The Argument Against Capital Punishment Essay

The Argument Against Capital Punishment Essay

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Capital punishment has always and will always be a subject that people will never agree on. Execution has been used as a punishment for crimes, more specifically murder. Once, in 1972, on the grounds that it "violated the Constitution 's ban on cruel and unusual punishment" (MacKinnon, "Ethics" 289) capital punishment was abolished but was soon reinstated in 1976. Since then, the use of the death penalty has been argued.
A major argument supporting capital punishment is that it would help to prevent future crimes - specifically, murder. This would require the criminal to think about the consequences to their crime or even care. This makes the assumption that the killer before the crime was capable of making that judgment. Whether or not a murder or crime is premeditated, there have been studies conducted that can make us question how much the death penalty actually serves as a deterrent to crime. In 1989, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee said that if we look at other Western democracies, "Not one of those countries has capital punishment for peacetime crimes, and yet every one of them has a murder rate less than half that of the United States" (Information, "Capital Punishment" 110). Saying that that crime is deterred by the death penalty cannot be backed up with evidence.
The subject of innocence also weighs on whether or not the death penalty should be used. By law criminals are supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty", but most of the time they are often "guilty until proven innocent". People are biased; more likely than not if you’re accused than that is what is going to stick in the minds of people. And the legal system is not always true or accurate. Innocent people are conv...

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... it. Eknath Easwaran quotes Gandhi as saying, "Violence can never bring an end to violence; all it can do is provoke more violence" ("Gandhi" 49). If saying that killing is wrong and because of that the killer needs to hold accountability, to say that the killer needs to be killed is completely hypocritical. I agree that in some cases the person is so vile that they might deserve it but if you are trying to up hold the standard that killing is wrong then to take the life of the killer would just take you in a never ending loop.

There are those who people believe deserve the death penalty and maybe they do but it cannot be justified. The cost of jail without parole is cheaper than trying for the death penalty, the chance of killing someone innocent is always there, and for most it is not morally right. These are all reasons that the death penalty should not be used.

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