Death Penalty Revised Essay, Research Paper
In America during the 1970 s, 80 s, and 90 s Capitol Punishment has become very controversial. Views on this difficult issue led the Supreme Court to abolish the death penalty in 1972 but then brought it back it in 1977.
Abolitionists, who are those against the death penalty say there are other ways to stop crime. They say that life in prison without parole serves just as well. That is a very true but consider all the murders criminals commit within prison. What if they escape or off on parole? In 1962, James Moore raped and killed Pamela Moss a fourteen year old girl. The Mosses decided to give Moore life in prison rather than the death penalty. Later on, thanks to a change in sentencing laws in 1982, James Moore can achieve for parole every two years. Also in, Dawud Mu’Min who was serving a forty eight year sentence for the 1973 murder of a cab driver when he escaped a road work gang and stabbed to death a storekeeper named Gadys Nopwasky in a 1988 robbery that earned him four dollars. Fortunately, there is now no chance of Mu’Min committing murder again. He was executed by the state of Virginia on November 14, 1997. People tend to say that the death penalty does not discourage murder.
Others say that states which do have the death penalty have higher crime rates than those that do not, implying that the death penalty makes criminals commit more crimes.Every state is different. These differences include the populations, number of cities, and the crime rates. Urban states, like New York are more likely to have higher crime rates than states that are more rural, such as those that do not have capital punishment. The states that have capital punishment have it because of their high crime rate, not the other way around. Stephen K. Layson at the University of North Carolina did a study that showed that every execution of a murderer discourages eighteen murders. The study also showed that raising the number of death sentences by one percent would prevent one hundred and five murders. However, only thirty eight percent of all murder cases result in a death sentence, and of those, only point one percent are actually executed. On occasion, circumstances have led to meaningful statistical evaluations of the death penalty’s deterrent effect. In Utah, for example, there have been five executions since the Supreme Court allowed executions to resume in 1976. Gary Gilmore faced a firing squad at the Utah State Prison on January 17, 1977. There had been fifty five murders in that state during 1976. “While some death penalty abolitionists try to face down the results of their disastrous experiment and still argue to the contrary, the data concludes that a substantial deterrent effect has been observed…In six months, more Americans are murdered than have killed by execution in this entire century…Until we begin to fight crime in earnest by using the death penalty, every person who dies at a criminal’s hands is a victim of our inaction.”- Karl Spence of Texas A&M
There has been a twelve percent drop in the murder rate nationwide since 1976 and 1995.
“I repeatedly heard from the lips of robbers…substantially the same story: ‘I used a toy gun or a simulated gun or a gun in which the firing pin or hammer had been extracted or damaged because I didn’t want my neck stretched.’ (The penalty, referred to, was hanging.)”- B. Rey Shauer, Justice of the Supreme Court of California. Since England abolished capital punishment about thirty years ago, the murder rate has subsequently doubled there and seventy five English citizens have been murdered by released killers. My mom who is against the death penalty asks Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong. Many people believe that how can we murder someone for committing a murder? First of all, the term murder is specifically defined in any dictionary as the unlawful killing of a person with malice and aforethought. We cannot use the term murder for the death penalty since the death penalty is the law. Christians believe that God has the ultimate say. Some Christians look at the sixth commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” If you translate it from the original Hebrew version, it is: “Thou shall not MURDER.” Murder is defined in any dictionary as the unlawful killing of a person with malice. Here are some versus which states that capitol punishment is acceptable an in this nation our anthem includes under God which says we have no authority over God. “Whoever sheds MAN’S blood, by MAN his blood shall be shed.”-Genesis 9:6 “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.” -Exodus 21:12
One argument that abolitionists bring up is the death penalty is unfair to other races, classes, or mental abilities. These aspects are not an issue. Murder has no color, class, or IQ A murderer is a murderer. When a loved one is killed, doubtful anyone could take comfort in the fact that the perpetrator had a low IQ, was black instead of white, or poor instead of rich.
The most important issue is the chance of the execution of innocents. Citizens are required to take certain risks in exchange for relative safety in this world. Far more innocent lives have been taken by convicted murderers than the supposedly twenty three innocents mistakenly executed this century. Up to thirteen thousand American citizens are murdered each year by released and paroled criminals. Also, the death penalty is not the only institution that require that we accept risks in exchange for social benefits. In fact, people use far more dangerous institutions that take the lives of innocents by the hundreds every day. For example the three or four tons of lethal metal we call automobiles. After all, how can we accept the average forty five thousand person a year death toll in this nation due to car wrecks for our personal conveniences when we can’t accept the few risks of wrongful executions for the sake of defending public safety? Following the lines of that logic, we not only would have to sacrifice our vehicles, we would have to sacrifice the personal conveniences of using electricity and fire because of the lives they cost by accidents. We would have to go back to living in caves like Neanderthals because of our fear of taking risks for social benefits.
War is a brutal, barbaric act and many people say the death penalty is. Public safety deserves as much respect and protection as a nation’s national security. It s hypocritical that the same countries who have abolished capital punishment because it is barbaric to defend the country through bloodshed. The author of War and Peace said it best, “For the executioner only holds himself in readiness to kill those who have been adjudged to be harmful and criminal, while a soldier promises to kill all who he is told to kill, even though they may be the dearest to him or the best of men.”-Leo Tolstoy
When a society ignores their profound duty to defend the safety and security of their decent citizens and leaves them at the mercy of violent criminals, they are not being civilized, they are being ignorant.