Sophia Georgia

Abolish the death penalty

"What purpose does the death penalty serve in a blossoming society?"

Dear Future President,

As the next generation of voters, I believe that it is crucial that during your next four years of presidency that the death penalty must be abolished. Though the death penalty has had a steady decrease in popularity, over 3,035 people remain in death row-meaning it is just a matter of time before they meet their impending death. As American’s we pride ourselves in being from this country. A country that time after time has been proven to be world class, but since when does keeping a medieval punishment on our list reflect that we are the best? We need to dwell on the fact that we as a country cannot answer “what purpose does the death penalty serve in a blossoming society?” and luckily I am here to address that.

The death penalty has been a form of capital punishment since ancient times. It, however, was adapted by the British, and later passed on to America. This not only proves that we were raised with a hate-filled heart, but also that the death penalty is in reality “old news”. In spite of this, the modernization of the 2000’s also brought an alteration to the death penalty. In 1977, the more ‘humane’ method of killing-the lethal injection- was introduced in hopes of keeping true to the 8th Amendment of the the Constitution. Though this did take a step in the right direction-seeing as hanging was no longer a major alternative- to this date, 31 states out of 50 still continue to use the death penalty, be it a firing squad or a lethal injection or even the notorious chair. This is far too many states, and the longer we continue to let it happen the crueler society’s mind will become.

For the last 40 years over 1,400 people have met their unholy fate. This means that about 35 people, give or take, lose their life yearly. Though these people may have committed terrible crimes and put much of the population in danger, is it really a good idea to inflict the same pain? Like the great Gandhi once said , “an eye for an eye will only leave the world blind." Are we meant to be the country that throughout impressive technological advancements and throughout methodical growth, continues to be ‘blind’? It truly is hypocritical, seeing as we are sentencing other to death for committing the same act. Who are we to play God, and to bestow the beastly act of taking a life upon others? Those who have looked death in the face, who have taken a life, who are eventually sentenced to their own demise deserve nothing but death. However, there is a different way to let them suffer, and it is definitely not by killing them.

As I previously mentioned, what truly is the purpose of the death penalty? If, like many people continue to remember it as, is for serving a cold plate of justice, then there are a big number of alternatives that can easily take it’s place. On the other hand, if it is merely to exact revenge then of course no alternative seems to fit better. As we do consider our nation to be focused on serving justice, we should not let vengeance cloud our judgement. We can easily sentence people to life in prison without any chance at parole or life out. If we commit to this and make it much stricter, then there is no need for the death penalty. Though many people may argue that ‘lifers’ will escape or be released that is not exactly the case. If we were to tighten security on prisons and for certain crimes leave out the eligibility for parole, then this would never be a problem again. Many ‘lifers’ do in fact die in the prison. Personally I believe that this is a much more fitting punishment, because they will forever have time to reflect on their actions and rot in their skins. A poll conducted in Florida proved that around 70% of people would in fact support sentencing murders and convicts to a lifetime of prison labor, if the money they earned would go to the family members of the victim or the victim themselves. As of September 2016, 3,035 people are in death row, and this is far too many. Furthermore, keeping people in death row also takes an extensive amount of money. Therefore, keeping the death penalty is far worse than abolishing it.

So I ask of you to take responsibility for your country and fix the tyranny the death penalty allows. It is not humane nor holy, it is an act of human cruelty. Please, be the one to take our nation in the right direction. Fix this. Pave a brighter future for society and eradicate the death penalty.


A future voter

Sophia F