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The death penalty is an issue that will continue to be debated over for many years to come. Some believe the death penalty should be abolished while others believe the death penalty should remain an option. Although there are things I would change dealing with the death penalty, I do not think it should be completely abolished. The death penalty should be administered to those who commit heinous crimes, whether it involves murder or not (Lopez, Camilla p.1).
One can look at judicial history and tell that just because someone is sentenced to the death penalty does not mean it actually happens. People have become so liberal that they are willing to give everyone a second chance. People want to give the man who raped and murdered ten women in a matter of days the same second chance as the little boy who stole a candy bar from the grocery store . It might just be me, but I see a huge difference in the effect of those crimes on the rest of the population. Women are not going to live in fear about going to the grocery store because a little boy stole a candy bar, but they are going to think twice about going shopping by themselves at night when they've heard that a serial rapist and murderer is among them. I think all crimes should have an equal punishment, but I do not necessarily believe in the eye for an eye way of thinking. Remorse can so easily be faked which is why, I think, punishments and sentences have been lightened over the years.
There are many cases and points that opponents to the death penalty bring up, but there are also several good points that pro-death penalty believers argue. Opponents of capital punishment believe the death penalty is not beneficial, but "we execute those who commit these atrocious crimes so that they do not have the chance to kill again" (Lopez, p.1). Heinous crimes seem to be no big deal and no shocking occurrence, like they used to be, which makes me very sad. The headlines are covered with people who have committed terrible crimes and sit on television laughing about what they've done, knowing they're not going to receive the death penalty for their crime. The government and the judicial system has now become a joke to people just as jail houses have become jokes to people living in them.
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I support the idea of the death penalty, but I disagree with some of the procedures taken to actually make it happen. There have been so many times when a judge sentenced the death penalty and, still, twenty years later the convicted murderer was sitting on death row. I support the death penalty and agree that we should keep it, but if it is not going to be carried out within a reasonable amount of time, everyone is just wasting their time and money, paying tax dollars for "letting the prisoner drag his/her case on" (Lopez, p.2). Even with jail sentences, that seems to be what happens most of the time anyway, so I think with the death penalty at least there is some hope to try and prevent heinous crimes from occurring again. I think if the death penalty was a true deterrent to heinous crimes, we would not have so many problems. I do not believe the death penalty is a deterrent to any crimes, but I do believe it is a reasonable punishment and sentence that more people should receive for the crimes they commit.
People have such a lack of respect for the government and the laws it sets that it seems the only way to deal with such people is to kill them. I know putting to death one serial rapist or murderer is not going to stop rapes and murders from happening, but at least there will be one less person out in the world committing heinous crimes than there was before. I believe the death penalty was originally created to be a deterrent to crime and I believe it could get back to being that if people could see the government taking steps in that direction. Jail houses have all the luxuries of living at home and I believe that if the death penalty is abolished people will kill because they want to kill, rape because they want to rape, and steal because they want to steal knowing that nothing too terrible could possibly happen to them. Jail might not be their first pick of places to be, but it's certainly not their last when they know they're going to have food, clothing, and shelter. I do not think the death penalty is used enough to be called our most effective method of solving crime. In fact, I do not think we have a most effective method at this point. I think if the government actually made people stay in jail for the amount of time they were assigned in their sentence, a lot less crime would be happening. People are getting sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole and in less than ten years are back on the streets again. How is that safe for the society and how is that holding to the sentence given them by the judge? That is a lot of the reason why I support the death penalty. It seems that both sides are being taken lightly but sometimes, if we're lucky, the death penalty is actually carried out and the thought of that person harming another innocent individual can be out of our heads for good. Putting someone behind bars for committing a heinous crime for ten years and then releasing them back to society should not comfort anyone.
Over the years, my opinion on the death penalty has wavered, usually according to how emotional I was that day. I am not an advocate of killing by any means, but I've learned that in order to better protect society you might have to go to an extreme. In some cases 'extreme' can be bad, but when talking about the death penalty, I think this is one of the best extremes there is.
Lopez, Camilla M. "Pro Death Penalty." Online Posting. April 28, 2000. January 29, 2003.