Hannah P. Michigan

Capital Punishment

The death penalty should not be carried out when punishing people in the court of law. Capital punishment goes against the Eighth amendment, and believe it or not, actually costs more than jailing.


Your child is screaming because you have just run out of their favorite formula, so you hastily run to the supermarket to buy some more. When approaching the checkout, you see a suspicious looking man and realize he has something hidden under his coat, but it is too late. He pulls out his gun and starts taking the lives of the people nearby and quickly flees. You drop the merchandise and run as fast as you can back home panicked by the events you have just witnessed. Two weeks later there is a knock on the door, and you are taken into custody and have been accused of a mass murder. You plead that you are a victim and that you are not the one to be held responsible, but the supermarket does not have video surveillance. The only lead they have is a single strand of hair that DNA test results confirm is yours. When put in front of the judge, you have been sentenced to death. Just like that, your life is over. When dealing with capital punishment, the innocence rate is 4.1%. According to many civil court cases, more than 7 people have been executed since 2000 and have been later reported not guilty. Gary Graham, for example, had fallen victim in an event similar to the one exemplified. He was put to death because of one single hair and a fingerprint. One year after he was executed, it was found that the results were inaccurate.

The infliction of capital punishment, or ‘the death penalty’, due to certain civil atrocities such as murder is an ineffective and immoral procedure attempted to rid the nation of domestic injustices. Not only is it unprincipled, but it is also analytically awry. With capital punishment comes many blemishes. Things that should be taken into account before deciding if the death penalty is right include false allegations, the eighth amendment, and the fact that capital punishment is the easy way out.

Many may argue that the death penalty should be allowed because the amount of resources the prisoners take up, but what people do not know is that it costs more to execute them. It costs taxpayers two to five million dollars per execution while life in prison averages at one million. This is also the reason that more people of minimal wealth are executed compared to the wealthy. Over 99% of the people on death row are indigent.

Many people believe that the death penalty is justifiable because anyone who takes another person’s life should also have their life taken, but how effective is capital punishment? Considering that these people do not have enough respect for other people’s lives, why would they have any respect for their own? These people should not be able to take the easy way out. There is a difference between dying and having no life. Rotting inside a prison waiting endlessly for the inevitable with nothing else to live for seems like a more effective punishment than death. Peter Kurten’s last words on death row were, “ Tell me. After my head’s been chopped off. Will I still be able to hear the blood gushing from my neck? That would be a pleasure to all pleasures.” He found his execution to be comical. Why give people like him the satisfaction? Jeffery Dohmer’s last words were, “ I don’t care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.” These criminals deserve to deteriorate in the worst way possible. Putting them to death is not sufficient.