Death Penalty Discussion Essay

Word Count: 1715Is 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.

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Opponents of capital punishment have basically four arguments. The first is that there is a possibility of error. However, the chancethat there might be an error is separate from the issue of whether thedeath penalty can be justified or not. If an error does occur, and aninnocent person is executed, then the problem lies in the court system,not in the death penalty. Furthermore, most activities in our world, inwhich humans are involved, possess a possibility of injury or death.

Construction, sports, driving, and air travel all offer the possibility ofaccidental death even though the highest levels of precautions are taken. These activities continue to take place, and continue to occasionally takehuman lives, because we have all decided, as a society, that theadvantages outweigh the unintended loss. We have also decided that theadvantages of having dangerous murderers removed from our society outweighthe losses of the offender. The second argument against capital punishment is that it isunfair in its administration. Statistics show that the poor andminorities are more likely to receive the death penalty. Once again, thisis a separate issue. It can’t be disputed sadly, the rich are more likely to get off with alesser sentence, and this bias is wrong. However, this is yet anotherproblem of our current court system. The racial and economic bias is nota valid argument against the death penalty. It is an argument against thecourts and their unfair system of sentencing. The third argument is actually a rebuttal to a claim made by somesupporters of the death penalty. The claim is that the threat of capitalpunishment reduces violent crimes. Opponents of the death penalty do notagree and have a valid argument when they say, “The claims that capitalpunishment reduces violent crime is inconclusive and certainly notproven.” I am not refuting this accusation. In fact, statistics show that thedeath penalty neither lowers or raises the incidence of violent crimes. Iam not a supporter of the death penalty because it might scare potentialcriminals into thinking twice before they murdered someone (though itwould be nice if it did). I support the death penalty because it removesindividuals who threaten the lives of our citizens. The fourth argument is that the length of stay on death row, withits endless appeals, delays, technicalities, and retrials, keep a personwaiting for death for years on end. It is both cruel and costly. This isthe least credible argument against capital punishment. The main cause ofsuch inefficiencies is the appeals process, which allows capital cases tobounce 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 thanputting them to death, and ending their financial burden on society, thenthe problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty. As forthe additional argument, that making a prisoner wait for years to beexecuted is cruel, then would not waiting for death in prison for the restof your life be just as cruel, as in the case of life imprisonment withoutparole. Many Americans will tell you why they are in favor of the deathpenalty. It is what they deserve. It prevents them from ever murderingagain. It removes the burden from taxpayers. We all live in a societywith the same basic rights and guarantees. We have the right to life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. This isthe basis for our society. It is the foundation on which everything elseis built upon. When someone willfully and flagrantly attacks thisfoundation by murdering another, robbing them of all they are, and allthey will ever be, then that person can no longer be a part of thissociety. The only method that completely separates cold blooded murderersfrom our society is the death penalty. As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that ourjustice system is in need of reform. This reform will shape the future ofour country, and we can not jump to quick solutions such as theelimination of the death penalty. As of now, the majority of Americansupport the death penalty as an effective solution of punishment. Untilthis opinion becomes the minority, America will continue to use the thisapproach, and I will continue to support the death penalty.

“An eye for an eye,” are what some Americans would say concerningthe death penalty. Supporters of the death penalty ask the question, “Whyshould I, an honest hardworking taxpayer, have to pay to support amurderer for the rest of their natural life? Why not execute them andsave society the cost of their keep?” Many Americans believe that thedeath penalty is wrong. However, it seems obvious to some Americans thatthe death penalty is a just and proper way to handle convicted murderers.

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 chancethat there might be an error is separate from the issue of whether thedeath penalty can be justified or not. If an error does occur, and aninnocent person is executed, then the problem lies in the court system,not in the death penalty. Furthermore, most activities in our world, inwhich humans are involved, possess a possibility of injury or death. Construction, sports, driving, and air travel all offer the possibility ofaccidental death even though the highest levels of precautions are taken. These activities continue to take place, and continue to occasionally takehuman lives, because we have all decided, as a society, that theadvantages outweigh the unintended loss. We have also decided that theadvantages of having dangerous murderers removed from our society outweighthe losses of the offender. The second argument against capital punishment is that it isunfair in its administration. Statistics show that the poor andminorities are more likely to receive the death penalty. Once again, thisis a separate issue. It can’t be disputed sadly, the rich are more likely to get off with alesser sentence, and this bias is wrong. However, this is yet anotherproblem of our current court system. The racial and economic bias is nota valid argument against the death penalty. It is an argument against thecourts and their unfair system of sentencing. The third argument is actually a rebuttal to a claim made by somesupporters of the death penalty. The claim is that the threat of capitalpunishment reduces violent crimes. Opponents of the death penalty do notagree and have a valid argument when they say, “The claims that capitalpunishment reduces violent crime is inconclusive and certainly notproven.” I am not refuting this accusation. In fact, statistics show that thedeath penalty neither lowers or raises the incidence of violent crimes. Iam not a supporter of the death penalty because it might scare potentialcriminals into thinking twice before they murdered someone (though itwould be nice if it did). I support the death penalty because it removesindividuals who threaten the lives of our citizens. The fourth argument is that the length of stay on death row, withits endless appeals, delays, technicalities, and retrials, keep a personwaiting for death for years on end. It is both cruel and costly. This isthe least credible argument against capital punishment. The main cause ofsuch inefficiencies is the appeals process, which allows capital cases tobounce 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 thanputting them to death, and ending their financial burden on society, thenthe problem lies in the court system, not in the death penalty. As forthe additional argument, that making a prisoner wait for years to beexecuted is cruel, then would not waiting for death in prison for the restof your life be just as cruel, as in the case of life imprisonment withoutparole. Many Americans will tell you why they are in favor of the deathpenalty. It is what they deserve. It prevents them from ever murderingagain. It removes the burden from taxpayers. We all live in a societywith the same basic rights and guarantees. We have the right to life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness with equal opportunities. This isthe basis for our society. It is the foundation on which everything elseis built upon. When someone willfully and flagrantly attacks thisfoundation by murdering another, robbing them of all they are, and allthey will ever be, then that person can no longer be a part of thissociety. The only method that completely separates cold blooded murderersfrom our society is the death penalty. As the 20th century comes to a close, it is evident that ourjustice system is in need of reform. This reform will shape the future ofour country, and we can not jump to quick solutions such as theelimination of the death penalty. As of now, the majority of Americansupport the death penalty as an effective solution of punishment. Untilthis opinion becomes the minority, America will continue to use the thisapproach, and I will continue to support the death penalty.

“An eye for an eye,” are what some Americans would say concerningthe death penalty. Supporters of the death penalty ask the question, “Whyshould I, an honest hardworking taxpayer, have to pay to support amurderer for the rest of their natural life? Why not execute them andsave society the cost of their keep?” Many Americans believe that thedeath penalty is wrong. However, it seems obvious to some Americans thatthe death penalty is a just and proper way to handle convicted murderers.

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