Social Control and Morality

Social Control and Morality

This paper will consider my social control and morality issues when considering a socially sensitive issue such as warranting a death penalty to a suspect. It will address personal morals that will shape my perspective on this issue. The discussion will be highlighted in light of The Milgram Experiment. The Milgram experiment sought to determine the levels of obedience to authority. The findings of this experiment showed that laymen were ready to administer a painful and eve dangerous punishment to innocent people if a man in a white lab coat told them to carry on with the act (Cohen, 2008).

In my regard on death penalty, it is a tricky issue that requires a critical act. Death penalty is not convicted to individuals who have just carried out “small crimes” but that one who have carried out extraordinary and heinous crimes that may be related to terrorism, and harm of children. The death penalty may not cause change in behavior or preventing crime but rather a way on inflicting due punishment to some crimes of certain magnitudes. In this case, I support the idea of death penalty but when carried out in the manner and after a long conviction and appeal process.

The law may permit death permanent on some set portion of crimes; thereby creating a higher authority that individual sets their decision on death penalty. One notable difference between my stand on inflicting punishment to the convicts and the punishment as per the Milgram Experiment is that in my case, it is not just a mere obedience to the law but it goes a level deeper to include broader perspective of crime at hand. The general trend among the members of the population has shifted to favoring other punishments such as life imprisonment. This has been seen with the number of states abolishing the death penalty laws.

My views on death penalty are aligned to a situation where the justice system is efficient and effective to ensure right conviction. They evidence should be produced beyond reasonable doubt that the individual convicted actually commitment the crime. Either way, whether one favors life imprisonment or a death penalty, it is still a way of inflicting punishment just in different magnitude. Those against the death penalty base their argument on the value of human life and the right to live. But I tend to argue this because when a person is being sentenced to death penalty must have carried out heinous crimes that violated the same rights among other people. Abolishing the death penalty may reduce the seriousness given to some natures of crimes as individuals are aware that they having nothing much to serve other than serving their time in jail. 

While experiments conducted across time have indicated that the ordinary American are still set to follow orders blindly and cause pain to innocent stranger within a time frame of four decades ago. Being a member of jury with the task of issue a death penalty is a difficult task. The situation is made worse by the lack of proper guidelines to give the range of serious of a crime that warrants a death penalty. In hearing such a case, the defendants should be granted effective help of counsel and ensuring that justice is carried out in a fair and impartial manner. There should be post-conviction reviews on the case to determine the right conviction. People who carry out mass attacks and other heinous crimes against children and with evidence of it should not be protected just because we are opposed to death penalty. My point of view is that crimes should be punished according to their seriousness and severe effects and that death penalty should always be an option for some nature of crimes.


Cohen, A. (2008). Four Decades After Milgram, We’re Still Willing to Inflict Pain. Retrieved from

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