Thedeath penalty is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, and it is also a violationof human rights. Everydaypeople are put to death in countries around the world, even here in America.
The death penalty is probably the mostcontroversial topic to be argued across the United States.Ifor one believe the death penalty should be abolished in our country.Inmatesspend the remainder of their life on death row, waitingto die,andnever really knowing when their day will come. Thedeath penalty is not right and should be abolished completely.Everyoneshould be against the death penalty and there are many reasons and arguments tobe said over this controversial topic.Firstand foremost, we cannot truly”playGod”.Whoare we to say what is right or wrong and if it should be punishable by death?Overtwo thousand people have died due to the crimes these people have committed.Anothertwo thousand people died because of the death penalty.
Ifthe death rate doubles because of this outrageous law, then are we truly doinggood in the eyes of the Lord?Thereare strong religious reasons as to why you should oppose the death penalty. Some recall the story of Cain andAble. Cain, being the first murderer, was not executed but was marked witha special sign by God and made a wanderer for the rest of his life. Jesus Christ would oppose the killingof a human being as punishment for a crime.
Thisview is supported by the New Testament story about the woman who facedexecution by stoning (John8:7, “Hethat is without sin among you, lethim cast the first stone”).Thedeath penalty, alsoknown as capital punishment is a legal penalty used by thirty-one states, the federal government, and the military. The existence of capital punishmentcan be traced back to the beginning of American Colonies. The majority of countries in WesternEurope, NorthAmerica and South America have abandoned capital punishment in law or inpractice.
Americais one of fifty-seven countries in the world,theonly western country,that still uses the death penalty.Americais paired with countries like North Korea,China, Iraq,etc. thus considering us uncivilized andmore like the corrupt and dictator ruled countries. America is the first country thatdeveloped and used lethal injection that five other countries now use. Asthe supreme court struck down the death penalty in 1967 states passed new deathpenalty statues.After that the court affirmed the ruling on capital punishment in 1967.
Since the ruling about seven thousandeight hundred defendants have been sentenced to death, of these cases. About one thousand two hundred peoplehave been executed, onehundred and fifty-eight were exonerated,andalmost three thousand are still on death row.(Dow.)Astudy in Georgia shows that killers of whites are 4.3 times more likely to receive adeath sentence than killers of any other race.Morethan seventy-five percent of the people on death row are non-white. Of the one hundred and fifty-sixfederal death penalty prosecutions approved since the 1980’s,seventy-fourpercent of the defendants were non-white.Furthermore, the death penalty does not only showinequality to other races, italso punishes the poor.
Studiesshow that if an inmate can afford good legal representation, they are more likely to get a lessercharge than death row. Italso shows ninety percent of defendants cannot afford to hire good legal representation, this issue causes them to be forcedto use an inexperience attorney appointed by the court. These numbers show that there issomething clearly wrong with our judicial system. Thedeath penalty is not doing too much for crime to stop completely or even slightly. “The FBI has found that states withthe death penalty have the highest murder rates,”(Bedau). It is not a threat to anyone to makethem stop and think, “if I do this I will be caught and sentenced to the deathpenalty?”.They government is making it more of a punishment,butthey do not care and continue to think the death penalty is ok.
There is no point for states to have thedeath penalty if criminals keep committing crimes without a thought of the deathpenalty thoughts being their punishment.Thecrime rate is still high in the states that use the death penalty. The whole country needs it gone, itis not doing our justice system any good. Thedeath penalty is supposed to prevent others from killing but it does nothing toa murders decision making. 88%of these criminals rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as adiscouragement to murder. Fearof the death penalty has little to no effect on people committing murder. A murder usually starts as anargument gone bad, jealousy, hatred,angeror disagreement.
Theaverage person does not walk outside and thinks,”I will kill today”. Itnever crosses the person’smind that if they kill a someone the result will be that they will get thedeath penalty.People are still killing on a daily basis,andit has not slowed down the number of murder cases in the United States. If the death penalty is sending amessage, noone is receiving this message. (Pierce.)Secondly, “The death penalty inherently violatesthe constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment.” If it is a violation of theconstitution, thenwhy is it still around and legal in most states.Thirty-onestates out of the fifty states are willing to let people wait on death penaltyfor many years(Liebman).
The average cost of cases without thedeath penalty being involved is around seven hundred and forty thousand dollars, while cases that involve capitalpunishment cost around one million two hundred and sixty thousand dollars. Keeping each member on death row costabout ninety thousand dollars more per year than a prisoner in generalpopulation. Thereare seven hundred and fourteen inmates on death row in California to this day. Each of their cases cost a total ofabout eight hundred ninety-nine million sixhundred forty thousand and sixty-four million two hundred sixty thousand taxpayer dollars per year to keep them in a special holding cell.The death penalty cost more for an execution versus life inprison. Our government is havinga budget crisis, but it seems as if we have millions of dollars for the deathpenalty. Thereare millions of better ways to spend the tax dollars being used for the lethalinjections, aswell as housing and feeding the inmates. Ifwe get rid of the death penalty we will help reduce the high taxes,debt,andfamine we have in our country today.
