Death Penalty Discussion


Is the Death Penalty Right or Wrong?
The idea of putting another human to death is hard to
completely fathom. The physical mechanics involved in the
act of execution are easy to grasp, but the emotions
involved in carrying out a death sentence on another
person, regardless of how much they deserve it, is beyond
my own understanding. I know it must be painful,
dehumanizing, and sickening. However, this act is
sometimes necessary and it is our responsibility as a
society to see that it is done.
Opponents of capital punishment have basically four
arguments. The first is that there is a possibility of
error. However, the chance that there might be an error is
separate from the issue of whether the death penalty can be
justified or not. If an error does occur, and an innocent
person is executed, then the problem lies in the court
system, not in the death penalty. Furthermore, most
activities in our world, in which humans are involved,
possess a possibility of injury or death. Construction,
sports, driving, and air travel all offer the possibility
of accidental death even though the highest levels of
precautions are taken. These activities continue to take
place, and continue to occasionally take human lives,
because we have all decided, as a society, that the
advantages outweigh the unintended loss. We have also
decided that the advantages of having dangerous murderers
removed from our society outweigh the losses of the
The second argument against capital punishment is that it
is unfair in its administration. Statistics show that the
poor and minorities are more likely to receive the death
penalty. Once again, this is a separate issue.
It can't be disputed sadly, the rich are more likely to get
off with a lesser sentence, and this bias is wrong. 
However, this is yet another problem of our current court
system. The racial and economic bias is not a valid
argument against the death penalty. It is an argument
against the courts and their unfair system of sentencing.
The third argument is actually a rebuttal to a claim made
by some supporters of the death penalty. The claim is that
the threat of capital punishment reduces violent crimes. 
Opponents of the death penalty do not agree and have a
valid argument when they say, "The claims that capital
punishment reduces violent crime is inconclusive and
certainly not proven."
I am not refuting this accusation. In fact, statistics
show that the death penalty neither lowers or raises the
incidence of violent crimes. I am not a supporter of the
death penalty because it might scare potential criminals
into thinking twice before they murdered someone (though it
would be nice if it did). I support the death penalty
because it removes individuals who threaten the lives of
our citizens.
The fourth argument is that the length of stay on death
row, with its endless appeals, delays, technicalities, and
retrials, keep a person waiting for death for years on end.
 It is both cruel and costly. This is the least credible
argument against capital punishment. The main cause of
such inefficiencies is the appeals process, which allows
capital cases to bounce back and forth between state and
federal courts for years on end. If supporting a death row
inmate for the rest their life costs less than putting them
to death, and ending their financial burden on society,
then the problem lies in the court system, not in the death
penalty. As for the additional argument, that making a
prisoner wait for years to be executed is cruel, then would
not waiting for death in prison for the rest of your life
be just as cruel, as in the case of life imprisonment
without parole.
Many Americans will tell you why they are in favor of the
death penalty. It is what they deserve. It prevents them
from ever murdering again. It removes the burden from
taxpayers. We all live in a society with the same basic
rights and guarantees. We have the right to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. 
This is the basis for our society. It is the foundation on
which everything else is built upon. When someone
willfully and flagrantly attacks this foundation by
murdering another, robbing them of all they are, and all
they will ever be, then that person can no longer be a part
of this society. The only method that completely separates
cold blooded murderers from our society is the death
As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that
our justice system is in need of reform. This reform will
shape the future of our country, and we can not jump to
quick solutions such as the elimination of the death
penalty. As of now, the majority of American support the
death penalty as an effective solution of punishment. Until
this opinion becomes the minority, America will continue to
use the this approach, and I will continue to support the
death penalty.
"An eye for an eye," are what some Americans would say
concerning the death penalty. Supporters of the death
penalty ask the question, "Why should I, an honest
hardworking taxpayer, have to pay to support a murderer for
the rest of their natural life? Why not execute them and
save society the cost of their keep?" Many Americans
believe that the death penalty is wrong. However, it seems
obvious to some Americans that the death penalty is a just
and proper way to handle convicted murderers.


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