Capital punishment and the practice of the death penalty is an issue that is passionately debated in the United States. Opponents of the death penalty claim that capital punishment is unnecessary since a life sentence accomplishes the same objective. What death penalty opponents neglect to tell you is that convicted murders and child rapists escape from prison every year(List of prison escapes, 2015). As I write this essay, police are searching for two convicted murders who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York on June 6th, 2015. The ONLY punishment from which one cannot escape is the death penalty.
According to deathpenatlyinfo.org, currently there are 32 states with the death penalty and 18 states without the death penalty. Society has always punished people that do unlawful actions. Being that murder is the most is in highest interest of preventing, the strongest punishment available, the death penalty, is used. People may think when states sentence murderers to death that it would prevent future murderers from doing the same actions seeing that they will receive the same punishment. Deathpenaltycurriculum.org reports, “Moreover, even if some studies regarding deterrence are inconclusive, that is only because the death penalty is rarely used and takes years before an execution is actually carried out”.
Ernest van den Haag, a professor and author of “Punishing Criminals:Concerning a Very Old and Painful Question” wrote about the issue of deterrence: “…capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else. They fear most death deliberately inflicted by law and scheduled by the courts…the threat of the death penalty may deter some murderers who otherwise might not have been deterred. And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence.” Ernest van den Haag stated that capital punishment or the death penalty is the strongest deterrent that society has against murder, which has been proven in many cases. “Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder... ... middle of paper ... ...dant with a nonblack victim, regardless how severe the murder committed. Black-on-black crimes is less likely to receive a death sentence, followed by crimes by other defendants, regardless of the race of their victims.” It is important to note that in these cases, race may more easily become the deciding factor in who lives and who dies.
Although the death penalty may be a relief to victims’ families and is an ultimate warning, there are many persuasive debates that show that the death penalty is a cruel, misused method of punishment. Stephen Bright, a prominent anti-death penalty attorney, once said, “There seems to be a growing awareness that the death penalty is just another government program that does not work very well” (Lifton, 2000). After all, the death penalty is the only circumstance other than war in which it is legal for people to kill. Nearly five decades have passed since the United States Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty had been applied capriciously in America. Rather than ending capital punishment, most states revise and adjust their laws to win the Supreme Court’s approval for continuing the execution process (Lifton, 2000).
The website deathpenalty.org shows many reasons that I agree with saying how the death penalty is not a good punishment. Deterring people from killing others has failed with execution. People keep committing crimes. Other studies have shown that four hundred innocent people were on death row and ninety-nine innocent people in the past twenty years were sentenced. Almost every religion goes against the death penalty.
Scores of these people have been sentenced to death” (Bedau 8). Considering that four completely innocent citizens had been sentenced to death, in a period of twenty years about eighty innocent people would have been wrongly sentenced to death. Human judgment and the justice system in which the United States of America is based on will never be perfect; there will always be a margin of error. Because of the infallibility of human nature, a few people each year are accused of crimes in which they did not even commit. Should innocent citizens be placed on death row and sentenced to death for crimes they did not commit?
There have been several cases that evidence were proven to exonerate death row inmates. Also with pre trial expenses, expert witnesses, and other expenses involving a death penalty case, it would cost more of a tax payers money to execute prisoners than to imprison them for life. And also to me, I think its far worse to be imprisoned for life than to be executed. I feel that criminals should pay the price by living in a prison cell for the rest of their life. The death penalty is unjust, equally sinful, and improper as the crime that was committed.
For instance, in the years 1996, 78 percent were in favor and 18 percent opposed it; but by the year 2013, the supporter had dropped by 55 percent and the opposition had risen 37 percent (Berman). Some may argue that the death penalty is fair because it prevents criminals from committing the act again. However, if murder is a horrible act, it is not logical to take the life of the one who supposedly committed the crime. The death penalty is a harsh punishment for a crime and there are other alternatives, such as life without parole. Furthermore, it goes against the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which states the use of “cruel and unusual punishment” should be prohibited (Rizzo).
It 's reality that we 're all afraid of death. Now how many would still be criminals committing these types of crimes if they knew they would be facing the needle in a few months? In the end by keeping the death penalty around we are ultimately saving life 's. Proven statistics show that executions decrease murder rates. "The study examined the relationship between the number of executions and the number of murders in the U.S. for the 26-year period from 1979 to 2004, using
Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Fear is used in the death penalty as a way to deter people from murder and provide justice for the victims. The death penalty can be executed in many different ways: lethal injection, electrocution, hanging, firing squad, and gas chamber. Due to economic issues, we believe that death penalty should be carried out by hanging. The death penalty is very controversial nationwide.