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The Death Penalty This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   An article ran in the January issue of The 21st Century supporting the death penalty. I feel that it is important to print an article in opposition to capital punishment.

The death penalty has always been one of the most hotly debated issues in the United States. As our country grows older and wiser, however, evidence clearly points to the fact that the death penalty is not a good solution.

There is no question that killing another person is the most heinous crime that one can commit. I am not sure why, but it seems that our government is being hypocritical when it states that capital punishment is allowable because, after all, the criminal did murder an innocent victim, and therefore should be killed. This is known as the "eye-for-an-eye, and tooth-for-a- tooth theory." Of course, if we used this system all the time, there would be no need for laws. If someone hits me, I would hit him/her back. How simple, we can all be primitive again.

A second argument that some people use to support capital punishment is that the fear of being given the death penalty is going to stop criminals from murdering. How many criminals would murder in the first place, even in a state where there is no capital punishment, if they thought there was a chance of getting caught? Most murderers feel that they have a fool-proof plan to get away with murder. Unfortunately, most are right.

In response, I believe that the Bill of Rights, specifically the Eighth Amendment, prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. If there is any punishment much crueler than death, please let me know.

In addition, it is time to face the fact that our judicial system is prejudiced. For instance; in southern states, 8 percent of the black criminals who murder get the death penalty. Only 1 percent of white murderers get capital punishment. Also, murderers are seven times more likely to get the death penalty for murdering a white person as they are if they murdered a black person. This strikes me as blatant prejudice.

Finally and most importantly, no one, including a judge, is perfect. What happens if a person is given capital punishment and evidence turns up later which reveals that this person is innocent? If the "criminal" was put in jail, at least partial reparations could be made later. Obviously, if a person is given the death penalty, there is no turning back.

Indeed, it is not fair that murderers are often given parole after only a few years in jail. That is the reason that I would suggest those convicted of murder should be jailed for life with no option for parole. No matter how good the murderer is in jail, he/she should not be given parole. There are plenty of bridges and roads that need to be repaired. Let the convicted murderer work for the public good for the rest of his life. True, this will never make up totally for the misery of the victim's loved ones. But at this point in time, it seems better than the alternative.n


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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eric rules said...
Feb. 6 at 8:26 pm:
If yu wana know whats worse then the death penalty is...torture. you could forse someone to eat his/hers fingers off they would live thus not bieng death. or feed there fingers to starving wolves. there are alot of toture methods...and the victim would still live.
 
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BohemianRhapsody96This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Feb. 4 at 5:11 pm:
I am a firm believer in Hammurabi's Code, the source of the "eye for an eye" mantra. As much as I would like to see rapists get raped and robbers get robbed, I know that cannot happen. However, I can see murderers get murdered. I support the death penalty. Oh, and the author challenges us to think of a penalty more cruel than death. How about good old-fashioned medieval torture? You know, being torn apart limb from limb, having eyes gouged out... you know.
 
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IMSteelThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Nov. 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm:
Humans do not have the right to kill anyone, no matter what they have done. "Let the man here who has commited no sin cast the first stone."  But as for, "eye for eye and tooth for tooth," that is fair, and just.  But no human is righteous enough to dole out that kind of punishment.
 
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bmanzano8 said...
Oct. 23, 2013 at 9:55 pm:
Kimber, studies have shown that more taxpayer money gets spent with death penalty trials than if they are sentenced to life in prison. The government goes through a lot of money to make sure that they do not mess up and accidentally kill someone who is innocent. They are required to have two trials instead of one and along with all the fees for the trial they also have to pay for the judges, district attorney, etc. Also since 1970, over 140 people have been declared innocent after having been pu... (more »)
 
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jeweliaThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Sept. 25, 2013 at 7:16 am:
This is an amazing article. I disprove of the death penalty, but for different reasons, though. I NEVER think the death penalty is fair. I don't think it's enough. I think death is too quick, too easy, especially if it's painless or near-painless (which it is in too many cases). I think that the criminals should be made to suffer in prison, the longer the better, and then die off as they will.
 
dez_dez replied...
Oct. 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm :
i truley agree with ur opinion :)
 
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TheSkyOwesMeRainThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm:
What a great essay! And I totally agree with you, capital punishment should not be allowed; we should not allow ourselves to become murderers as well!
 
