The Death Penalty MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   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

Similar Articles


This article has 120 comments.

Insomnia said...
on 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, in an enviroment where you could get killed. No mercy from anyone, nasty food. And hey! What about those who a re put on death row for defending themselves? That's it for now I guess...

HaiThere said...
on 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 not be the way to deal with murder, because if you think about it, then there would be two deaths/murders, and no one has the right to take someones life, even if a judge says so.

Kayboo said...
on 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.

jaufhgask said...
on Oct. 10 2012 at 8:59 am
awesome dudedeeeeee  

imagine78 said...
on 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"

missct16 said...
on 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!!!!!!!!!

calebe said...
on Oct. 24 2011 at 3:03 am
calebe, Flagstaff, Arizona
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
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 blind the whole world, as Gandhi once said.

ILOVE said...
on Oct. 20 2011 at 7:58 am

ollymomo said...
on 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 not. 

richman said...
on Aug. 13 2011 at 1:01 am
i mean no disrespect, but you honestly believe deathrow inmates are living good? man, thats incredible...   anyway, i believe in law and law enforcement. but what we have as an issue in this country, is equal treatment under the law. in my humble opinion, the average white person in the US thinks that whites should be treated differently (under ther law) than every other citizen in the US.

fatalbert said...
on May. 24 2011 at 9:53 am
wow scrubs

M0429 said...
on May. 1 2011 at 4:40 pm
M0429, Memphis, Tennessee
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? – Epicurus

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 forward.  this is redundant, even, as every death penalty verdict is appealed to a higher court, and most are changed to life sentences, and new evidence is always allowed.  third, no one has ever been executed, and later proved inocent, and one can be assured that anti-death penalty activists would be waving it in everyone's face if it had happened. 

on Apr. 9 2011 at 4:02 pm
DoloresDarling, Cambridge, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 137 comments

Favorite Quote:
Sarah Michelle Gellar- [on the importance of reading] I love books. I\'m constantly afraid we\'re moving into this digital era where books are going to go away, and to me books are the basis to everything in life. Reading is how we function.

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 he can't walk right and  he is  a lot slower on understanding things.. :3 Sorry to take up your time with my random jargon, but still ppl deserve second chances..everyone deserves one..don't take adavantage of what chance you've'll regret it.

on Apr. 9 2011 at 9:52 am
RideTheWave BRONZE, South Riding, Virginia
4 articles 0 photos 30 comments
i absolutely agree. just because someone did something wrong, doesn't mean that that person cannot change.

on Mar. 25 2011 at 3:00 pm
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. SILVER, Plymouth, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
See everything, Overlook a lot, Correct a little.

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?

on Mar. 25 2011 at 2:55 pm
K.a.t.h.l.e.e.n. SILVER, Plymouth, Massachusetts
6 articles 0 photos 58 comments

Favorite Quote:
See everything, Overlook a lot, Correct a little.

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???

on Mar. 18 2011 at 9:05 pm
chrissmd SILVER, Woonsocket, Rhode Island
7 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you find yourself in love with a person who does not love you, be gentle with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you. Love just didn't choose to rest in the other person's heart."

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 is the easy way out. Many murderers already feel tremendous guilt after being arrested and just want to die. My opinion is a combination of both of the above; I believe all life is sacred and should not continue to be taken by someone else's will, but it is for this reason that I think that "rotting in jail" to think about their wrongdoings in life. By dying naturally, it gives them a chance to at least die with a more positive state of mind than they would by capital punishment. It is hypocritical to kill someone for a crime that is committed daily under other circumstances. Although I believe government power is important to an extent, I'd rather not give it the authority to take lives. 

on 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 better ways to solve a problem then to resort to violence yourself. This is preschool stuff but as we get older, we disregard all those tiny moral lessons we learned when we were kids. You shouldn't be provided evidence of innocent people getting killed for killing someone, it's natural knowledge that there have been people falsely accused. Those who killed for self-defense but the court and jury believed other wise. Those of a minority, framed and killed because no one would believe them.  You said there was a greater punishment of death but you never stated it. Death ends a life, what can be possibly greater than that?

on Feb. 24 2011 at 5:49 pm
paleteenager PLATINUM, Fountain Hills, Arizona
39 articles 0 photos 39 comments
So these dangerous criminals should be housed and fed by taxpayers money while they rot in jail?

on Feb. 24 2011 at 5:48 pm
paleteenager PLATINUM, Fountain Hills, Arizona
39 articles 0 photos 39 comments
I completely agree.


MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!