Abolishing the Death Penalty

March 7, 2012
Would you ever kill someone? People are getting killed, with no legal repercussions, to this day due to the death penalty, also known as capital punishment, which is a punishment given to some who have committed serious crimes. Though the people who receive the death penalty have generally committed heinous crimes in order to be receiving it, it is still cruel, loathsome, disgusting, and inhumane.

One reason I oppose the death penalty is that it is outdated and barbaric. The first ever established form of the death penalty dates back to the 18th century B.C. when Hammurabi wrote his code of laws. 25 crimes he specified were punishable by execution. The death penalty can be traced all the way back to thousands of years ago and it’s ridiculous that we still use something so medieval and primitive to this day. It truly is horrible. Past methods of execution include boiling to death, crucifixion, crushing, being burned alive, and decapitation. These methods of death are considered revolting by many people, but what makes death by electrocution, hanging, or lethal injection any different? There is no difference between historic and modern forms of execution. These methods involve taking peoples’ lives and that’s the bottom line of it all. Furthermore, concerning the United States’ use of capital punishment, only 58 countries in the world actively use the death penalty and all those except the U.S. are considered eastern civilizations. The U.S. is the only westernized country to be still using capital punishment actively. This means the U.S. is among the ranks of countries in places like Africa and the Middle East where civilization isn’t as developed as the U.S.’s. If the U.S. is so concerned about leading the world into westernized life, shouldn’t we abolish something as primitive as the death penalty?

Another reason why I detest the death penalty is because it’s moral-less. Around 90% of the world’s population is religious. The death penalty does not seem like something that the deities of these faiths nor their followers would approve. The Bible clearly states “Thou shalt not kill.” The death penalty is basically just a way to kill people and for it to be okay by law. It’s still not okay by faith, however. I understand that the U.S. demands a separation between state and Church, but what about other countries that use the death penalty? I don’t see why religion can’t be a reason to stop it in some that don’t have that requirement. Also, Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, himself was executed by crucifixion. Is it really right to be using something like the death penalty when the death penalty itself is the reason why Christ lived a short life?

The death penalty is also an impractical practice. Some people may think that the death penalty costs less to our society than to hold someone in prison for life. Well, that is flat out wrong. Studies show that the cost of having an execution carried out costs 2-5 times more than housing a criminal in prison for a life term. Constant appeals and legal procedures drain a lot of money out of the legal system. Court officials demand a substantial amount of money from taxpayers while these proceedings go on and by eliminating the death penalty, we eliminate these costs that come with the processes regarding it. Furthermore, the death penalty isn’t exactly the most logical punishment to give to serious offenders. Many people think it’s a good way to give closure to the family that was victimized by the crime committed by the offender. However, killing the perpetrator affects that person’s family. Is it really necessary to take away their loved one? Governments can punish the victim, but punishing the family and loved ones who had no part to do in the crime is detestable. Plus, taking away a criminal’s life does no justice whatsoever to the victim’s family. Killing them won’t erase any of their actions or bring anyone back to life if killed. And in my eyes, making someone serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole is far more harsh than execution. Killing someone immediately won’t be as effective as making them wither away in a prison cell for the rest of their life and finally succumbing to a natural death years and years later. Moreover, the death penalty can be deemed a “cruel and unusual punishment,” which goes against the U.S. Constitution. Violating one of the most coveted documents of the country is wrong, and so is capital punishment.

All in all, the death penalty is simply too outdated for modern-day use. It goes against morals and religious beliefs that did not necessarily exist back in those archaic times when execution was first used. Only 58 countries in the world use it today, most have obviously moved on from it. But those remaining 58 nations need to realize that capital punishment does no good for society. It does not bring proper justice and it sends a horrible message to people of the world. Killing is killing no matter what the circumstance is. To get rid of the death penalty, people must stand up and stop letting the government play executioner.

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Raveena said...
Oct. 21, 2015 at 7:03 am
A well drafted article. But if not killing, what else can be done to those people who take away so many innocent lives? Should we just allow such people to keep killing others but still lead a good life, may it be in prison or anywhere!
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