(Brook.) Third I believe is the most logicaland eye opening.If the person is a murderer and you sentence him to the death penalty you areno better than he is. Sentencinga murderer to the death penalty is hypocritical and illogical.Deathpenalty gives a bad rep to our country and it sends a bad message to the society. In Christianity we are taught that lifeis sacred and made to believe that human life has value. The people of our society todaybelieve different, theybelieve human life has no value and when someone commits a monstrous crime likemurder, thatoffender deserves to be killed as well.
Thisis a bad thing for our society due to the fact that our society should betaught to respect one another’slife and that everyone has a right to life.Ahumane, civil, and peaceful society does not kill orsupport killing fellow citizens, furthermore, the death penalty is a violentslaughtering that teaches our society the permission of killing in order tosolve an issue, alsoknown as an eye for an eye. Hence,thedeath penalty should not be allowed because it sets a horrible example for oursociety.
Thedeath penalty should be abolished because it can lead to the killing ofinnocent people, asthe justice system will most likely make a mistake. The government has made past mistakes, and executed innocent people. If wecontinue the death penalty,innoceny people will end up dying. Since1973, over one hundred and thirty people have been released fromdeath row with evidence of their innocence.
From 2000-2007, therehas been an average of about five exonerations per year. Theproblem with the death penalty is that innocent people have been and willcontinue to be killed. The justice system will make mistakes and will not alwayshave the evidence right away when convicting people. Manyprisoners spend years serving time in prison for a crime they did not commit. Thereis no justice for them or their loved ones. The justice system doesnot question how innocent people have died. (Levy.
) As humans we are an inescapableforce of error.Nonetheless,when a life is at stake, error is not an option. Thedeath penalty is murder committed by the government. As anation, we have prided ourselves in our government so much we put ourmorals to the side. However,can we continue to say our government is fair if we do nothold it to the same rules we do its people? Murder by a citizen willhave consequences, yet a government-approved murder is not only acceptable, butenforceable.
The Illinois Coalition to Abolishthe Death Penalty claims, “Wedo not cut off the hands of thieves to protect our property, we do not stone rapists and such tostop adultery. Weconsider that barbaric. Yetwe continue to take life as a means of protecting our own life”. No person, government official or not, has the right to decide if anotherhuman is worthy or not to live.
Our natural rights as humans cannotbe taken away by the government. Humansare not trading cards that lose value.Noact, no matter how horrible itis can make a person less ofa human being. However, for most it is easy to forget thateach of the one thousand two hundred executed people since 1977 are fellowhumans, notjust numbers. According to Amnesty International, “The death penalty legitimizes anirreversible act of violence by the state and will inevitably claim innocentvictims.” (Drehle.) If there is any chance whatsoeverthat error is possible, whichthere always is, thedrastic measure of the death penalty should not be taken. Also,itis too much of a final decision, whichmeans it does not allow opportunity for the accused to be proven innocent, this is a violation of the FifthAmendment.
One outof every ten people who have been executed in the United States since 1977 isdiagnosed with a mental illness,according to Amnesty International and the NationalAssociation on Mental Illness.Many mentally ill defendants are unable to participate intheir trials in any meaningful way and appear unengaged, and coldbefore the jury. Some have been forcibly medicated to make them competent to theexecution. Although the Supreme Court has passed that people with amental illness may not be executed, Oregon has not yet passeda law banning the execution of the mentally ill. (Drehle.) The justice system failsto recognize that guilty people have the potential to change, they are denying these people whohave done wrong in the past the opportunity to ever rejoin society again. The death penalty says that those whoare sentenced are beyond redemption,beyonda second chance, beyondbeing able to live normally in a society again.
Idisagree, Ibelieve everyone deserves a second chance.Ibelieve many of the people are on death row and end up in prison due to thefact that they never got a first chance.Poverty, racism,violence, mental illness, and neglect are all reasons impactingwho is and who isn’t a criminal. Thedeath penalty is immoral and a violation of anyone’s natural rights.
It iswrong for everyone involved:the prosecuted innocent people, criminals, the victims’ families, and ournation. We as a country need to replace the death penalty and capitalpunishment with life without parole, a more safe andinexpensive option. The death penalty does not guarantee safety for innocentvictims. It also does not follow the goals and promises of our nation. It doesnot effectively deter crime,and it does not give closure to the victims’ families. Nothinggood comes from hate,and nothing good can ever come from the death penalty.
Itcannot continue to be accepted by a nation that claims to have liberty andjustice for all. The death penalty is murder approved by the government and it’s wrong.