Model Answer - Ielts Writing (Task 2)

Without capital punishment (the death penalty) our lives are less secure and crimes of violence increase. Capital punishment is essential to control violence in society.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion?


Some kind of control is needed in society to prevent chaos and people from harming others. The death penalty is used in some American states for example to combat serious criminal offenders such as serial killers. Applying capital punishment to severe crimes may make target groups, family members, victims and the wider society feel safer.

Although some criminals may fear being punished by being put to death for their actions, I believe there is no direct relationship between capital punishment and committing less crime. Firstly, many acts of violence go unpunished. These may range from date rape to domestic violence. The legal system is made up of a complex web of players including the media and public opinion. If we look at the number of convicts that have undergone capital punishment and the level of violent crimes in society, I think the figures will not correspond to each other.

Secondly, the roots behind an increase in the acts of violence need to be addressed. What is causing this behaviour and why isn’t capital punishment as a method of control effective? Furthermore, crime levels in countries that have the death penalty such as Saudi Arabia and other that don’t, for example the United Kingdom should be compared.

To conclude, I believe we all feel safer knowing a dangerous member of society is no longer among us and can’t cause potentially more harm. Criminals need to feel that their violent crimes will be punishable by death, making them think twice about committing a deadly offense. Despite this, I am sceptical as to whether a reduction in crime level is associated with tough capital punishment laws.

Cambridge, Ielts 2 past papers.
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