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Lau18 said...
Aug. 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm:
Awesome essay.. It has really good arguments, i totally agree with this opinion about death penalty it is really not fair.
 
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Kimber said...
Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:19 pm:
It is not fair for the taxpayers and family of murdered victem to pay for housing, food, clothing, soap, phone calls, AC, Heat, books, schooling on and on and on for somone who murdered another human being. Your parents teach you right from wrong when you are small. There are consequences for every action wether it be good or bad. I say execute those who kill, they will never be repeat offenders who appeal and tie up our courts and billions yearly when they murdered and they know they are guilty... (more »)
 
eamaddox replied...
Apr. 24, 2013 at 11:43 am :
I agree if someone has been arrested for murder they should be out down preferably in the same way as they killed.
 
bookmouseThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 16, 2013 at 8:16 pm :
Kimber, you said that "Your parents teach you right from wrong when you are small." Not everyone is lucky enough to have parents that teach them that.
 
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Sasa2love said...
Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:07 am:
I TOTALLY AGREE
 
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Insomnia said...
Jan. 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm:
The Death Penalty is wrong. One in twenty people put to death is innocent. Nobody deserves death, even considring the horrible things they've done... they don't. For one life taken another taken as well? Does that seem right to you? The Government's basically saying "If you kill somebody it's against the law! But when you do we come and kill you!" Isn't that lovely? People make mistakes, even continue them. But if you ask me serving life would be way worse. Everyday... (more »)
 
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HaiThere said...
Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:26 am:
Firstly, i feel that no one should be put to death. The person could be innocent, the person might just need mental help or the person might be able to change after years in prison. Secondly, for the people who think that having the death penalty stops murderers from comminting crimes, how come places in europe, where I'm from, don't have an extremely or unusually higher death rate than america. The thought of getting life imprisonment (25 years) is enough to deter most criminals. Death should n... (more »)
 
Sasa2love replied...
Feb. 6, 2013 at 11:05 am :
OK first off, you dont know really know anything about the death penalty because sometimes innocent people were killed. Why should murders live for a bad choice they made. If yuo kill them now then they wont have a chance to kill again. Why let them rot inn jail for a horrible thing like that
 
WonderWisherThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 16, 2013 at 11:50 pm :
That is so....cruel on so many levels.I agree that some people should recieve the death penalty,but only if the evidence is positive that it WAS the killer and not just someone who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
 
immamonster replied...
Sept. 7, 2013 at 10:45 am :
And what is the purpose of being in jail? Even though the victim achieved justice, but it is only for the sake of the victim, and how about the criminal who is already condemned to death, the criminal taught precisely nothing if the death penalty is implied in the case, because the criminal is no longer alive to learn from his own mistake. And if the criminal is only punished to be in prison, he has more time to change his life, and usually most people do learn from being jailed. Because in gene... (more »)
 
AmeliaMcGrathThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Sept. 25, 2013 at 8:52 am :
Immamonster, the purpose of being in jail is to think about what you've done and have to struggle to live with yourself for however long you're sentenced. If you get bailed quickly or right away, there isnt much of a punishment, and therefore little incentive to change your ways. Very few people who go to jail for short periods of time decide to straighten out and stop commiting crimes.
 
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jaufhgask said...
Oct. 10, 2012 at 8:59 am:
awesome dudedeeeeee  
 
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imagine78 said...
Dec. 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm:
ollymomo- it is actually more expensive to give the death penalty than life. and serial killers and rapists do not deserve "the nicest way"
 
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