Speech Against Capital Punishment

Speech Against Capital Punishment

Length: 1675 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

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Speech Against Capital Punishment

Good Afternoon, I am honored to be here, and I thank you for having me.
Today I would like to speak to you about a very controversial issue-
capital punishment. What do those two words mean to you? To most
people they mean a murder victims family receiving justice for their
deceased. Let me see a show of hands. How many people in the audience
believe in the death penalty? I conducted a weeklong survey of two
hundred people of all ages. The purpose was to see how many people
believed in the death penalty and how many opposed it. My results are
shown on this overhead.
As you can clearly see, 98% believe in the death penalty. 57% believe
that the death penalty is a deterrent for murder. A high of 97% of the
people favor capital punishment, where 1% think that our justice system
should not be more lenient on death row inmates. Only 89% think that
once convicted of murder, an inmate should be sentenced to death
immediately.
I would like to take this time to tell you a story. On August 15,
1997, the Reverend John Miller preached a sermon at the Martha Vineyards
Tabernacle in New Hampshire. He told his congregation, which included
the vacationing President Clinton and his wife, that capital punishment
is wrong. I invite you to look at a picture of Timothy McVeigh and to
forgive him, said Miller. If we profess to be Christians, then we are
called to love and forgive. Once the sermon ended, Rev. Miller,
Clinton, and their wives got together for brunch at the Sweet Life Cafi.

What the Rev. did not know was that 24-year-old Jeremy T Charron; an
Epsom New Hampshire police officer was gunned down in cold blood just
hours before Millers sermon on forgiving mur...


... middle of paper ...


...uman beings is to treat them like human beings.
Gilligan acknowledges that some violent criminals are so severely
damaged and dangerous they simply can never live out in society again.
But the emphasis, he said, must be on restraining and quarantining,
rather than punishment. Over time, even the most deeply damaged people
can recover a great deal of the humanity that they have lost; even the
deadest could be restored to some semblance of humanity if given a
humane enough environment, said Gilligan.
I now leave the decision up to you. I have given you both the pros and
cons on the issue of capital punishment. If you choose to remember only
one point of my speech tonight let it be this quote of human beings by
Henry Ford. None are good but all are scared. Even the most
horrendous criminal is a human being with a soul, and that soul is
scared.

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