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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 88 comments. Post your own now!

Elila W. said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 5:22 pm
The death penalty is just, depending on the case. People who premeditate the murder are usually the ones who get the death penalty as oppose to the ones who do it in the heat of the moment.
 
Amora replied...
Feb. 2, 2011 at 3:22 pm
I am sorry, but I just don't understand this "heat of the moment" idea. If you kill someone, you killed them, plain and simple as that. The punishment for someone who murdered "in the heat of the moment" should be the same for someone who planned the murder because whether it was done out of selfishness, strong human emotion, or blatant cruelty, doesn't matter. Murder is murder and people who kill without considering the implications still know that they are killing someone and that it is wrong.
 
Brunette replied...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:38 am
yeah so lets teach that person a lesson by killing them right? Yeah sure it is wrong but why kill that person because he killed. It's so wrong because you think that a judge, jury, or prosecutor should decide the fate of a person because they have a degree. If god can forgive someone for killing one of his child then you sure can.... 
 
Bobbi said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 4:14 pm
Many people say that people with mental illnesses don't know what they are doing, well i don't believe that completely and here is why: there was a case of a man who kept being put in prison for molesting little girls and boys, they said he had a mental disorder so he got short time. He didn't want to hurt those people he knew what he was doing and the only way he could think to stop it was comit a burglary and not taking anything but wait till the police arrived. He went back to jail and begged... (more »)
 
krizzy said...
Oct. 15, 2010 at 1:53 pm
I agree with how a murderer should not get parol. If i had a loved one murdered then I would want the murderer to stay in jail for live aswell.
 
peacequack said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm
i agree 110%. It is wrong!
 
kicker black said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm

i agree good work

 

 
Danielle.K said...
Sept. 23, 2010 at 8:22 am
I completely agree with you. Killing someone becuause they killed someone is hyprocitical and wrong. No one has the right to deem another person dead not even the government
 
ex con said...
Aug. 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm
i think they should do away with the death penalty. i personally did time locked up in a correctional facility and for me it was the worst time of my life. to think that if i committed a capital offense and had to spend the rest of my natural life locked up it would drive me insane. that is exactly what capital offenders need. why give them a way out. your just letting them off the hook. punish them until they cant breath anymore. to waste away with no hope is far worse than killing them.
 
Linz09 said...
May 14, 2010 at 7:57 am
Yeah,,, i dont agree with the death penalty because whether or whether not you kill the person its not gonna bring th victim back to life and its very hypocritical
 
Tenthmuse said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 1:48 pm
I think capital punishment should be legal, but only used in extreme cases. Like a mass murderer, such as Adolf Hitler or Machine Gun Kelly. Those who have mental disabilities and those that only kill one person deserve life in prison. If it's an honestly complete accident, only around 20 years. But without the threat of capital punsihment, murderers would have nothing to fear but a life in a prison that supplies you with free meals and a room.
 
alexandrexis replied...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Terrible meals and a horrible room...

it's better than how some people live but......I think the monotony would be worse to many people than simply dying. Either way criminals think they won't be caught....usually.

 
Thinker said...
Apr. 22, 2010 at 7:47 am
I agree on many of your points, many who kill can't control themselves in the first place, they have mental issues. I also believe that we should rise above our primative nature, find something that those people can do to serve those whom they wronged, even if they are just breaking rocks.
 
softballchick said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 11:13 am
I think that teens desreve another chance to prove their mistake and prove they can be good. It's all sense and matter. If it was a really bad way that they have no possible way of showing back there mistake, then that might be an opption.
 
Wayne Warrior said...
Apr. 6, 2010 at 8:05 am

To MICHAEL F.

 

The alternative to the death penalty

An alternative to the death penalty?  Murder brings deep sorrow into a community, especially to members of the victim. T o many people it is a burden carried with them for the rest of their lives. It’s unfair that a murderer can live while the victim is gone forever. The death penalty brings closure to the victims family. Abolishing the death penalty could increase murder rates since... (more »)

 
alayapoetgirl said...
Mar. 31, 2010 at 1:42 pm
I fully agree! If the law is saying not to kill or murder, isnt the law contradicting itself when the kill one who has or who kills. The death penalty is completely hipocritical. I mean, how can you tell someone they are wrong for killing another individual then turn around and do it? I don't care, punishment or not, it is wrong! It would make more sense to allow them to live and suffer, being somewhere they dont want to be (in jail). Rather than putting them to rest (in peace). This article is ... (more »)
 
KaplunkyMonkey said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm
Oh, also, I do not believe murder is the worst thing anybody could do to you.
In my opinion, there are far worse things. Yes, this is controversial because it seems like I do not value life and I do, but if we're talking death penalty there are crimes I would much rather kill someone myself for than simple murder.
 
KaplunkyMonkey said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm
I understand your arguments and I agree with your basic opposition to the death penalty. My belief rests solidly on two things:
1) pretty much agreed upon by experts and literature that the death penalty does not - or very little - discourage criminals.
2) it is gosh dang EXPENSIVE to maintain a death row. Seriously, we pay an obscene amount of tax money to keep these people in separate "blocks" for years and years (decades!) and then eventually to kill them. I'm not a... (more »)
 
Kenz said...
Mar. 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm
I have to disagree, in some cases. For instance, on March 15, 2009 Deputy sherrif Chad Mechels, was shot and killed by a 19 year old guy. Now, Chad was just going to check on him after he was threatiningto kill himself after having a fight with his girlfriend. He claimed that it was self defense but it clearly was not. He did NOT have to shoot at the cop. Chad was doing his job and he died for it. What this guy did was terrible and not needed what so ever. They are now seeking the death penalty ... (more »)
 
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 15, 2010 at 8:45 pm
I must say that I completely disagree. I believe that if we are to truly show the value of the life of a murder victim, we must deal with the murderer accordingly. I've written a rather different article, if you'd care to hear the ideas from the other side. I'd be happy to carry on the debate their. Not a bad job on the actual writting though, I'll give you that.
 
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