The Right to Live

June 13, 2011
By A_person BRONZE, E. Waterboro, Maine
A_person BRONZE, E. Waterboro, Maine
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Imagine this. You’re walking down a hallway with two guards at your side. They have your hands and feet cuffed together as they lead you through a hallway. Soon you reach a door that leads to a room with a chair in the middle of it. You start your to get tears in your eyes as the guards strap you into chair. After a couple minutes of preparation a man grabs on to a switch at the other end of the room. He then closes his eyes as he switches the switch on. Suddenly your body violently shakes and you start to scream as unimaginable pain soars through your body. After 30 seconds, you are gasping for air as the chair turns off. The man then turns a couple of dials and once again grabs the switch. He then starts pulling it down while fear courses through your body. Then everything goes black.

This isn’t from any fiction book you’ve read. That is one way that we execute people. Today there is still 98 countries still that have capitol punishment, one of them being the U.S. It still used as a form of punishment frequently in several states. I think it is just wrong to kill our own flesh and blood like this. We need to ban the death penalty for good. Why, because every form of the death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment.

There are five ways we execute people for crimes in the U.S: lethal injection, electrocution, gas chamber, hanging and firing squad. All are said to be from painful to extremely painful. Even lethal injection, said to be painless, can cause pain if the procedure doesn’t go as planned. I can’t even begin to believe that is how we want to end someone’s life, Them screaming in pain while dozens gather to watch this horrific event. Plus we even got rid of torture just because it went against the 8th amendments no cruel and unusual punishment. If that’s why we have gotten rid of torture, so it would make sense to get rid of the death penalty. We are torturing them until they die.

One major thing people want to ignore is that sentencing someone to death can be influenced by bias decisions. One study found that from 1930 to 1999, 4,459 people have died under capitol punishment. 2,125 of them were white while 2,279 were black. This is lead to believe that racism is a big reason of why people are executed because only 12% of people in the U.S are black while 70% are white. If we took a jury full of white people who were racist to blacks, who would likely get the death
penalty? A criminal who is white, or one that is black.

We also have to think of other people that have been executed too. For example is it right to kill someone who has no judgement or control of his action? Yet 15% of the people on death row are believed to be mentally unstable. Also there is the possibility the person being executed was innocent. Opponents argue that DNA testing can prove without a shadow a doubt that someone is guilty, but the execution of a innocent man has already happened before. One of those men was Derek Bentley. He was executed for killing a police officer when it actually turned out to be his accomplice.

Opponents argue that the death penalty keeps prisons from filling up with too many inmates. If you think about it though some of the people on death row have been waiting decades for their execution. This is because of the so many retrials and other additional requirements for putting a person to death. Also, just going through the process of execution takes about 7 times the amount in tax money for just sentencing them to a life in prison. Plus, if you don’t want too many people going to jail, educate kids better so that when they become adults they know how to make the right decision.

Even though it seems like banning the death penalty will be hard, others have already done things to fight it. It has been banned in 12 states already. 95 countries have abolished the death penalty for good. If we can continue to go in his direction, I wouldn’t be surprised if capitol punishment becomes banned in all of the U.S. A bright new future could await if we learn to deal with criminals in peaceful ways.

“Capital punishment.” Wikipedia. 30 May 2011. 1 June 2011

“Should the death penalty be banned as a form of punishment?”
Balanced politics. 5 May 2011. Joe Messerli. 1 June 2011

“History of the death penalty & recent developments.” UAA Justice Center 2 May 2005.
Melissa Green. 1 June 2011

“Capital punishment: All viewpoints on the death penalty.” Religious Tolerance. 8 March
2011. Bruce Robinson 1 June 2011


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