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Death Penalty opponents routinely remind us that killing a murderer will not bring his victims back to life. According to Jeff Jacoby from the Jewish World View, the purpose of Capital Punishment is not to undo the crime but to serve justice to the victim’s family (paragraph 8). The families of the victims do not stop mourning when the killer is executed, but there is a relief in knowing that the killer who destroyed their loved ones will never kill again (paragraph 9). Supporters can argue that the death penalty is a suitable and necessary form of retribution for the serious crimes committed in our country.
Opponents complain that Capital Punishment is racist because they believe that blacks are more likely than whites to be sentenced to death. According to the Anti-Capital Punishment Death Penalty Information Center, the U.S. population is made up of
twelve percent of blacks, but account for more than forty percent of prison inmates. In accordance with FBI statistics, blacks are seven times more likely to commit murder than whites. Since 1976 blacks have made up thirty-six percent of executions, while whites have made up fifty-five percent. Statistics prove there is no evidence of racism when violent criminals are given the death penalty (Bronson, paragraph 6).
According to Michael Bradbury’s article, The Death Penalty Is an Affirmation of the Sanctity of Life, Capital Punishment opponents have contended that seeking the death penalty means innocent people could be put to death (paragraph 6). In America, it takes nearly a decade or more to execute the murderer. This is more than enough time to test the original verdict, examine evidence, and request an appeal (Feder, paragraph 8). The death penalty’s best friend, DNA testing, helps to insure that innocent people are not put to death.
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The principles of capital punishment state it is a form of retribution, and that the murderer deserves to die. Executions occur usually a decade or more after a murderer is sentenced. This is to ensure that due process of law can take place and if the man is innocent, hopefully, he can be proven so. Capital punishment is the best solution for severe crimes such as murder and treason, and in most situations should be applied. It is an effective punishment that should deter crime as well as ensuring that the killer never kills again, making civilization safer for other unsuspecting victims.
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Bradbury, Michael. “The Death Penalty is an Affirmation of the Sanctity of Life.” LA Times 01-02
Bronson, Peter. “Death Penalty Guards What Is Valued Most.” International Herald Tribune 7 March 2001: 01-02
Easterbrook, Greg. “DNA And The End of Innocence. The Myth of Fingerprints.” The New Republic 31 July 2000: 01-05
Feder, Don. “Capital Punishment Foes Dead Wrong.” Boston Herald 10 January 2001: 01-02
Jacoby, Jeff. “The Feeble ‘Arguments’ Against Capital Punishment.” Jewish World Review June 2001: 01-03
Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Home page. Capital Punishment. 10 Nov. 2001.
Sandholzer, Kuno. Home Page. Methods of Execution.10 Nov. 2001.