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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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This article has 87 comments. Post your own now!

Connor M. said...
Dec. 12, 2009 at 4:56 pm
Some of this is good, but I can't possibly see why some people shouldn't get the death penalty. Certain crimes do deserve it. Do you honestly think that, for example, a man who killed a couple of kids should be allowed to keep his life? As far as I'm concerned, our laws are there for a reason, and if you break them, you have no rights.
nattttttt(: replied...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 3:24 pm
I fully agree
alayapoetgirl replied...
Mar. 31, 2010 at 7:38 pm
I disagree. If the it is against the law to kill someone, then the law shouldnt be allowed to do it. Do tou agree that's its okay to kill another individual, because as far as I'm concerned the death penalty is hipocritical. How can you tell someone not to kill, but you kill those who kill? As always stated: "two wrongs don't make a right!"
Connor M. replied...
Apr. 4, 2010 at 10:40 pm
Yeah, but the death penalty is there not necessarily to punish, but to keep those kind of people out of society.
LaQuasia J. said...
Jul. 24, 2009 at 10:27 pm
the government is being hypocritical. if they are not allowing people to kill others why should they get the right to kill people ? i mean yeah if that person has killed it should be life in prison . nobody , no matter what they have done deserves to die because theres no coming back from death. im not sa
lilendiqo14 replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 7:53 pm
I Aqree ! Noone, Has The Riqht To Die !
supahface said...
Dec. 16, 2008 at 6:58 pm
I really disagree with this. your wrong!!!!! :P
Edward Cullen's Girlfriend said...
Nov. 19, 2008 at 1:21 am
Yeah great article, anyway. Edward Cullen is MINE, literally, I am a vampire. HOW COOL IS THAT!!!
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