Lucy M. Illinois

To Death with the Death Penalty

I feel very strongly that the death penalty should be illegal. This is a letter to the presidential candidates trying to persuade them into vetoing any bill having to do with legalizing the death penalty.

September 21, 2016

Dear 2016 Presidential Candidates,

The sentence of death was created by the Ancient Chinese. The United States of America has had the death punishment around since the thirteen colonies. In 1972 the Supreme court reduced the penalty to life in prison. Over the years, 31 states have passed a law allowing them to use death as a punishment. The death penalty should be illegal. It is expensive, has risks of executing an innocent person, doesn’t stop the crimes from happening and goes against the eighth amendment. Death seems like the easy way out, compared to spending the rest of your life in a prison cell without parole.

According to DPIC (Death Penalty Information Center) in the state of Texas, performing a death sentence on a person will cost taxpayers a total of 2.3 million dollars. This is three times more than it would cost to imprison a person in a single cell at the highest level security for forty years. That money could be better spent on different issues in the United States like poverty or homelessness. Taxpayers money is being wasted just so the government can murder a “guilty” person.

According to Russ Feingold, in the states where the death penalty is legalized, about one out of every seven people executed is innocent. This is not ok. America is supposed to be a safe place for people to live, and it truly isn’t when you could be murdered because you were thought to commit a crime that you didn’t.

Death penalty doesn't make a change to the crime rate either. The American Civil Liberties Union stated that states that have the death penalty do not have lower crime rates. So, the death penalty is kind of pointless unless you feel like you need “revenge”. As Raymond A. Schroth said “...[the death penalty] continues the cycle of violence...” Many people dream of living in world peace, well that's kind of hard to do when this country continues to kill people as punishment. It only adds to the large amount of violence in the world.

My final argument against the death penalty, has to do with the eighth amendment located in our Constitution. The eighth amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment. Death is a cruel and unusual punishment. The Constitution shows the way we would like to have our country run, so why do we continue to kill people?

The next president should, veto any bill that would legalize the death penalty. Save innocent people’s lives and let the guilty suffer in prison.


Lucy Metz

Bernotas Middle School

Strebel's Kids

Block Two

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