Dear Future President:
After watching a documentary in ninth grade on how we deal with the criminals that “cannot be reconciled with,” I was disgusted to hear the type of punishments they were dealt. So it had me pondering, What is justice? How do we define “doing the right thing”? Is ending the life of a living human being to dish out “justice” the right thing? No. It never is. As Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Therefore, I believe that we need to abolish the death penalty permanently.
Executions that have become part of our criminal punishment system are not rehabilitation, as jails and prisons were intended to be. In the past, executions were considered a last resort for criminals who had gone past the point of rehabilitation. But, we’re not living in the past anymore. Or are we?
We have many ways to deal with the more dangerous criminals, but, just like our past selves, we still kill them and justify it because it's “quick” and “humane.” Yet, it is estimated that over 270 convicts that were promised quick deaths suffered painful, “justified” deaths (BBC News). We’re just as bad as the criminals that we lock up if we continue to murder these people.
As leaders of the new world, we’re supposed to take initiative and lead by example. How can we teach our generation to be “the better person” when we use these “punishments” as a form of revenge? Therefore, I hope you’ll fix this century-long excuse so that life imprisonment or exile is no longer seen as a “profitable” option--before our society as a whole starts to put a monetary value on human life.