Death Penalty 3 Essay, Research Paper
The Death PenaltyThe death penalty is a very controversial issue in today’s everchanging world. But it wasn’t always surrounded by this cloud of controversy. Hundreds of years ago, the death penalty was introduced in Europe, most notably France and England. At that time they did not have all sorts of less crueler techniques. They would use a guillotine, where the blade was often dull, causing the executioner to repeat the process over before the man was beheaded. Then came firing squads, hangings, etc. Today, through those cruel and painful forms, France and England have a very small crime rate as opposed to ours. In fact, the United States probably has the largest crime rate in the whole world. The US. felt that criminals should be punished in a more humane method, thus new techniques were developed. Today, lethal injection seems to be the popular method of choice. The death penalty is a just form of punishment that should be altered to bring justice about. If enforced and used correctly, the death penalty will be a strong deterrent against violent crimes and act as a cheaper form of execution. Instead of something so pathetically humane, such as lethal injection; the United States executed people by carving their hearts out with a spoon, less people would commit these crimes knowing the end result. Now I say “people,” but in reality, no human being could do what these “savages” have done! I can’t imagine one human slaughtering another and roosting on his remains. If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself this question; “If a child sticks his hand on a hot stove and gets burnt, will he do it again?” Maybe carving someone’s heart out with a spoon is a bit extreme. There are many other alternatives that can act as deterrents and still wreak justice. Some of those include, bullet in the head, reintroducing hangings, bath full of water then throwing a live toaster in, or turning the person into a raging inferno. All these methods are relatively cheap, but extremely painful. And in fact, you could probably get back the money spent or even make a profit, by selling tickets or showcasing it on Pay Per View. Stephen Nathanson, who is against the death penalty, said, “Nonetheless, if the death penalty were a superior deterrent, that would introduce a very weighty moral consideration into the balance of reasons, and the greater its deterrent power, the weightier that reason would be” (341). In the article, An Outbreak of Judicial Civil Disobedience, it mentions the case of Robert Alton Harris and how, for 13 years he escaped his death. His lawyers pulled every trick in the book to prolong his case, hoping by the time they ran out of options, Harris would have died of old age (Bork 331). Can you imagine how much money was spent in those 13 years? How much of California’s tax paying citizens had to pour their hard earned money into this “savage?” And what about the victims’ families? Why do they have to spend their hard earned money to keep the killer alive and pay for his appeals, while trying to cope with the loss of their sons? People who argue the moral issue of the death penalty, forget who the real victim is. It’s not the “savage” hopeing he lives. It’s the person or persons he killed to get where he is today.
Criminals lose their Constitutional rights when they take another’s. If a man blasts music, and the police receive a complaint, he becomes a public nuisance and must turn his music down for the greater good of the neighborhood. But wait, isn’t he losing his Constitutional rights to play his music at levels that he enjoys? Yes, he is. And it’s legal. Your right to play music at loud levels, stops when you invade another’s right to quiet. So, if a man killed another man, he forfeits his right to live. Glenn Durfee, a practicing attorney in California said, “The blame lies with the seven frustrated justices . . .” (335). No, the blame doesn’t lie with the justices, society, my dog, Jenny Jones, or Jesus Christ. The blame can be placed on the killers and only the killers. If I smoke cigarettes and I get lung cancer, it’s my fault. If I was married and had an affair and my wife left me, it’s my fault. In conclusion, in today’s society everyone is ready to point the finger at someone else, not taking responsibility for their own actions. In the past, other countries took the proper measures in policing crime and today they are better off. We cannot change the past. What’s done is done. But we can look to the future. We can see the present for the present and recognize the problem. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Many Americans, think as I do. Maybe not to the extreme, but generally speaking, much the same. A Republican is a Republican, regardless of whether he is conservative or moderate. A criminal is a criminal, regardless if he is sorry or not. And justice is justice, regardless of morality.
Barnett, Sylvan and Hugo Bedeau eds. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide toCritical Thinking and Argument, with Readings, 4th ed. Boston: Bedford-St. Martin’s. 1996. Bork, Robert H. “An Outbreak of Judicial Disobedience”. Wall Street Journal 29 Apr. 1992. Rpt. in Barnett and Bedeau. 321-334. Durfee, Glenn. “Did Executions Kill Some of Our Rights?”. Wall Street Journal 9 June 1992. Rpt. in Barnett and Bedeau. 334-335. Nathanson, Stephen. “What If the Death Penalty Did Save Lives?”. An Eye for an Eye? TheMorality of Punishing by Death. By Nathanson. Rpt. in Barnett and Bedeau. 341-348.