claim.


For several centuries, the death penalty has been incorporated in the criminal justice system of the United States. Capital punishment has been viewed to be a controversial aspect. In 33 states, the death penalty was legalized but in 19 states it was abolished (Phillips, 2009). The criminal justice system of America is usually based on aspects of fairness, integrity, and equality whereby all the crime offenders are treated equally. For the case of heinous crimes, the criminals deserve capital punishment. However, the death penalty is viewed to violate the 8th amendment because it puts restrictions on excessive fines (Dardis, et al., 2008). Currently, the issue of capital punishment is still being debated. The execution methods included beheading, beating, burning, drowning and hanging. More cruel methods were impalement, boiling, and crucifixion.

Capital punishment is highly supported by numerous verses found in the Old Testament. However, there are several arguments which are against the death penalty. Majority of the Christians do not actually believe that capital punishment was initially witnessed in God`s acts after the Ark was disembarked by Noah. Apart from the creatures which were on the Ark, all other animals and human beings were eradicated by God. As a result of the violence which was witnessed in the entire world, God found it important to start a new human race using Noah`s family. Therefore, God put capital punishment into action by beginning a new civilization (Phillips, 2009). In addition, capital punishment was used by God in dealing with the sins committed by the Israelites. In general, God Himself engaged in capital punishment either directly or indirectly as a way of disciplining those Israelites who endangered Israel.

Arguments against Capital punishment

Capital punishment is a miscarriage of justice

In the case of the wrongful execution, the executed innocent individual cannot be unexecuted. Therefore, through capital punishment, justice can be miscarried in sometimes (Brugger, 2014). However, for the case of wrongful imprisonment, the innocent person who had been convicted can be released and then compensated. Thus, the death penalty is not an appropriate method of punishing criminals.

Capital punishment gives the state too much power

In the year 2016, the three states which executed a large number of offenders were Saudi Arabia, Iran, and China. The main reason as to why the majority of the authoritarian regimes make use of the capital punishment is that it is perceived to be the ultimate method of controlling a state (Dardis, et al., 2008). Therefore, the death penalty provides a state with a lot of power hence the political dissidents may take advantage of this.

Killing is wrong

Even though committing a heinous crime is wrong, it is still a wrongful action to subject the crime offender into capital punishment. It is believed to be unethical to terminate the life of a certain person regardless of whether it is in accordance with effecting justice (Brugger, 2014). Thus, the law should protect the right of individuals to live inclusive of the criminals. Other forms of punishment should be improvised instead of capital punishment.

Arguments in support of Capital punishment

Capital punishment enhances the delivery of justice

Many people believe that tit for tat is a fair game. The crime offenders who commit heinous crimes like murder should be subjected to the death penalty. According to Cohen-Cole, et al. (2008), there is no need for allowing a murderer to live yet he or she has killed another person. Majority of the individuals believe that murderers do not deserve the right to live. Therefore, such kind of criminals should be subjected to lawful execution.

Capital punishment helps in crime deterrence

Through capital punishment, human lives can be saved. This is because the murderers would start fearing the dire consequences, they would suffer in case they kill an individual (Unnever, Cullen, and Jonson, 2008). Importantly, severe punishments would decrease the rates of violent crimes.

Capital punishment prevents future crime and ensures fairness 

The affected parties can feel satisfied that justice was delivered as the person who committed a crime is killed. According to Phillips (2009), through capital punishment, the victim`s family can be provided with closure as they get assured that, the offender who killed their family member was not set free but faced severe punishment.

Common Grounds

Some of the reason as to why the death penalty should be accepted is that it saves the government money, minimizes the rates of homicide and saves lives. Capital punishment can save lives since it reduces the rates of crime acts thus making the society to be safer. The deterrence theory can be used to explain the impact of capital punishment on murder rates (Cohen-Cole, et al., 2008). This theory states that making punishment to be more severe can make people avoid indulging themselves in criminal acts. An individual who commits criminal acts such as raping or killing deserves to be subjected to capital punishment.


The majority of the Americans support capital punishment even though some of the individuals in America perceive death penalty as unacceptable. For the case of individuals who support it argues that the death penalty can assist in lowering crime rates in the future. On the other hand, people who oppose it hold that capital punishment is cruel and sometimes innocent individuals may be put into death by mistake for crimes which they never committed.  Capital punishment needs to be supported in order to help in addressing the increased cases of crime and deter others from committing similar crimes.

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