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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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!
richman replied...
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.
Segnaro said...
Jan. 22, 2011 at 2:18 pm
The death penalty is a neccesary punishment we should also bring back execution by firing sqaud.
WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 24, 2011 at 5:48 pm
I completely agree.
uclagirl22 said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 6:22 pm
honestly, this is ridiculous that you are even saying the government is hypocritical...your gonna sit here and tell me that if someone killed your family member with no reason behind it you wouldnt want them to die? trust me you dont know what it feels like to have this happen and i dont wish it for anyone because it is one of the most tragic and emotional period of time. everyone has there opinion but i dont think anyone can fully say or state anything about this until you are put into that postion
Israel70717 said...
Jan. 11, 2011 at 3:29 pm
Great article! I have to say that a killers should go to jail with no parole. The reason I think that is because even if they changed or whatever in jail they can still gat mad and do it again. You can't really trust someone that has killed, but it all depends on the crime. What if a person kill someone not trying to. accidental murder!! Or what if someone was with a croud that killed someone and they got put as an example by the judge that noone was going to get away when the victum got killed ... (more »)
WeLiveForScars This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Feb. 24, 2011 at 5:49 pm
So these dangerous criminals should be housed and fed by taxpayers money while they rot in jail?
Brunette replied...
Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:33 am
actually the death penalty is way more expensive then life in jail. also if you had/have a son or daughter and they got into an argument and killed that person out of rage and years later they regret it but its to late because there already dead or about to die in a few years, wouldn't it break ur heart to see that person die over a mistake... I know ur probably thinking what if I was the mother of the person he/she killed well I would forgive because forgiveness is the best revenge their is... (more »)
BLACK jESUS said...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 11:06 am
I think teens who murder should be executed. They know what their doing when they kill. Its not like they are 5 years old thier about to be adults. They need to know what happens in the real world.
monkeyman540 said...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 9:03 am
Does anyone think think that if a loved one in a family gets murdered, and they catch the murderer right... so should he be killed the same way he/she murdered the said family member?
Blak Jesus replied...
Jan. 10, 2011 at 11:09 am

I think that they should because they had to go through the grief of losing the family member. I think that the fanily should decide what happens to the nurder.


electrickissx3 replied...
Feb. 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm
forgive and let live, as the saying goes.
monkeyman540 said...
Jan. 6, 2011 at 8:58 am
i agree with you 100%.. ive seen a lot of things like on blogs about how they can say that and get out of it. But if they can just say i have a mental disorder, and escape jail, why not just go get help and atleast try. This just isnt fair to others at all. They obviously know what they are doing because if they didnt they probably wouldnt be doing it.
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
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