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Execution This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   For Rickey Ray Rector, lethal injection, the most common method of execution, should have been virtually painless. Unfortunately, on January 24, 1992, in Conway, Arkansas, screams were heard coming from the death chamber as technicians searched for "good" veins. A vein in his right hand was finally discovered - an hour after the operation began.

It is clear to see how inhuman capital punishment is, yet somehow the majority of the public remains convinced that the death penalty is just and is a deterrent to crime. Statistics show that the threat of execution does not decrease the crime rate. In fact, in states where the executions take place, the crime rate has increased by 20% in the last five years.

When looked at from a religious viewpoint, both sides of this issue are supported. "An eye for an eye," a statement from the Bible, is often used by supporters to justify the act of execution. Have these people forgotten a much stronger statement, the Sixth Com-mandment, "Thou shalt not kill"?

The sole purpose of the death penalty is to punish criminals who have committed heinous crimes. Why is it that when a citizen commits the act in question it is called murder, but when committed by the government, it is called justice?

In ending the lives of these offenders, we reduce their earthly suffering to a mere five minutes. The families of the victims will suffer for the rest of their lives. The criminals should be made to endure life.

The government and judicial system is far too biased to determine who is permitted to live and who will be sentenced to die. What exceptional qualities do the twelve members of the jury possess to be given the power to judge innocence? They are people, and mistakes are made. Death is irrevocable. To date, 23 people have been executed in error.

By acknowledging this error and by realizing that many of these decisions are subconsciously influenced by personal experiences and personal convictions it is obvious, that because of society, there can never exist a truly objective jury. If individuals are executed, both innocent and guilty alike, how are we

to know that we will not be next? ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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