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

   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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missct16 said...
Dec. 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm
only God gave life and only he can taje it away!!!!!!!how are you going to punish someone FOR, murder....BY murdering them????????ITS WRONG.. LET THE LORD HANDLE IT BECAUSE HE MAKES NO MISTAKES AND EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON...MISSCT16!!!!!!!!!
Kayboo replied...
Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:12 am
missct16 really? if everything happens for a reason then why do old gross guys rape and kill little girls and boys? That doesnt even make sense.
Brunette replied...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:23 am
well actually we have free will, we make our own choices in life god doen't make our choices for us, so the reason that an old guy would rape and kill a little girl/boy is because that guy choose to not because god said or forced him to go kill and rape a little girl/boy because its part of his "plan" no that person is wrong. God gave us free will so that we can live our life the way we want to. Some use it for good and some for bad but overall we are responsible for our actions...... (more »)
the burning one replied...
Feb. 6, 2014 at 11:02 pm
missct16, yes God is the giver of life. But if you continue to read the Bible, God also gives the government authority to take life and inflict physical harm. With that being said, God says for us to obey and submit to the government.
ILOVE said...
Oct. 20, 2011 at 7:58 am
ollymomo said...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm
In all honesty, people spend forever on death row. It is far more cruel to leave them in prison for the rest of their lives. Not to mention that they are spending taxpayer money by staying in prison for their meals and electricity. Our jails are filling up, and as a result we let prisoners go that should not ever see the outside world again. Serial killers and rapists do not deserve to live in prison for the rest of their lives, and capitol punishment is the nicest way to make it so that they do... (more »)
calemitus replied...
Oct. 24, 2011 at 3:03 am
In response:
Generally, it takes more money to sentence an individual to death, what with all the judicial orders to be carried out.
I believe it's more cruel to keep someone in a perpetual limbo between being days from death or waiting for years, rather than having them in a cell with meals, some human interaction, and some other privaleges.
What will killing demonstrate for our society? "Don't kill/harm other people, or we'll kill you"? What does taking an eye for an eye do, but... (more »)
fatalbert said...
May 24, 2011 at 9:53 am
wow scrubs
MissDarkCross said...
Apr. 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Exactly,  how I feel on this topic...I understand how people deserve to be punished but not by death...

My uncle went to prison for killing his best friend, because he drove under the influence.  He had a second chance and he ruined it.. after he got out he went back to his old ways..and he almost died because of it..he cracked his head open after getting into a fight with a not so good "friend".. he now is back on track..but he isn't the same as he was..he has brain injury h... (more »)

Kimber replied...
Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm
My Fioncee did not get a second chance because he was killed by a drunk driver 6 days before our wedding, we were 23 years old. Not only did my Fioncee die but his work partner as well who was married and had 2 teen children that were left with no Father and his wife was made a widow. Where is our second chance? The drunk driver was released after 13 months! It was 2 cases of vehicular manslaughter because of Alcohol. They should have given him life X2 without the chance of parole, where is my p... (more »)
RideTheWave said...
Apr. 9, 2011 at 9:52 am
i absolutely agree. just because someone did something wrong, doesn't mean that that person cannot change.
chrissmd said...
Mar. 18, 2011 at 9:05 pm
I debated this last year, and I have to completely agree. In having capital punishment readily available, I feel as though our nation is being extremely hypocritical. Murder is a terrible crime and should not be left unpunished; the result should be life in prison, not death. In my opinion, death as a result of murder is wrong from BOTH points of view. If you believe life should be valued, then punishment by death is about the worst you can get. But from another perspective, capital punishment i... (more »)
WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm
First of all, you should to "let you know" if there is anything worse than capital punishment, which there is. When you receive capital punishment, you are killed with a lethal injection that is supposed to be humane. However, for arguments sake, let's say this person brutally killed someone, but they are killed "humanely"? I hardly believe they deserve the right to die easily. Something worse than capital punishment would be extensively and brutally torturing someone but making them live... (more »)
WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 24, 2011 at 5:47 pm
** you said to "let you know"
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. said...
Feb. 2, 2011 at 3:40 pm
I disagree. You said to let you know if there was any punishment greater than death. There is, FYI. Capitol Punishment is in place for many reasons. Criminals who commit murder, only in the first degree, are put to death. Those who took an innocent person's life, who planned and thought out the killing, do not deserve to be housed and fed with taxpayer money. They are a threat to society and Americans do not deserve to be put in danger!
electrickissx3 replied...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 3:37 pm
a life is a life no matter what, so in my opinion, the death penalty is unesessary. Do you know how many innocent people have been put to death, based on faulty evidence? In order to prevent that from occuring, the death penalty should be abolished once and for all.
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. replied...
Feb. 10, 2011 at 8:21 pm
No, I do not know any innocent person put to death for capitol punishment. Please provide some evidence to back up your statement.
SageOfDarkness replied...
Mar. 8, 2011 at 11:21 am
No one diserves to die. Innocent or not. The government has the legal right to kill off people while others who are just your everyday person get sentenced to death for commiting the crime. Doesn't that sound rather wrong? Honestly I believe that everyone has their hidden demon. You're basically saying those few, the ones that get caught, should be killed because killing them will make a difference? Just another killer off the list of the thousands who have similar intentions, right? There are b... (more »)
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. replied...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm
You have a point, but a punishment worse than death would be living, remembering, and regretting a crime. That remorse is torture. Tought I'd clear that one up. Please don't get me wrong, I respect human life. What I don't respect is a person who tortured, brutally murdered, or violently raped another human. I try and think about it like this: how would I feel if some tortured my family member to death? I understand it's not an easy thing to think about, but how would you feel???
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. replied...
Mar. 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm
I understand what where you are coming from. I would like to clear up any confusion anyone had in my comment. I respect human life. I do not respect a criminal who took an innocent person's life. I try to think about it like this: how would I feel if someone tortured my family member to death? It is not an easy thing to think about, I know, but how would you feel?
M0429 replied...
May 1, 2011 at 4:40 pm
first of all, the people who are on death row are by no means suffering.  they are given preferential treatment, they are allowed pets, televisions, and other luxeries that are not allowed to regular prisoners, and their executions are by no means painful, unlike the deaths of their inocent victims.  second, there is a waiting list for murderers before they can be executed, sometimes the wait takes decades, a delay intentionaly imposed to allow for anyone with new evidence to come forw... (more »)
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