, Research Paper
On April 15, 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City blew up. The bombing left one hundred sixty-eight men, women, and children dead and hundreds injured. One of the suspects, Timothy McVeigh has been found guilty and sentenced to death for committing the worst act of terrorism in the United States (”Judge says McVeigh”). Capital punishment is the execution of a criminal found guilty of a heinous crime. According to a Time/CNN poll, seventy-five percent of Americans support the death penalty (Pooley & Donnelley 37). Currently, executions are prevalent in thirty-eight states (Issues and Controversies). Capital punishment is accepted in the Bible on a number of occasions. It is also shown that executions deter murders and are also more economical than a life sentence. For these reasons, the death penalty is an excellent punishment for murderers.
Executions deter the murders of other innocent people. If every murderer in the United States watched the execution of another murderer before they killed their victims, would they think twice? Stephen K. Layton at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill conducted a study, which showed conclusive evidence that every execution deters an average of eighteen murders (Capital Punishment). That is eighteen lives saved by setting one example. The death penalty also prevents those who are executed from killing again. For example, in 1984, 810 inmates serving time for murder had been previously convicted of murder and released on parole and had killed again. Following their first convictions, these murderers took an additional 821 lives (Death Penalty Curricula). Had the criminals been sentenced to death and executed, 821 sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers would still be alive. Ernest van den Haag, Professor at Fordham University said, “?capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else. And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard” (Death Penalty Curricula). Nothing other than their own deaths could stop would-be murderers from going through with their actions. Many potential killers are deterred for the simple fact that they are afraid to die. For these reasons, executions are the best way to deter other people from murdering.
The death penalty is accepted in the Bible. God instituted the death penalty through His covenant with Noah in Genesis 9 (The Death Penalty). God created this punishment and expected Christians to follow in His beliefs. God also made the death penalty the center of His judicial system in Exodus 21 when He told Moses in verse 12, “He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death” (Pro Capital Punishment). In this passage God makes it clear that He wants murderers to be put to death not just imprisoned. Early Christian also followed God’s beliefs. For instance, Paul confirms that the civil authority may justly execute capital criminals in Romans 13:1-4 (The Death Penalty). Saint Paul is a highly respected figure of Biblical times who supports the just punishment of murderers. If Christians have believed in the death penalty for this long, why should today’s Christians believe anything different? Christ, Himself, regarded capital punishment as a fair penalty for murder when He said in Matthew 26:52, “All who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Pro Capital Punishment). Christ was executed to ask forgiveness for all of man’s sins; likewise a murderer should be executed to ask forgiveness for his sins. If Christ, experiencing what He believed as a just punishment of death still believed it to be just, who is society to say it is unjust?
Capital punishment is more economical and humane than a life sentence in prison. The cost of an execution and that of a life sentence in prison differ greatly. For instance, Justice for All estimates that a life sentence in a maximum security prison costs a minimum of three and a half million dollars for fifty years, while a death penalty case, including appeals and the execution, costs a minimum of one million dollars (Pro Capital Punishment). That is an incredible difference in taxpayers’ money. In fact, the drugs for death by lethal injection cost approximately eighty-seven dollars for each case (Pro Death Penalty). Generally, the cost of drugs for one execution equals the average expense of an inmate’s cell and food for a day or two. It is clear to see the money that could be saved if all convicted murderers were put to death instead of living off of taxpayers for a life in prison. Also, executions are more humane than rotting in a cell for fifty plus years. An average death by lethal injection occurs about seven minutes after the first drug is administered (Pro Death Penalty). Many prisoners suffer in prison for years with illnesses and injuries. How can putting someone through unnecessary pain not be cruel and unusual punishment? If murderers are put to death they will not suffer needlessly. These are a few examples that show the death penalty is more humane and economical than a life sentence in prison.
In conclusion, evidence unequivocally shows that the death penalty is a good punishment for murderers and it benefits society. In the future, more convicted murderers should be sentenced to death. Also, the prisoners on death row should be executed more rapidly. If these two things occur, the murder rate will undoubtedly drop. Since God created it, the death penalty has been in use for thousands of years. That is an adequate reason to keep using it. Furthermore, we should utilize capital punishment for the simple realities that it is less costly and more humane than a life sentence. For these reasons, the death penalty is the best sentence for anyone who willingly takes the life of another human being.