The Life of Capital Punishment in Texas

October 7, 2008
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As more and more take their last steps to their deaths, others wonder whether their punishment seems right and justified to the goodness of the government system. From the rope, to the electric chair, to lethal injection, Texas continues to rank among one of the states with the highest number of lives lost to its frontier-like justice system. With its long tradition of violence and the reputation of a ruthless and unforgiving tolerance to those who commit capital murders, Texas’ death row contains a high number of inmates awaiting the death decided upon them by their peers. Despite the many uprisings about the injustice in the past, the process of capital punishment remains the same. However, in order to benefit future generations, the abolishment of the capital punishment, or the death penalty, needs to occur. The severity and cruelty of the death penalty continues to create a negative attitude in the minds of the future leaders of American who will then uphold the punishment’s legacy for future generations. Nevertheless, some citizens of Texas stay supportive to the evil ways of this ancient and exaggerated punishment. Many do not see the uselessness of capital punishment, and the ineffectiveness it has on Texas crime rates. Abolishing capital punishment will not only save lives and money, but put Texas on course to a better future by restoring truth and justice from the violence of the past.

Throughout the death penalty’s reign, injustice plays a vast part depending on the circumstances of one’s place in society and the color of their skin. When a convicted person comes to the stand to state their testimony, the severity of their punishment can be directly related to the money in their pocket. Legal representation of a criminal determines the punishment of a crime, no matter how atrocious. However, those who can not afford to buy their fate suffer the consequences, which usually end in death. Capital punishment not only shows biased judgments to the lower class, but also to others who sit at the defendant’s table. For example, many African-Americans on trial in the United States can not fight the negative tension toward them on the stand. In the case of Texas, this injustice can go back to the times of the Confederate and Union times. Since Texas fought under the Confederate flag, slavery and racism still have an effect in the minds of Texans today. When the supporters of capital punishment look upon the system, they do not see the failed system that controls the lives of the citizens of Texas. However, in order to achieve a state of fairness and a sense of respectfulness, honesty and integrity need to be a priority in the justice system of Texas.

With much debate over the most effective way to treat those that commit crimes, the cost and economic aspects also play a large role in determining the true value of capital punishment. Although it would seem that keeping a prisoner locked away using the taxpayers’ money amounts to higher costs, the costs associated with executions are more in terms of money and life. The death penalty not only affects the taxpayers, but those who try to defend those convicted, like the lawyers. To defend one convicted person, it takes approximately 700-1000 hours of a public defender’s time, not to mention that they receive less than minimum wage for their servies. The lawyers that make minimum wage to work on a capital case will not put in the time it takes when they can make more money for their time working on other cases, thus costing the taxpayers money and the lack of quality of the defense for those dollars. This leaves those who can not afford a proper attorney to almost certainly not escape the death penalty and leaves room for a higher number of executions. The death penalty not only costs time and money, but the lives of the innocent as well. Although many appeals happen during the inmate’s time on death row, innocent lives still remain lost each year at the expense of capital punishment. With the abolishment of the death penalty many lives, time and money would not go to a waste at the sake of an impure system.

The value and treatment of human life becomes a huge factor in determining righteousness in capital punishment. As capital punishment stays enforced, society remains stricken to the ways of violence and covets its revenge through the treatment of criminals. The thought of the criminal's background and own life never crosses the minds of those who strive for redemption and justice that requires suffering. However, the fate of criminals stands at the fault of the entire world and the negativity exposed to the youth. The families and communities who display violence and resistance to their children turn some of them into criminals that will one day see the ruthlessness of a jury. If capital punishment stays in use, cruelty and inhumanity will reveal itself to many others and show society that relying on the death penalty demonstrates humanity’s growing sign of disrespect for human life. No matter the ways of killing a criminal, the punishment remains cruel in all that is humane. In today’s society we need to have moral compass by which to measure justice. Allowing our government to kill citizens does not enhance the moral values on which our nation represents. The morality and righteousness will return to the government system whenever the death penalty disappears.

Although capital punishment may protect the lives of some citizens, it does not affect the violence that will continue in society. Many controversies occur over the issue of deterrents for decreasing the crime rate. However, when one looks upon the research and facts, one will come to find the uselessness of the death penalty in terms of crime rates. Texas still has a higher crime rate than the national average. When murders occur without thought, the criminals do not fear the punishment, and therefore, will not cause less violence to happen. Due to its long history, Texas has nurtured a frontier mentality and displays this through its killings and treatment of those convicted. However, to create a fair government, the true facts of capital punishment need to reach every citizen. People must rise and speak about alternatives to the death penalty. With alternatives, people can also fear the consequences of their crime, such as, the option of life imprisonment. Whatever the alternative becomes, it will cause the citizens of Texas to undoubtedly see a better, more effective justice system.

With great courage and dedication, capital punishment will disappear and become an unpleasant memory from the past. Texas does not deserve to have the reputation of a mass killing state with no chance of life. Other countries can gaze upon Texas and see the positive side of a frontier mentality-honor and dignity-by abolishing the death penalty. Texas remains one of the leading states as far as executions, but if it abolishes capital punishment Texas will show respect, morality and wise use of taxpayer’s money. The abolishment of the death penalty defines the difference between violence and compassion, truth and justice and hatred and peace. Texas will rewrite history and live in a revived society when Texas abolishes capital punishment now and for future generations.

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