Capital punishment, or better known
as the death penalty, is a very controversial issue in the United
States today. The death penalty has been viewed by many people as
wrong, while still other people see the death penalty to be
acceptable in today s society. People who oppose the death penalty
complain that it is morally wrong, and the majority of the people who
receive the death penalty are wrongfully treated, either due to race,
poverty, or even gender. Even though many people oppose the death
penalty, there are still people, such as myself, who feel that the
death penalty should be accepted in the United States today. Whether
it is to reduce overcrowding in prisons, or to cut down on serious
crimes, I feel that the death penalty should be accepted in the
United States and in other countries around the world.
Some people in the United States feel
that the death penalty is wrong and should be abolished. People
believe that capital punishment diminishes all of us and contributes
towards a brutal cycle of violence, which is all too prevalent in our
society (Capital 105). People also are unconvinced that our society
can teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill. Opponents
of the death penalty also claim that minorities and poor defendants
are more likely to be convicted and receive the death penalty than
white and wealthy defendants (Capital 79). Statistics tend to show
that Black defendants who were convicted of killing Whites were most
likely to receive death sentences than White murderers (Capital 79).
Another reason people feel the death
penalty is wrong is due to religious and morality issues. According
to some religious beliefs, their opposition to the use of the death
penalty reflects their commitment to human life and human dignity.
Religious followers believe that executions end a life, deny dignity,
and remove any chance for repentance and forgiveness (Capital 105).
The last reason many people oppose the death penalty is due to the
cost of putting a person to death. Statistics show that putting a
person to death costs as much as three times the expense of lifetime
incarceration (Capital 104).
While people believe that the death
penalty should be abolished, I, along with many other people feel
that the United States should keep the death penalty. The main reason
I think that we should keep the death penalty in the United States is
because of the overpopulation of many prisons around the country. Due
to this overpopulation of prisons, the American people have to spend
tax dollars to keep the many prisoners incarcerated. Another reason I
feel that we need to keep the death penalty is because I think that
people who kill should get the same treatment done to them as they
did to someone else.
People who oppose the death penalty
complain that race is a big factor in the sentencing of the death
penalty. If someone feels that they have been racially discriminated,
there is something they could someday do. Congress is looking at a
Racial Justice Act, which makes it unlawful to carry out a sentence
of death imposed on the basis of the race of the defendant or victim.
This would allow persons under the sentence of death to challenge
their sentences (but not their convictions) by using evidence that
shows a pattern of racially discriminatory death sentencing (McCuen
The death penalty is also good for
the United States, because it serves as a deterrent to heinous
crimes. I also feel that the death penalty is justified for certain
especially violent crimes. It seems that some people commit such
violent crimes, that they do not deserve the right to live in
society. The last reason the death penalty should remain is that the
death penalty can protect society from further harm by the offender.
As stated in the Fifth Amendment, no
persons shall be held to answer for a capital crime, unless on a
presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury nor be deprived of life
without due process of law. I feel that this permits that the death
penalty is not a form of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by
the Eighth Amendment. Even though I believe that the death penalty
should be accepted, there are still people that do not want the death
penalty in the United States. I feel that all of the points I have
addressed are important to eliminate or keep the death penalty, but
it seems that there will forever be a controversy over the death
penalty and it s procedures.
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