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Capital Punishment 2 Essay, Research Paper

Capital Punishment Opponents argue that capital punishment is immoral. But if you follow the Old Testament, it is moral. In one passage from Genesis, Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. Another from Exodus, Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe (Samaha, 440). It was not very moral of the prisoner to commit a murder in the first place. Why should it be immoral to execute a prisoner, but moral to kill an innocent person. It is as morally right to punish criminals for their wicked deeds as it is to praise heroes for their heroic deeds. If it is noble for soldiers to give their lives for their country in wartime, then it is morally right to claim the lives of murderers for killing innocent people in peaceable society(Samaha, 441). According to Professor Ernest van den Haag: The life of each man should be sacred to each other man… it is not enough to proclaim the sacredness and inviolability of human life. It must be secured as well, by threatening with the loss of their own life those who violate what has been proclaimed as inviolable-the right of innocents to live (Haag, 67). Other opponents argue that there is the chance of executing an innocent prisoner. Hugo Adam Bedu and Michael L. Radelet collected evidence of every capital punishment case after the 1930 s. They concluded that 23 innocent people, out of several thousand cases in the twentieth century, were convicted and executed, but all of these mistakes were made because there was a forced confession, suppression of evidence, and perjury (Samaha 442). That means not one of these persons was actually innocent they just had bad lawyers, or no lawyers when they had their trial. The last time a truly innocent person was executed was before the 1930 s.

The biggest argument for capital punishment is retribution. The victims family often feels relieved when the prisoner has been executed. Retribution satisfies the demand for justice. It channels public outrage into the acceptable form of the criminal sentence. If criminal sentences do not satisfy this demand for justice, angry citizens may lose respect for law and even, on occasion, take it into their own hands (Samaha, 414). The punishment handed out should fit the crime committed, if a murder is committed then he or she deserves to be executed. The best solution to the problem is to execute the prisoner right away, eliminate the nine appeals that the prisoner has a right to. This way it cuts down on the crowded prisons and saves the government a lot of money. It will open up more room for the criminals who are not in prison and allowed to stay on the streets. These convicted murderers should have no right to be allowed to live any longer than after they are convicted. Do it quickly and ease the pain. Those who oppose capital punishment are in the minority today in the United States. By 1989 more than 80 percent of Americans favored the death penalty (Samaha, 437). So with support for capital punishment on the rise, why doesn t the government do what we the people want and endorse capital punishment in every state. So what is the rest of the country waiting for? I have given many good reasons for the death penalty to be enforced. It seems that people are hesitating for no good reason the Supreme Court has ruled it is constitutional, and support for it has risen, and will continue to rise. Studies have proven that capital punishment does deter crime. It will make the United States a safer and better place to live. Capital punishment is the ultimate way to rid America of its waste.


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