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Research Assignment On Death Penalty As Capital Punishment (Thesis Proposal Sample)


Write a research proposal covering death penalty as a capital punishment.


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Capital punishment is a type of punishment that has been present for decades and one that is still seen as a preferable means of punishing capital offenders. That begs the question of what a capital offense may be. It is describable as a crime that a nation treats seriously to the extent that the penalty for the crime is death. Because life is the most valuable treasure one can have, it is usable as a tool to force troublemakers into conforming to the society (Lieberman et al. 2014). Ultimately, conformity is the objective of having such a punishment installed in a societal system. However, does it make sense to end someone’s life to attain justice? Is the judicial systems’ main objective to reprimand and not to end lives? The essence of this paper is to accentuate why there is a need for research into this social issue and shed light on better means of punishment that can yield better results concerning turning criminal minds into productive ones.
In the past, conformity was also an issue where there were those that strayed and had to be punished. The essentiality of exerting these punishments was to act as a tool to remind people that there was a code to follow. The notion of using punishment as a tool of enforcing right and wrong in the society comes from Skinner’s theory about behavior. According to the theory, human beings learn by responding to stimulus from the environment (Chaflin, Haviland and Raphael 2013). Therefore, there are means through which that wanted behavior can be encouraged, and that is through reinforcement. Negative reinforcement involves the teacher using things that have painful or unwanted experiences such as punishment so that it forces the student to avoid repeating the same for fear of the consequences. Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, entails the teacher encouraging the occurrence of a preferred behavior by rewarding the student with something positive.
Following that line of thought, the primary purpose of punishment was to rehabilitate those that strayed away from the right path. The world is evolving where people are questioning why certain things are there such as capital punishments. The indifferent view comes from the fact that technology has caused the world to recede into a global village. Thanks to technology, people have shifted from the regional disparities and have now adopted a global view where humanity is brought together (Kadlac 2014). Therefore, there are valid arguments that scholars posit that require a keener investigation. The statistics regarding death penalty executions by the state are many and most worrying is the fact that some criminal acts do not warrant the death penalties. That brings in a critical issue where an arm of the government is ‘playing god’ deciding whose life to end.
Critics will always ask why there is a need for a research in this area since it can be easily assumed that these executions were a necessary evil for the greater good. The research will be endeavoring to dig deeper into the issue of death penalties and accentuate that there is no need for this kind of punishments in the rehabilitation system. A reason why this research is needed is that it is the most ethical approach to take since it is an issue that has become of concern recently. The main reason that the rehabilitation system is to convert felons into productive members of the society. It is not to end the lives of the convicts. Condemning these people to die will not help to reduce the influx of people into crime. Instead, it makes those that remain even hardened knowing that it is their fate.
A reason that furthers the need for this research is that crime is increasing despite such punishments as death penalties being there. These punishments have lost their value of scaring criminals into conforming to the rules and guidelines of society. That is one of the roles that these punishments played. They acted as landmarks that reminded people of what they ought and ought not to do. They were guidelines of the society. Today, these guidelines are nothing more than statutes that people speak of casually. Therefore, that is interpretable as a need for the government to up their techniques of enforcing law and order. There are other means of reducing crime that does not entail the ending of the life of anyone. Something that the law enforcers forget is that these felons are just as human as they are. Therefore, they should be given that opportunity to make up for the errors that they have committed instead of judging them that harshly.
Another reason why there is a need for this research revolves around the families of the victims of the death penalty punishment. Firstly, the death penalty has always been a traumatizing event for the family members of the victim. It is possible to imagine that one is very aware of his or her impending death and the fact that the moments that he is living in are his or her last. The family members will be seeing him or her for the last time alive (Manski and Pepper 2013). Therefore, the family members will suffer a lot of suffering and pain and will often have to relive the traumatizing events for a long period. Such families are torn apart with the fact that there is an important member that will no longer be there. The reasons that cause many people to find themselves entangled in a web of criminal activity is because they are unable to access basic needs for himself or herself and his or her family.
There is a lot of funds that the state spends on executing death penalties every year which is avoidable by dropping the death penalty as a punishment method. As mentioned earlier, there are other methods that the government can use to reprimand criminals that are more effective at that than the death penalty (Seal 2014). For instance, consider replacing the death penalty with life without parole in the case of finances that will be utilized. The amount that the government spends in executing death penalties compared to life without parole reveals that there are better methods of promoting justice. The idea that this research endeavors to convey is that the government may be able to save more if it could spend on violence-prevention mechanisms instead of methods that seek ‘cure.’ It will enable the society to be free of crime by converting the criminals into productive society members.
Many criminals find themselves back into crime after rehabilitation because of a lack of a means of survival. Many people are unwilling to employ ex-convicts because they fear for their security. They still fear that the individual is still not safe to be around as he or she can easily fall back into bad habits. The ex-convicts fail to get any employment, and he or she decides to go back to the ways he or she used to get money (crime) thereby ending back into the arms of the law. That is all in a bid to fulfill his or her basic needs as well as those of their families. When these individuals are condemned to death, they leave behind individuals who have no means of survival. Worse is the fact that the state does not take care of these people once they rob them of their sole providers resulting in endless suffering for these people.
Once this research is conducted, it is possible that the relationship between poor rehabilitation mechanisms and the influx of criminals into criminality will come to light. These poor rehabilitation mechanisms, such as the death penalties, are not effective in promoting rehabilitation objectives of the system.
Research design
Some designs would work appropriately with this research, but the most effective research approach would be the mixed method research. It is a multi-method research that entails the use of two or more research methods or data collection approaches. However, it is a more specific multi-method approach in that it demands the mixing of the quantitative and qualitative research methodologies (Bargman 2007). That entails mixing the paradigms, and methodologies of data collection as well as the data itself. It is arguable that it is a special multi-method case which makes it even more ideal for this research. Scholars (Bowsers et al. 2013) purport that the use of a multi-approach is better than a mono-method because it strengthens the validity of the research both on qualitative and empirical grounds. An aspect of validity that is more valuable will be the transferability and the reliability of the data that the research will provide and one way of achieving that will be the application of this type of research.
The qualitative side of the research will involve primarily the use of secondary sources of data. These include scholarly articles that have been approved as reliable sources of information (Bergman 2008). The essence of using these sources is to get the perspective different people have regarding the issue. The qualitative data will be easier and faster to analyze as compared to the quantitative set (Yanchar and Hawkley 2015). Therefore, it will provide the first insight into how the results of the research are thereby allowing the researchers to see the end possibilities early enough. They can compare the hypothesis, thesis and the data set obtained from the qualitative approach side. The quantitative side is more demanding. Therefore, it will have to come later. The researchers will use first-hand information in this case which demands that they have to go to the sources and obtain the information.
The research would take the form of random sampling techniques where a random selection would be employed so as to reduce the chances of bias. ...
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