Stop for a second, close your eyes and think of the person you'd love to spendthe rest of your life with - you know, the one you can't live without. Do youhave that picture in your mind? Now picture that person dead. No longer around... no more hugs ... no more kisses ... no more feeling good when you're aroundthis person. Now the only time you will see this person is in your mind andphotographs.
Now think about the feelings you would have for the personwho killed your loved one. You'd want him or her dead, and why not? This persontook away the person who means the most to you in the world. Doesn't causingdeath deserve the same penalty?
Why should we support these offenders? Aperson who takes another's life is a criminal and has no morals so why should wekeep them alive? There is no good reason not to kill this person, if it's provens/he murdered a person. Why not take her or his life, as s/he did your lovedone's? Our taxpayers' hard-earned money should not go to keep this person alivein prison for the rest of his or her life.
Some people feel that a personwho has taken a life can and will reform. Some people think that after being awayfrom society for a few years, the criminal will realize what s/he has done andmaybe set an example for other soon-to-be criminals. Well, let me tell you, it'snot working. Six murders occur every 24 hours. That's a murder every four hours.The murdered person has no second chance. Why should a murderer deserve a secondchance? Once someone has taken a life s/he shouldn't be able to take another.Maybe if we made the death penalty legal, people would realize the severity ofthe crime, and it would scare them.
Society is already full of criminals... why should we keep more of them alive, taking up space in our already-crowdedjails and prisons? If we had a death penalty in the United States, it wouldprobably solve many of our overcrowding problems, which is the reason many ofthese dangerous criminals are released from prison before completing their prisonterms. Maybe then many of our problems with the criminal justice system and theprison system would improve greatly. If the death penalty were put into action,there would be more room for the rapists, thieves, assailants and other criminalswho are walking the streets after being released on good behavior or parolebecause of overpopulation in jails.
If the criminal knew before s/hecommitted the crime that the consequences of the act were life-threatening to himor her, maybe, the impact would deter him from committing the crime.
Howcan a prison set an example when more and more of them are becoming almost luxuryhotels with swimming pools and weight rooms? This is not a prison, this is avacation. And why not? Free food, free room, and all the luxuries of ahigh-priced getaway.
It is obvious that the punishmentsdo are not fit thecrime and the criminal is laughing in our faces. S/He can take a life, cool hisheels in prison for a couple of years, live off the system and be back out on thestreets again to keep taking and taking from our society.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.