Essay, Research Paper
The Death Penalty. Right? Or Wrong?
Capital punishment, or better known as the death penalty, is a very controversial issue in the United States today. The death penalty has been viewed by many people as wrong, while still other people see the death penalty to be acceptable in today s society. People who oppose the death penalty complain that it is morally wrong, and the majority of the people who receive the death penalty are wrongfully treated, either due to race, poverty, or even gender. Even though many people oppose the death penalty, there are still people, such as myself, who feel that the death penalty should be accepted in the United States today. Whether it is to reduce overcrowding in prisons, or to cut down on serious crimes, I feel that the death penalty should be accepted in the United States and in other countries around the world.
Some people in the United States feel that the death penalty is wrong and should be abolished. People believe that capital punishment diminishes all of us and contributes towards a brutal cycle of violence, which is all too prevalent in our society (Capital 105). People also are unconvinced that our society can teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill. Opponents of the death penalty also claim that minorities and poor defendants are more likely to be convicted and receive the death penalty than white and wealthy defendants (Capital 79). Statistics tend to show that Black defendants who were convicted of killing Whites were most likely to receive death sentences than White murderers (Capital 79).
Another reason people feel the death penalty is wrong is due to religious and morality issues. According to some religious beliefs, their opposition to the use of the death penalty reflects their commitment to human life and human dignity. Religious followers believe that executions end a life, deny dignity, and remove any chance for repentance and forgiveness (Capital 105). The last reason many people oppose the death penalty is due to the cost of putting a person to death. Statistics show that putting a person to death costs as much as three times the expense of lifetime incarceration (Capital 104).
While people believe that the death penalty should be abolished, I, along with many other people feel that the United States should keep the death penalty. The main reason I think that we should keep the death penalty in the United States is because of the overpopulation of many prisons around the country. Due to this overpopulation of prisons, the American people have to spend tax dollars to keep the many prisoners incarcerated. Another reason I feel that we need to keep the death penalty is because I think that people who kill should get the same treatment done to them as they did to someone else.
People who oppose the death penalty complain that race is a big factor in the sentencing of the death penalty. If someone feels that they have been racially discriminated, there is something they could someday do. Congress is looking at a Racial Justice Act, which makes it unlawful to carry out a sentence of death imposed on the basis of the race of the defendant or victim. This would allow persons under the sentence of death to challenge their sentences (but not their convictions) by using evidence that shows a pattern of racially discriminatory death sentencing (McCuen 39).
The death penalty is also good for the United States, because it serves as a deterrent to heinous crimes. I also feel that the death penalty is justified for certain especially violent crimes. It seems that some people commit such violent crimes, that they do not deserve the right to live in society. The last reason the death penalty should remain is that the death penalty can protect society from further harm by the offender.
As stated in the Fifth Amendment, no persons shall be held to answer for a capital crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury nor be deprived of life without due process of law. I feel that this permits that the death penalty is not a form of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Even though I believe that the death penalty should be accepted, there are still people that do not want the death penalty in the United States. I feel that all of the points I have addressed are important to eliminate or keep the death penalty, but it seems that there will forever be a controversy over the death penalty and it s procedures.