Capital Punishment: A Sad Thing

July 22, 2010
Death is certainly a curious thing. It is often longed for by those who are suffering but avoided at all costs by those who have so much to live for. Some claim to know what it leads to, while others seem to accept its absolute mystery. Death is bestowed, with apparent grace, upon those in pain but forced with terrible wrath upon other people.

Because death is such a complex thing, we have to question the act of capital punishment. The theory behind it is the ‘justice’ that whoever commits a terrible crime will in turn have their life taken. This is ‘an eye for an eye,’ one of the most flawed sayings I can think of.

Murder is, undoubtedly, wrong. The crime is not, I think, in the death that is caused but the pain that is inflicted and the life that is being prevented. Whoever would take someone’s life or rape a person goes beyond making a simple mistake; that is clear. But, it is also clear that everybody commits wrongdoings. Some commit them on a much larger scale than others, but they sin in such a way because they are human. Humans sin. On the flip side, every criminal has something good in them, because they are human. But their mind is twisted in such a way and their heart is filled with just enough darkness that to hurt other people seems okay. Maybe they had a sad life and were done wrong, so they ended up this way. Think of them as having ill hearts and minds.

It is already known that murder and rape are terrible things. When I dwell on them, I am sorry that anyone would stoop low enough to be involved with them. They hurt the victim and their family and friends unimaginably. But killing them does not reverse it. It does not make everything right. It is merely adding to the wrongdoing and fighting hate with hate.

Capital punishment is the extreme act of striking back and is by no means justice. When a criminal commits a severe crime, I think he should just lose his right to freedom. In other words, a long sentence of imprisonment. Mostly, this is for the protection of others. But this sentence does not mean that he is condemned to a state that he can’t be forgiven. If society can’t learn to forgive, we can’t move forward. Another death will not solve the conflict.

I think capital punishment is one of society’s deepest mistakes. I hope that it will learn that it will not fix the wrongdoing and all states will ban it. And if the government thinks that it is worth it to take a human life because doing otherwise is too expensive, that is very sad. If they want to exchange lives for dollars, I have no hope for the government.

Best of wishes to the criminals, that they may feel sorry for what they did. And may they have a chance to live so that they me feel this remorse and turn their lives around.

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This article has 29 comments. Post your own now!

lorena.loves.stars said...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 5:29 pm
I see your point in this article, i love your poetry work. But Capital Punishment is Americas most debatable topics.
Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Thank you for commenting... and for loving my poetry!

Capital punishment is a very debatable topic in America, but I have never feared disagreement.

C_B_Mia said...
Jul. 31, 2010 at 8:09 pm

I agree with a lot of points of this article, and it is well written. Once of the points in this was that killing someone does not undo their crime. I absolutely agree! There seems to be no point to that aspect. And you expressed your opinions well.


My disagreement is that I don't think  everybody had good in them. I think that everybody is human... and most people have redeeming personalities. However, there are some simply evil people such as Hitler or Suddam Husse... (more »)

Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm
Thanks for commenting! I am glad that we agree on some points. As for people having good in them, I think that one indication that Hitler and Hussein had good in them is that they thought they were doing right.
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 5, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Sorry, I have to butt in. Although I'm in no way Hussein's supporter, the things he did for his country are undeniable. Iraq was soaring under his rule. 
savetheplanet replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm


I don't know who said this quote, I think it was Ben Franklin but here it goes, "Those who would give up liberty to purchase safety deserve neither."  So I don't care if you're Chairman Mao or Kim Jong-Il or some other dictator who gave his country great economic growth, it's not worth it.




I completely agree, capital punishment does nothing but make the problem worse.  And a... (more »)

Thesilentraven This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm
Really? So I was wrong about that? I had thought that because I read a (very biased) article about capital punishment in which an annoyingly conservative Teeninker had said that "it costs so much to keep those idiots alive!" Part of the reason I wrote the piece.
savetheplanet replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Nope, more expensive to kill them.  That's from mulitple sources too.  The problem is that you can almost infinitely appeal a death sentence and so the cost of lawyers keeps increasing for the state.  Not so much for a life sentence.
savetheplanet replied...
Aug. 9, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Sorry for the double posting I don't know why it did that.
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 11, 2011 at 2:11 am

So the problem is "appealing", not capital punishment. 

Also, I'm not sure Iraqis' notions of liberty are quite the same as Americans'. Different culture.

And I would say it's easy to judge, but if you're under economic oppression and can't feed your family, welll...desperate times call for desperate measures. 

Also, everyone knows that the Gulf War was triggered by a sham. So really, America shouldn't be pointing ... (more »)
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