Death Penalty Elimination
Capital punishment, or death penalty, is a very controversial topic for the last decades. Capital punishment is a punishment by way of killing an offender. Death penalty is an inappropriate form of punishment that infringes constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process of law and of equal protection under the law. Supporters of death penalty argue that it has led to the unjustly sentence of prisoners, that it incites capital crimes, that it does not deter criminals more than life in prisoning, that is against the God’s commandments, and that it discriminates against minorities. As human being we make mistakes and a single mistake can cost lives of innocent people. Death penalty is a non-reversible action and there have been many cases where innocent people have lost their lives. For instance, Jesus Christ was an innocent man who was accused of blasphemy. Although no one could prove his crime and the Roman governor in Judea, Pontius Pilate, found him innocent the crowds declared “Crucified him!” Jesus was publicly scourged, beaten and crucified and the third day after his crucifixion he rose from the death proving himself innocent.
Some people blame the court system, not the death penalty itself for the problem, but we can’t risk mistakes. “Despite the recent attention to the issue of wrongful conviction, few are aware that over 20 people have been wrongly executed. Anti-death penalty advocates maintain these flaws cannot be fixed.” (Finley). Another reason death penalty should be eliminated is because it fail as a deterrent. Capital punishment would not end the crime problem in our society. It is a useless weapon against crime. No comparable body of evidence contradicts this conclusion.
“Furthermore, there are documented cases in which the death penalty actually incited the capital crimes it was supposed to deter. These include instances of the so-called suicide-by-execution syndrome – persons who wanted to die but feared taking their own lives, and committed murder so that the state would kill them. For example, in 1996, Daniel Colwell, who suffered from mental illness, claimed that he killed a randomly-selected couple in a Georgia parking lot so that the state would kill him – he was sentenced to death and ultimately took his own life while on death row.” (Bedau). Opposing death penalty does not mean a lack of sympathy for the murder victim. In fact, if severe punishment deters crimes, life in prison is a more effective deterrent for criminals. There is lots of other methods to make criminals repent of their immoralities. Osama bin Laden, for example, a better ending for him would have been a lifelong humiliation in an American prison, in cruel environment of rape and violence where he is treated like animal and put to rendition to obtain more information rather bullet that took his life immediately. Death penalty is against God’s principles. Throughout the Old Testament God commanded the use of capital punishment. Genesis 9:6 reads, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.”
However, Jesus said in the New Testament “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another” (John 13:34). He also said in Matthew 5:38-39, in the Sermon on the Mount, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” “Forgiving one’s neighbor proves to be the very condition for the Christian believer to rightly expect God’s forgiveness. This moral requirement will find its proper juridical translation in the Christian medieval penal practice.” (Sebastein).
Death penalty is racially biased. “Numerous studies have found that, even when controlling for all important factors, African American men who kill white victims are far more likely to receive a death sentence. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 12 white defendants who have killed black victims have been executed, compared to 185 black defendants who killed white victims” (Finley). The people who sentence death penalty are mostly white, and because death penalty is randomly applied, not promptly and constantly employed, is obvious that black people are more likely to receive capital punishment. In conclusion, death penalty not only is cruel, immoral, and racist and against God’s word it also sends the wrong message: we kill people who kill to show that killing is wrong; it is pointless. Furthermore, death penalty does not deter crime problem in society. In fact, it creates a brutalizing effect on humanity.