The sign by God and made a wanderer for

The
death penalty is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, and it is also a violation
of human rights. Everyday
people are put to death in countries around the world, even here in America. The death penalty is probably the most
controversial topic to be argued across the United States.
I
for one believe the death penalty should be abolished in our country.
Inmates
spend the remainder of their life on death row, waiting
to die,
and
never really knowing when their day will come. The
death penalty is not right and should be abolished completely.
Everyone
should be against the death penalty and there are many reasons and arguments to
be said over this controversial topic.

First
and foremost, we cannot truly
“play
God”.
Who
are we to say what is right or wrong and if it should be punishable by death?
Over
two thousand people have died due to the crimes these people have committed.
Another
two thousand people died because of the death penalty.
If
the death rate doubles because of this outrageous law, then are we truly doing
good in the eyes of the Lord?

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There
are strong religious reasons as to why you should oppose the death penalty. Some recall the story of Cain and
Able. Cain, being the first murderer, was not executed but was marked with
a special sign by God and made a wanderer for the rest of his life. Jesus Christ would oppose the killing
of a human being as punishment for a crime.
This
view is supported by the New Testament story about the woman who faced
execution by stoning (John
8:7, “He
that is without sin among you, let
him cast the first stone”).

The
death penalty, also
known as capital punishment is a legal penalty used by thirty-one states, the federal government, and the military. The existence of capital punishment
can be traced back to the beginning of American Colonies. The majority of countries in Western
Europe, North
America and South America have abandoned capital punishment in law or in
practice. America
is one of fifty-seven countries in the world,
the
only western country,
that still uses the death penalty.
America
is paired with countries like North Korea,
China, Iraq,
etc. thus considering us uncivilized and
more like the corrupt and dictator ruled countries. America is the first country that
developed and used lethal injection that five other countries now use.  As
the supreme court struck down the death penalty in 1967 states passed new death
penalty statues.
After that the court affirmed the ruling on capital punishment in 1967. Since the ruling about seven thousand
eight hundred defendants have been sentenced to death, of these cases. About one thousand two hundred people
have been executed, one
hundred and fifty-eight were exonerated,
and
almost three thousand are still on death row.
(Dow.)

A
study in Georgia shows that killers of whites are 4.3 times more likely to receive a
death sentence than killers of any other race.
More
than seventy-five percent of the people on death row are non-white. Of the one hundred and fifty-six
federal death penalty prosecutions approved since the 1980’s,
seventy-four
percent of the defendants were non-white.
Furthermore, the death penalty does not only show
inequality to other races, it
also punishes the poor. Studies
show that if an inmate can afford good legal representation, they are more likely to get a lesser
charge than death row. It
also shows ninety percent of defendants cannot afford to hire good legal representation, this issue causes them to be forced
to use an inexperience attorney appointed by the court. These numbers show that there is
something clearly wrong with our judicial system.

The
death penalty is not doing too much for crime to stop completely or even slightly. “The FBI has found that states with
the death penalty have the highest murder rates,”
(Bedau). It is not a threat to anyone to make
them stop and think, “if I do this I will be caught and sentenced to the death
penalty?”.
They government is making it more of a punishment,
but
they do not care and continue to think the death penalty is ok. There is no point for states to have the
death penalty if criminals keep committing crimes without a thought of the death
penalty thoughts being their punishment.
The
crime rate is still high in the states that use the death penalty. The whole country needs it gone, it
is not doing our justice system any good.

The
death penalty is supposed to prevent others from killing but it does nothing to
a murders decision making. 88%
of these criminals rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a
discouragement to murder. Fear
of the death penalty has little to no effect on people committing murder. A murder usually starts as an
argument gone bad, jealousy, hatred,
anger
or disagreement. The
average person does not walk outside and thinks,

I will kill today”. It
never crosses the person’s
mind that if they kill a someone the result will be that they will get the
death penalty.
People are still killing on a daily basis,
and
it has not slowed down the number of murder cases in the United States. If the death penalty is sending a
message, no
one is receiving this message. (Pierce.)

Secondly, “The death penalty inherently violates
the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.” If it is a violation of the
constitution, then
why is it still around and legal in most states.
Thirty-one
states out of the fifty states are willing to let people wait on death penalty
for many years(Liebman). The average cost of cases without the
death penalty being involved is around seven hundred and forty thousand dollars, while cases that involve capital
punishment cost around one million two hundred and sixty thousand dollars. Keeping each member on death row cost
about ninety thousand dollars more per year than a prisoner in general
population. There
are seven hundred and fourteen inmates on death row in California to this day. Each of their cases cost a total of
about eight hundred ninety-nine million six
hundred forty thousand and sixty-four million two hundred sixty thousand tax
payer dollars per year to keep them in a special holding cell.
The death penalty cost more for an execution versus life in
prison. Our government is having
a budget crisis, but it seems as if we have millions of dollars for the death
penalty. There
are millions of better ways to spend the tax dollars being used for the lethal
injections, as
well as housing and feeding the inmates. If
we get rid of the death penalty we will help reduce the high taxes,
debt,
and
famine we have in our country today. (Brook.)
 

