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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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This article has 97 comments. Post your own now!

Nicolette27 said...
today at 4:06 pm
Thank you for such postive feedback! Im very happy you enjoyed reading it
 
Nicolette27 said...
today at 4:04 pm
Thank you! Im glad you enjoyed it:)
 
Zach said...
today at 3:31 pm
Wow this was outstanding.
 
shilpa potter said...
today at 3:30 pm
Nic...i luvd it... :):)
 
B-ball champ (not) said...
May 21 at 12:30 pm
Thank you so much for writing this. I needed two paragraphs for my weightlifting final on my "favorite sport" and you allowed me to get an A!
 
Shay<3 said...
Apr. 20 at 1:28 pm
Truly, I think is fair to an extent. Yes they did take someones life, and they ruined that family's life. So think about whether or not the incident was accidental or intentional. More or less it is wrong to murder someone but right to deal with the problem. I almost think there is no solution. As tragic as it is in both cases. But either or no one will always be right, nor win..
 
ABPippinsThis 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 12 at 8:34 am
And just because the criminal ruined one family's lives, why is it okay for our government to ruin another's? It's hypocritical for our government to say that "a life for a life is just."
 
Shay<3 replied...
May 14 at 4:00 pm
I know.. Its really one of the hardest things to answer at times.. But without the life for a life system there would be more jail houses than churches and too many more people to feed. More jail houses for living criminals would cost more in taxes and just so much more.. Really, no one wins.. Xf
 
ABPippinsThis 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 15 at 8:36 am
There's been a problem where minor crimes receive major punishments, too. For example, making drunken threats to a police officer while handcuffed in the back of a police car can land somebody in jail for life. Although a majority of life sentences were given due to drug related crimes, there is a case where a petty theft offender was given over 50 years of jail time for stealing movies from a K-Mart for his three children. There has to be some point in which judges are tried in turn for wrongfu... (more »)
 
Shay<3 replied...
May 15 at 9:15 am
Thats very true.. Im kind of into law right now and might even major in it, so I think with things like that you're right. It's unfair to him to be put behind bar for that long.. He wont be given the chance to see his grandchildren at that rate. But in law sometimes they will return a case like that and release him with way less charges then he was traditionally placed with... Along with the assault of an officer, it is dumb they were put away that long for being drunk and talking without the ab... (more »)
 
s.mitchells said...
Mar. 29 at 3:44 pm
I think the death penalty should not be done as well. According to many researchers, doing the death penalty money and resources than simply having inmates imprisoned for life. There has also been debate on whether lethal injection is actually painless. Some prisoners were found to have not enough anesthetic to actually kep them unconscious. These inmates would have been extremly likely to have been fully conscience of the next two shots and would have felt excruciating pain similar to being boi... (more »)
 
The_NarratorThis 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. 13 at 11:48 am
The death penalty is, in all honesty, a great idea. Unfortunately, mass incarceration is a very big issue, considering that our taxes are paid to house, feed, and entertain over 2.5 million criminals. Think about it: if the death penalty didn't exist, think how many would be in jail now. While it is true that killing a murderer is not the most moral option out there, it's the best choice that we have given our current economic state. Call me a fascist, but looking at the numbers - not the people... (more »)
 
eric rules said...
Feb. 6, 2014 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.
 
BohemianRhapsody96 said...
Feb. 4, 2014 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.
 
Random Bored Person replied...
Nov. 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm
If an murederer gets murdered then it shows that YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN THE MURDERER.............
 
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.
 
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 »)
 
jewelia 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 :)
 
The_NarratorThis 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...
Feb. 13 at 11:53 am
Author, THIS is what you're looking for. You know, crueler than death? I disagree with you, @jewelia. We don't know what lethal injections are like, though. The best that scientists can come up with is that it feels like your lungs are being squeezed before you can't move at all. You're practically witnessing your own death. As far as the fact that they deserve a cruel, painful death - that's entirely immoral and unjust. It's death that we're talking about. You know, the forced end of your life?... (more »)
 
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