The Death Penalty 6 Essay, Research Paper
A man sits on death row trying to keep death off his mind. He knows he is innocent but no one will believe him. He sits in his cell and prays with the hope that God will not let him get electrocuted. Just the everyday fear of thinking about his death that he knows will come soon takes its toll on him. This is a true story of Jay C. Smith a former high school principal in Pennsylvania. He was convicted for the murder of 3 people and sentenced to death. He was released in 1992 when it became known that the prosecution withheld crucial information that could have kept him from being convicted.
The death sentence should not be legal in the United States because it is unjust, immoral and cruel. Sentencing someone to death does not give him or her a chance to learn from his or her mistakes, and give them a second chance. The death penalty is used in many states today to punish the worst criminals. The death penalty is reserved for the worst criminals; murderers, spies, rapists, and other types of sex offenders. There are many people who defend the use of the death penalty and say it saves money, gets rid of the worst criminals and deters others from committing serious crimes.
Many people think people should get done to them what they have done to others. Supporters of the death penalty say it is a humane way for the offenders to die and that it is quick and painless for them to be injected with poison or electrocuted. They say that is saves taxpayers money because the prisoner is not in jail for the rest of his or her life. They also say that it deters other criminals from committing serious crimes, and that if we got rid of it the murder rate would rise drastically.
No one deserves to die no matter what crime he or she committed. J. Edgar Hoover remarked “Nothing is so precious in our country as the life of a human being, whether he is a criminal or not, and on the other side of the scales must be placed all of the legal safeguards which our society demands”(Wood 464). If someone is a murderer and cannot be rehabilitated he or she should be given a life sentence and forced to do some kind of work to help pay for the cost of imprisonment. In some cases it is very hard to not want the death penalty enforced for example, if your child was sexually attacked and killed, you would probably want the offender to die a horrible death. It is hard to forgive in many cases but we need to learn how to live together and be able to trust and forgive one another. The execution is not right even if it is not painful. No one deserves to have their life taken away because they made a mistake. Life is a precious thing and, cannot be given to someone and it should not be taken either. Even if the death penalty might save taxpayers money it is not right. No one can put a price on someone’s life. Alternative forms of punishment need to be instituted to deter criminals such as corporal punishment, where the offender is punished with pain of some kind. This would shorten the prison sentence of the offenders, but also deter others from doing the same type of crime.
Taking another person’s life is wrong because no one should take that power but God. If we were not forgiven for our mistakes we would never progress. Everybody makes a mistake sometime, and they must be forgiven no matter how bad the mistake was. If we help rehabilitate the person he or she might be able to live a productive life and help society in the way it helped him or her. If a person is a repeat offender and does not learn from his or her mistakes he or she should be given life imprisonment. The person should see a psychiatrist and find out what the problem is so he or she can deal with the emotions in a productive manner next time. There are studies that show states that have the death penalty do not show any reduction in the amount of violent crimes.
Unfortunately not everyone is raised in a healthy household anymore, and many people do not have morals instilled in them as a child. Therefore, they do not learn right from wrong. It is not their fault that they were born with a chemical imbalance or there was no parent around to teach them right from wrong. So how can we take their life for a crime they do not consider wrong? We should put them in an institution where they cannot hurt anyone else and where they can get help. They should be rehabilitated so they can function and contribute with the rest of society as best as possible.
No one should play the role of God and decide who has the right to live and who has the right to die. In this country we are all supposed to be created equal, therefore someone should not have the power to take the life of another.
Capital punishment does not deter criminals from committing crimes because while they are committing the crimes they do not realize that they might get the death sentence for what they are doing. They are only thinking of committing the crime and getting away with it. Instead of sentencing criminals to death they should be given a life sentence with out possibility with parole. The prisoners should be given jobs to help pay for the cost of their imprisonment. The prisoners should also be given therapy to help them work out their problems so they will not want to break the law again.
I think capital punishment should be reformed in the United States. The death penalty serves only one purpose and that is to make the people feel like justice will be served. In conclusion capital punishment serves no real purpose in the United States other than saving space in prisons.