Death Penalty Essay
Death penalty-to be or not to be? Sometimes crime cannot be punished enough. Sometimes crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it. There are too many victims out there, that suffered and their attacker gets a simple painless death. I am saying painless comparing to murders that happen every day that are simply horrifying. As Paul A. Winters says If a person commits a uniquely gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death (Winters et al.
154). So many murderers are convicted of the crime of murder and they only get years in jail. Their victims feel the pain, but imagine the pain and sorrow that the families of the victims feel, and that pain lasts for the rest of their lives. If someone from my family was killed, I wouldnt think a second what to do with the murderer. I would want him dead. Most of the families feel this way and the best way to stop the pain is to get rid off the cause of the pain.
Death sentence is effective because it deters crimes, but many people argue that life without parole is much harder to serve for the person who committed the crime, Abolitionist claim there are some alternative to the death penalty, they say that life without parole serves just as well (Guilmette 2). I agree that putting away the murderer is effective, but just isnt enough. Laws change, so do parole boards, and people forget the past. As long as the murderer there is a small possibility that he could strike again. Capital punishment is the most effective weapon against the murderers; because no executed murderer has ever killed again. You cannot say that about those sentenced to prison.
Death sentence also depends on the case. I am not saying that everybody who commits the murder should be placed on the death row. There are different types of the murder and every murder that was planned or intentional should be severely punished. As Hugo Adam Badeu says, Despicable crimes should be dealt with realistically (Badeu et al. 131). I have no mercy for the killers, and nobody should have any mercy for anybody who does harm to another human being. Who gives a right to anyone to commit crime anyway? Michael Kronenwetter says, The death penalty has always been considered especially appropriate for the crime of murder (Kronenwetter 6). Murder is the biggest crime and biggest offense, and it should be treated like that. Over the years, public safety has become a meaningless thing, not worth defending anymore, and the death penalty has been persecuted for just that reason. Every country in the world is ready and willing to kill thousands, even millions of human beings in brutal, merciless way to defend their nation from the aggression of other countries. I dont see why public safety doesnt deserve as much respect and protection as a nations national security does. In fact, it can be argued that supporting armies and war is far more barbarous than the death penalty is. The whole reason why nations and government exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. I think that the people in all the nations will soon realize that capital punishment, like the military or police force and even taxes is an unavoidable consequence of every civilized society, and it will no longer be the question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used.
According to polls, more than 70 percent of Americans feel that murderers deserve the death penalty (Winters et al. 168). What can you say to the parents of the kids that were killed in Columbine High School, their kids will never come back, and their killers were kids, too. What can be done about juvenile murderers? President Clinton proposed that the age at which penalty could be applied should be reduced from 21 to 18 (ORourke 1). I agree with that and if that law could be put in place, no killer would be protected. Everybody who is mature enough to the consequences of the things they do should be equally punished as everybody else. Most of the people dont agree with this, but thats just the way it is. As I said laws change and convicted could be out on the streets again, and they could strike again.
Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment have supported their cause with many arguments. They have claimed that some have been wrongly sent to death row, while other decisions have been unfairly applied to minorities and the poor. Others argued for the sanctity of human life, as well as the expense involved in capital punishment. But those who believe in the opposition of the death penalty are often misled. They should consider the following cases that underlie the support for capital punishment, for it is certainly the only way to deal with the cruelty of crime that has infected our society. Capital punishment was once supported by the theory of deterrence, yet studies have shown weaknesses in this argument. Although the death penalty may not have an effect in deterring crime, it protects society from the threat of the same criminal committing a violation again when they are set free. A notable example is the case of Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate the Pope after he had previously been tried and convicted of murder. Opponents may often refute this by suggesting a life sentence without parole, yet research has shown that the crime rates in prisons are gradually increasing. What happens when a person sentenced with life imprisonment kills another inmate or guard during that time? This brings about reconsideration for those who advocate sentences without parole instead of capital punishment. A second way to look at the validation of capital punishment is the concept of retribution. Retribution cannot be confused with the concept of revenge. It is society’s right of intolerance to heinous crimes that bring about the need for death row. Criminals have not only injured their victims but also the important values that govern society, which is the respect for life. Society has a responsibility to protect its citizens, doing what is necessary and appropriate to those who break the laws. Thus, capital punishment is necessary to ensure the priceless value of human lives. Thirdly, some people urge to abolish the death penalty because of their concern for the sanctity of human life. That is precisely the reason why this form of crime prevention should be maintained. Capital punishment is different from murder because the person being executed had committed a crime and was tried and found guilty. An execution carried out after a trial cannot be compared to a murder committed by a criminal. Lastly, it is suggested and often proven that the death penalty discriminates against the poor and minority groups. One must see that this problem does not concern the justification of the penalty, but the unfair way in which it is distributed. This problem may be improved by properly reviewing the cases, imposing decisions without regard to race or class. This can be achieved so that all defendants receive equal protection ground. Capital punishment has proven to have good benefits upon the country in determining the consequences that criminals deserve. This is needed to ensure the safety and moral values of society. If this is the case, there is no need for us to consider the expenses involved in the death penalty. Certainly human lives are more important, for it may easily be yours. We should not abolish capital punishment, but hold our country accountable for properly exercising the death penalty upon those who deserve it.
Many criminals don’t fear the judicial system. They know that they will get out in ten years if they murder someone. They are not afraid of jail or their punishment. How can we force them to stop killing or stealing if they are not afraid of the punishment we give them. Most rational men are afraid of death. They don’t want to die. There are also men that don’t fear death, but enjoy killing. They must be controlled, but if they are sentenced to life they are soon free to kill again. Again, I am not saying we should kill all the men in jail and any other criminal in the world. That is not the answer either, but we must have the death penalty as an option so that they will be afraid to break the law, and to control those who don’t fear death but love to break the law. What do you do with men who do not fear the loss of their life? One criminal of America, Carl Panzram was quoted in saying, “In my life I have murdered 21 human beings. I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than 1000 male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don’t believe in Man, God nor devil. I hate the whole damned human race including myself” (Panzram 1).
Men like this who do not care for any law and do every unthinkable act are being supported in some jails around the world. What do you do with people who only want to kill and cause chaos? There is very little you can do, especially if they do not care if they are imprisoned. Panzram cares for nothing. He doesn’t mind his fifteen years in prison, or even his twenty-five. Panzram was executed and can no longer bother man kind, but there are others like him. Australia has abolished the death sentence. They can no longer control the men like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. He is now being supported by the people of Australia. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. This cannot be the case in other countries, so that those criminals like Panzram and Bryant, will be able to do what they want and not be executed for it. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don’t fear imprisonment.
The death penalty should be maintainedWorks CitedBedau, Hugo Adam. The Death Penalty in America Statements in favor of the Death Penalty. Ed. J. Edgar Hoover. Chicago: Alding publishing company, 1964. 130-135Kronenwetter, Michael. Capital Punishment. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1993.
Winters, Paul A. et al. The Death Penalty. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997.
DiLulio, John J. Abolish the Death penalty, officially. May, 99 1+. Online. UMI-ProQuest Direct. (27 May, 99).
Ramirez, Richard. Carl Panzram, 1861-1930 1996. http://www.serialkillers.net/case_studies/panzram.htm (28 June, 1996).