Elizabeth-Kate P. Louisiana

Death Penalty

The death penalty has been debated for many years, and I think it is time to eliminate it officially.

Dear Mr. or Madam President: 

The death penalty, also referred as capital punishment, is a disciplinary sentence set after conviction for a person who as committed a crime. The federal government of the United States applies the death penalty for crimes: terrorism, treason, large-scale drug trafficking, espionage, attempt of murder of a witness, or juror, and federal murder. Deathpenaltyinfo.org is a website created by lawyers and educators who educate people on the death penalty. This group of people state in their website deathpenaltyinfo.org, that there has been 1,438 people killed from execution by the government since 1976. The death penalty is one of the most debated issues in the Criminal Justice System. According to popular debate website ProCon.org, Hawaii, Alaska, District of Columbia, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Maine, Wisconsin, Vermont, Massachusetts, and West Virginia are the only states in America that do not have the death penalty. People for death penalty say it is an important way to preserve law and order, keep crimes from being repeated, fits the crime, helps grieving families, and shows honor to the victim.

I respect those proponents of the death penalty because maybe they have a personal experience that goes with their opinion. I would have to disagree, however, with letting the government take a human's life for many important reasons. One very important reason is that it is hypocritical. We are killing someone for killing someone. Many ways of execution have occurred over time, and include hanging, drowning, crucifixion, lethal injection, decapitation, burning, stoning, and impalement. I do agree that the criminal does not deserve the right to be free on the streets, but most criminals are sentenced to life in prison anyway. Dan Brook, instructor of sociology and political science at San Jose State University, says life without parole gives the criminals a swift, severe, permanent punishment. There is a better, smarter alternative than the death penalty. Why not make the person suffer for what they did and maybe rethink their actions, instead of quickly taking his life? Life in prison without parole serves a lot more justice, in my opinion. 

Money would be saved if death penalty was completely eliminated. Brook also argues that execution costs around nine times more expensive as life in prison. Every execution, including the person's trial, imprisonment, and the process to take the human's life costs about $250 million dollars (Brook). The money we spend on the death penalty process could be directed towards many important things like therapy for the loved ones' family or effective programs that could make our society safer. Innocent people end up on death row; A study last year showed, at a conservative estimate, "more than 4 percent of inmates sentenced to death in the United States are probably innocent," stated by Philip Holloway, CNN legal analyst. Innocent people are losing their lives because of the death penalty; how would you feel if a loved one of yours was executed for no reason? 

The last reason I will discuss is that the death penalty does not deter crime. Dr. Jonathan Grone, an associate professor of surgery at Ohio State University observed, "The psychological mind-set of the criminal is such that they are not able to consider consequences at the time of the crime. Most crimes are crimes of passion that are done in situations involving intense excitement or concern. People who commit these crimes are not in a normal state of mind -- they do not consider the consequences in a logical way".

I wish there would be no serious crimes committed, but that only exists in a perfect dream world. The world continues to have murder and other crimes committed daily, so what would be a better alternative than killing someone for their crime? The death penalty costs more, does not decrease crime rates, and puts innocent people at risk. I think the best alternative is to make criminals live with their decision in a prison cell for life without possibility of parole. We should also take a good look at prison life. It is sad to know, some criminals might live a better and easier life a than the poor people in our world. I also believe certain criminals, based on their criminals, do not deserve parole. Prison should be a punishment and for some inmates, it should be a slow lingering death. I completely agree with the statement from Dan Brook at commondreams.org, "We need to kill the death penalty, not people."

Cedar Creek School

Cedar Creek School

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