The Death Penalty Essay, Research Paper
——- The Death Penalty ——-
By: Brendan Moriarty 04/28/96
-Preface: Let it be noted now that this speech is very opinionated.
I strongly believe that the Death Penalty is a form of punishment to be used when needed. Which opens up the question, when should it be used? That may be the breaking point in a lot of arguments, deciding when to use the death penalty is a very touchy subject. I believe that only murderers deserve the death penalty, but I do not believe that all murderers should receive it as punishment. In cases where someone was killed in self defense, the ‘murderer’ should not receive the death penalty. But when someone is killed in cold blood then there should be a consideration. Again, not all cold blooded murderers should receive it. Premeditated and sometimes on the spot murders are also candidates, but that depends on how the victim was treated before the murder. Was he/she abused or tormented in a severe way? Or was the victim raped? I would also take into account, the number of people killed by the murderer. Those are not the only things to take into account, but I will stop here.
It was August 3, the year was 1986. A man named Esquel Banda had just raped, stabbed and strangled a 74 year old widow by the name of Merle Laird in her own house. Banda then sucked the blood from the woman’s mouth.
Does that describe a kind, gentle man, who is not a threat to society? A man who values life or a man that deserves life when he seems so eager to destroy it? I certainly wouldn’t think so.
Some people believe that the death penalty is wrong, what do you think? Is it OK for a man to commit heinous murders but not OK for our valued legal system, who’s outcomes depend on ordinary people like you and me, to decide to terminate that mans life for his crimes to others?
The death penalty is just that; a penalty. Its intention is not to present an example to others, to show them ‘not to commit murders, or this may happen to you…’, although it may very well work like that. If it is, fine, so much the better. But it is a punishment. You can’t say that the felon doesn’t really receive the punishment because he’s dead because they have quite a few years to think about it while on death row. Just sitting around a few years with nothing to look forward to except death, is punishment enough. Infact, it may be better than having a life jail term, without parole. Felons in that predicament have said so themselves, they would rather die than have to wait the rest of there life in jail, which can exceed 60 years. Which brings me around to my next point…
What happens if we do get rid of the death penalty? We would have hundreds of murderers sitting in jails and mixing with many other people. “Don’t’ put me in a cell with anybody. I’ll kill them, it won’t bother me to kill somebody.” That’s a quote from a former death row inmate. He brings up a very important point. Our society always says how our prisons are safe and secure. That may be true in some prisons now, but what happens when they have to hold murderers like that inmate. If the death penalty isn’t used anymore, then what would stop inmates from killing other inmates and jail guards or repeatedly trying to escape? Nothing; because if they do kill someone, their term won’t change, nothing worse can happen to them, except mabey a few days of solitude. Nothing is stopping them from attempting more crimes in jail!
Another point I must bring up, is racism in the decision about who should die. I will agree that there is some, but it is a simple problem with a simple solution. Diversify our jurys. In most cases, a group of people chosen randomly will be appointed to decide that fate of an accused murderer. If there is racism and sexism, then even out the number of minorities and sexes in the jury. But anyway, if we need to bag the death penalty because of racism and such, then we sure can’t have prisons! Don’t tell me there isn’t either of those when the jail term is decided, because the truth is, there is a lot of racism is the decision.
OK, my last point is the argument that the death penalty is just too cruel to use. I’ll agree that mabey hanging and a firing squad should be abolished. But not the gas chamber, lethal injection or the chair. With the gas chamber, the person just smells a strange smell, then there out of it. The only pain in lethal injection is sticking the needle in the skin. The last one, the electric chair is the most controversial. There are stories of people surviving the first shock, in one case the man was sent back to his cell, but later he was finally killed. That may be very shocking, but mabey you haven’t heard what some of these people did. Here’s an example…
A man and a woman were sitting in there car on the bank of a river on a date. Two men approached the car and pointed a gun in. The man and women were taken, and later, deep in a forest, the male victim was beaten, tied to a tree and shot through the head, all in front of the woman’s eyes. For the next few days, the woman was tortured and raped repeatedly and was almost killed in the end.
So, put yourself in those victim’s shoes, imaging the physical and mental pain of the ordeal. Now what do you think? Should the murderers receive a little bit of pain on their way out? I think it’s justifiable.