Once upon a time, there was a man who sacrificed for a country by going to a war. Years later, when the war was over, luckily the man came home alive, but he wasn’t mentally well. Time past. He started getting confused between his real life and the life during the war. Finally, he committed a murder, while thinking that he was still at war. Unfortunately, a government wants to put the man on the death row for the crime that he committed. Does this sound familiar to you? Yes, this tragedy story is not a fiction. It really took place in Oakland. The man was put on death row, and finished his life in a prison. After I heard this story, I started thinking, “Is this why we have a capital punishment?” I strongly disagree with capital punishment, because of the statistics that I’ll state in next couple of paragraphs shows well that even though we execute the criminals and put them on death row still does not reduce the numbers of crimes. In next paragraphs, I’ll even talk about how criminals were executed. It was very inhumane how people were killed, and still do not do any good to reducing numbers of crimes.
First of all, let’s take a look at the history of capital punishment. There are 38 states that currently authorize the death penalty. According to Justice Center Web Site, Daniel Frank was the first known execution in the United States of America. He was putted to death in 1622 in the Colony of Virginia for committing a theft. Even though, there was a capital punishment in 1622, the death penalty statistics weren’t collected until 1930. Also, the article states that during 1930 to 1967, 3,859 persons were executed, and 54 percent of those executed were black, 45 percent were white, and the one- percent was American Indians, Filipino, Chinese, and Japanese. In addition to that, the majority of them were men, and only 32 women were executed during those years. Even though thousands of executions took place through out the nation in different way, still the crime rate didn’t go down. There were tremendous numbers of executions during 1930 to 1967 through out the states, and three out of five executions were held in the southern U.S. Especially the state of Georgia had the most executions during the period, and New York as well. California was the third state who had the most executions with 292. The graph that was in the article showed a big gap between 1967 and 1977, which meant there wasn’t any execution during this time period. Gary Gilmore who was convicted murdered; he was executed by firing squad, which I will talk about in next paragraph. Anyhow, during 1977 to 1998, the Bureau of Justice Statistics stated that white men were more executed than Black.
For these hundreds and thousands of executions, there were five different methods of executions, which were lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, hanging, and firing squad. The federal government, the military and 32 states including California use lethal injection to execute prisoners, because this method is known as the most humane form of execution out of all, but the bottom line of capital punishment was to prevent people from committing a crimes. For lethal injection, they mix three different drugs and inject them into prisoner’s arm. Electrocution is where prisoner is strapped to an electric chair and executed. During the execution, three or more executioners push buttons, but only one is connected to the electric chair. Gas Chamber is another method of execution that is being used in California. The prisoner is sealed in a chamber and either potassium cyanide or sodium cyanide is dropped into a pan of hydrochloric acid, and it starts make prisoners unconscious and choke to death. Hanging and firing squad is well known method, because many movies have shown people these two methods. Special thing about firing squad is that some shooters fire blanks. Also this firing squad was used for the first capital punishment in the United States.
All these numbers and methods of capital punishment were mainly to reduce the numbers of crimes. The idea of capital punishment is to scare people so they won’t commit any crimes, but we have never achieved that idea as far as the statistics show. I understand that they have to punish people who did not obey the law some how, but taking someone’s life away isn’t right way to punish people. I believe that nobody has the right to take someone’s life away, and nobody deserves to finish his or her life by putting on a death penalty. Also, I mentioned earlier in this essay, that the man who had a mentally problem and ended up putting on a death penalty. I don’t think that the law was fair for him, because he sacrificed for the country when we needed him. That’s how he became mentally ill. It seemed to me that the law didn’t care what was the source that made him murder someone. If we have to blame someone for him murder, it should have been a government that sent him to war. I think that justice should focus more why people commit crimes and try to prevent it, instead of taking people’s away after they commit crimes. After all, it comes down deep inside of my mind that death penalty is an unnecessary punishment to us when it does not bring numbers of crimes down. It’s also inhumane and the cruelest act is being ever done to people and shouldn’t exist anymore around humane being.