, Research Paper
The issue of capital punishment is alive and very controversial in the United States and all over the world.
The reason for this is that crime is very prevalent in society and our society is having difficulty determining the most effective deterrents and punishments for heinous crimes. Although the crime problem in the U.S. is inevitable, killing is not an appropriate punishment; it is not the answer for anything.
As the saying goes,”Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong?” This statement shows the clear hypocrisy involved in capital punishment. Of course, vicious killers should be convicted and sentenced to harsh punishments, but death should not be an option. I feel that the government is taking the easy way out when it pushes for capital punishment. There are other ways to punish and rehabilitate the convicted.
Barbaric is a sound adjective to describe capital punishment. We are a civilized society and therefore
should have the utmost respect for human life. Killing, regardless of the reason, is barbaric. In David Bruck’s essay, “The Death Penalty”, he clearly shows the barbarism involved with the death penalty. He says, “Perhaps we want retribution on the flesh and bone of a handful of convicted murderers so badly that we are willing to close our eyes to all the demoralization and danger that come with it. This lottery of death both comes from and encourages an attitude toward human life that is not reverent, but reckless.”(329) This intellectual has a clear view of the wrongfullness of the death penalty.
Alongside the essential fact that killing is wrong, there are also other important reasons why capital punishment should not be made legal. Among these are the error rate and the discrimination factor. Concerning the error rate, there have been many cases where innocent people have been executed. Often, evidence is found after the person has already been executed. This type of situation is a tragedy and should not have any possibility of happening.
Vivian Berger shows how discrimination exists in our justice system, especially in regards to capital punishment. In her essay, “Rolling the Dice to Decide who
Dies”, she says,”In Georgia, for instance, Professor David Baldus’s prizewinning study revealed that, after one accounted for dozens of variables that might legitimately affect punishment, the killer of a white stood a 4.3 times greater chance of receiving death than did a person who killed a black!”(355) This fact is horrifying and is one more reason for capital punishment to be illegal.
The heart of the problem in our justice system is the jail terms and the parole possibilities. Many supporters of capital punishment say that the convicted get out of jail too soon, and therefore they should simply be killed so that this cannot happen. Killing is not the answer. The legal system is where the problem is. The most effective way to improve the legal system is to cut paroles and to be more firm on life sentences. If this happened, there would be no reason for capital punishment. We must concentrate on improving the legal system and straying away from capital punishment. Once this hopefully happens, we will no longer have to ask the question, “Why do we kill people to show that killing people is wrong”.