            Third I believe is the most logical
and eye opening.
If the person is a murderer and you sentence him to the death penalty you are
no better than he is. Sentencing
a murderer to the death penalty is hypocritical and illogical.

Death
penalty gives a bad rep to our country and it sends a bad message to the society. In Christianity we are taught that life
is sacred and made to believe that human life has value. The people of our society today
believe different, they
believe human life has no value and when someone commits a monstrous crime like
murder, that
offender deserves to be killed as well.
This
is a bad thing for our society due to the fact that our society should be
taught to respect one another’s
life and that everyone has a right to life.
A
humane, civil, and peaceful society does not kill or
support killing fellow citizens, furthermore, the death penalty is a violent
slaughtering that teaches our society the permission of killing in order to
solve an issue, also
known as an eye for an eye. Hence,
the
death penalty should not be allowed because it sets a horrible example for our
society.  

The
death penalty should be abolished because it can lead to the killing of
innocent people, as
the justice system will most likely make a mistake.  The government has made past mistakes, and executed innocent people. If we
continue the death penalty,
innoceny people will end up dying. Since
1973, over one hundred and thirty people have been released from
death row with evidence of their innocence. From 2000-2007, there
has been an average of about five exonerations per year. The
problem with the death penalty is that innocent people have been and will
continue to be killed. The justice system will make mistakes and will not always
have the evidence right away when convicting people. Many
prisoners spend years serving time in prison for a crime they did not commit. There
is no justice for them or their loved ones. The justice system does
not question how innocent people have died. (Levy.)

            As humans we are an inescapable
force of error.
Nonetheless,
when a life is at stake, error is not an option. The
death penalty is murder committed by the government. As a
nation, we have prided ourselves in our government so much we put our
morals to the side. However,
can we continue to say our government is fair if we do not
hold it to the same rules we do its people? Murder by a citizen will
have consequences, yet a government-approved ­murder is not only acceptable, but
enforceable.

            The Illinois Coalition to Abolish
the Death Penalty claims, “We
do not cut off the hands of thieves to protect our property, we do not stone rapists and such to
stop adultery. We
consider that barbaric. Yet
we continue to take life as a means of protecting our own life”. No person, government official or not, has the right to decide if another
human is worthy or not to  live. Our natural rights as humans cannot
be taken away by the government. Humans
are not trading cards that lose value.
No
act, no matter how horrible it
is can make a person less of
a human being. However, for most it is easy to forget that
each of the one thousand two hundred executed people since 1977 are fellow
humans, not
just numbers.

            According to Amnesty International, “The death penalty legitimizes an
irreversible act of violence by the state and will inevitably claim innocent
victims.” (Drehle.) If there is any chance whatsoever
that error is possible, which
there always is, the
drastic measure of the death penalty should not be taken. Also,
it
is too much of a final decision, which
means it does not allow opportunity for the accused to be proven innocent, this is a violation of the Fifth
Amendment.

          One out
of every ten people who have been executed in the United States since 1977 is
diagnosed with a mental illness,
according to Amnesty International and the National
Association on Mental Illness.
Many mentally ill defendants are unable to participate in
their trials in any meaningful way and appear unengaged, and cold
before the jury. Some have been forcibly medicated to make them competent to the
execution. Although the Supreme Court has passed that people with a
mental illness may not be executed, Oregon has not yet passed
a law banning the execution of the mentally ill. (Drehle.)

          The justice system fails
to recognize that guilty people have the potential to change, they are denying these people who
have done wrong in the past the opportunity to ever rejoin society again. The death penalty says that those who
are sentenced are beyond redemption,
beyond
a second chance, beyond
being able to live normally in a society again.
I
disagree, I
believe everyone deserves a second chance.
I
believe many of the people are on death row and end up in prison due to the
fact that they never got a first chance.
Poverty, racism,
violence, mental illness, and neglect are all reasons impacting
who is and who isn’t a criminal.

          The
death penalty is immoral and a violation of  anyone’s natural rights. It is
wrong for everyone involved:
the prosecuted innocent people, criminals, the victims’ families, and our
nation. We as a country need to replace the death penalty and capital
punishment with life without parole, a more safe and
inexpensive option. The death penalty does not guarantee safety for innocent
victims. It also does not follow the goals and promises of our nation. It does
not effectively deter crime,
and it does not give closure to the victims’ families. Nothing
good comes from hate,
and nothing good can ever come from the death penalty. It
cannot continue to be accepted by a nation that claims to have liberty and
justice for all. The death penalty is murder approved by the government and it’s wrong.  

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