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Anti- Death Penalty

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"Capital punishment feeds the cycle of violence in society by pandering to a lust for revenge. It brutalizes us and deadens our sensitivities to the precious nature of every single human life." Most Rev. David B. Thompson, Bishop of Charleston, S.C., December, 1998. I believe that killing, is killing and it is wrong. No one should ever have the right to take another persons life. But in todays society, the government presumes that those who commit horrible crimes should be executed. There are many reasons why I strongly support the abolishment of capital punishment including, my religious beliefs, the cost of execution, and the fact that capital punishment in the United States is flawed and furthermore unconstitutional.

As a Catholic I feel that only God should judge us. The supreme court should not have the option to decide weather we live or die. Pope John Paul II once said that the death penalty is both cruel and unnecessary. "Modern society has the means of protecting itself, without definitively denying criminals the chance to reform." I also respect my values of respecting life, all kinds of life. Even though those that are facing death row have committed terrible crimes and killed innocent we should not execute them. I think locking them up for the rest of their life is punishment enough. We should make them feel remorseful for their actions.

Another important reason why I am against the death penalty is the financial costs associated with executions. In the US it costs less for a man to live in prison for the rest of his life than to execute him. According to antideathpenalty.com it costs 2 million dollars for someone to be on death row and then executed. Thats four times as mush as regular prison. It is a waste of money. During these tough economic times our governments money should not be used on the death penalty. There are many other ways that our money can be used aside from killing.

Finally, I theorize that capital punishment is filled with fault and extremely unconstitutional. Death sentences are handed out arbitrarily and in an unfair manner. For example, Serial killers such Gary Ridgway who admitted killing 48 prostitutes got life in prison. Meanwhile, mentally ill murderers who could not afford good lawyers and did not gain media attention were sentenced to death. In Alabama, David Hocker was executed after a one-day trial. His mental illness was not sufficiently described to the jury. These are only two reasons why capital punishment in our country is flawed and incredibly faulted. I believe that it should not matter weather or not they have a good lawyer, murders should not be executed. They should automatically get life in prison, execution should never be an option.

Those that are for the death penalty believe that if they do not kill these horrible people, then others are more likely to commit the same crimes. I disagree with them because there is proof that since the death penalty, the crime rate has not gone down. The crime rate in the US is 6 times that of Britain and 5 times that of Australia, where the death penalty does not exist. Texas and Oklahoma have executed the most death row inmates, yet in 2003 their state murder rates increased.

In conclusion, the death penalty should be abolished. It should no longer be an option in the United States because it is against our country's Constitution. It is also against my religious beliefs and life values. Our country will never gain peace if we are killing our own citizens. Only God should decide if we should stay on this Earth, not the government.





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