Death Penalty: Argument
There are four main reasons for punishment: rehabilitation (to return someone to a former status), reformation (to re-form or re-create an individual), deterrence (to deter others or to deter the person punished), and retribution (an eye for an eye).
The death penalty is a punishment to a person in which the person is put to death for a very serious crime they have committed, usually when they take another person’s life. Our state and federal legislators have created laws that specifically identify which crimes a person commits that can be punishable by the death penalty.
The death penalty is seen as a deterrent to increasing and more serious crime. If members of the society know that if they commit serious crimes they could be put to death for it, they are less likely to commit these crimes. However, there is great disagreement in our society about whether it is a true deterrent to crime or not.
When I think of the thousands of inhabitants of Death Rows in the prisons in this country…my reaction is: “What’s taking us so long? Let’s get that electrical current flowing. Drop those pebbles now!” Whenever I argue this with friends who have opposite views, they say that I don’t have enough regard for the most marvelous of miracles – human life. Just the opposite: It’s because I have so much regard for human life that I favor capital punishment. Murder is the most terrible crime there is. Anything less than the death penalty is an insult to the victim and society. It says…that we don’t value the victim’s life enough to punish the killer fully.
Many abolition supporters quote, “the death penalty is not a deterrent.” Many abolitionist also add there is NO deterrent for a murderer (there will always be a few individuals that are up for a challenge no matter what the consequences are for their crimes in my opinion). Since jail is neither a deterrent in essence, according to those that wish to abolish the death penalty, how long before “jail time” for murderers would be their next punishment to target for removal from our books.
One argument states that the death penalty does not deter murder. Dismissing capital punishment on that basis requires us to eliminate all prisons as well because they do not seem to be any more effective in the deterrence of crime.
Others say that states which do have the death penalty have higher crime rates than those that don’t, that a more severe punishment only inspires more severe crimes. I must point out that every state in the union is different. These differences include the populations, number of cities, and yes, the crime rates. Strongly urbanized states are more likely to have higher crime rates than states that are more rural, such as those that lack capital punishment. The states that have capital punishment have it because of their high crime rate, not the other way around.
Abolitionists claim that there are alternatives to the death penalty. They say that life in prison without parole serves just as well. Certainly, if you ignore all the murders criminals commit within prison when they kill prison guards and other inmates, and also when they kill decent citizens upon escape, like Dawud Mu’Min who was serving a 48-year sentence for the 1973 murder of a cab driver when he escaped a road work gang and stabbed to death a storekeeper named Gadys Nopwasky in a 1988 robbery that netted $4.00. Fortunately, there is now no chance of Mu’Min committing murder again. He was executed by the state of Virginia on November 14, 1997.
In 1962, James Moore raped and strangled 14-year-old Pamela Moss. Her parents decided to spare Moore the death penalty on the condition that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole. Later on, thanks to a change in sentencing laws in 1982, James Moore is eligible for parole every two years!
If Pamela’s parents knew that they couldn’t trust the state, Moore could have been executed long ago and they could have put the whole horrible incident behind them forever. Instead they have a nightmare to deal with biannually. I’ll bet not a day goes by that they don’t kick themselves for being foolish enough to trust the liberal sham that is life imprisonment and rehabilitation. (According to the US Department of Justice, the average prison sentence served for murder is five years and eleven months.)
Putting a murderer away for life just isn’t good enough. Laws change, so do parole boards, and people forget the past. Those are things that cause life imprisonment to weather away. As long as the murderer lives, there is always a chance, no matter how small, that he will strike again. And there are people who run the criminal justice system who are naive enough to allow him to repeat his crime.
Abolitionists claim that the death penalty is un-constitutional by quoting the eighth amendment which forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” “Cruel and unusual” has never been defined by our founding fathers, but let’s examine the issue anyway.
Where does the Supreme Court stand on the “cruel and unusual” claim of the abolitionists? In several cases the Justices of the Supreme Court have held that the DP is not cruel and/or unusual , and is in fact, a Constitutionally acceptable remedy for a criminal act.
?No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.?
“Whoever shedeth man?s blood,
by man shall his blood shall be shed.”
“He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death.”
The whole reason why nations and governments exist is to defend their decent citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. When a society ignores their moral duty to defend the safety and security of their decent citizens and leaves them at the mercy of violent criminals, they are not being “civilized,” they are being negligent.
I am certain that there will come a time when all the nations in the world will be forced to agree after decades of experience on this issue, that capital punishment, like the military and the police force and taxes, is an inevitable and unavoidable consequence of every civilized society and it will no longer be a question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used.
While I believe that prompt and consistent executions would have a deterrent effect, there remains one great virtue, even for infrequent executions. The recidivism rate for capital punishment is zero. No executed murderer has ever killed again. You can’t say that about those sentenced to prison, even if you are an abolitionist.
By giving a murderer the death penalty, we are treating him with the same respect he treated his victim. We are giving them what they deserve, exactly what they did to the victim. If someone kills and only receives 15 years in jail, this is stating that the victim?s life was only worth 15 years. When in reality, the person?s life was worth another person?s life. Even life in jail, is still giving the murderer partial freedom, this freedom is to live. By taking his life, he is losing freedom, which is exactly what he took away from his victim. Equal treatment and justice demands a punishment that matches the crime. Capital punishment for premeditated murder provides exactly this.
The death penalty is the only punishment, if any that will deter anyone from committing such the horrible crime of murder. The thing that most people fear most is death. If anything will stop the murderer from killing it is the thought that he might die himself. If he kills a victim, he kills himself. This if any will be the only hope that less murders will occur. Any other punishment is reversible, death isn?t.
My group feels that the killing of another human being without reason is cold and cruel, and should never go without an equal sentence. To murder someone shows that you have no conscience and are very liable to do the same thing again, if you were to get the chance. There is no way of guaranteeing that the convict will never kill again, he could be let out on bail or escape from jail. The murderer will kill and kill until he is caught again. With the death penalty time, money, and lives would?ve been saved.
As it states in the Bible:
?Whosoever shedeth the man?s blood
by man shall his blood be shed.?
The Old Testament, Genesis 9:6
This states that if a man kills, by man he shall die. The Bible also states:
?Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth,
hand for a hand, foot for a foot.?
The Old Testament, Numbers 21:24
This states that whatever was done to the victim shall be done to the culprit.
I believe murderers should be put to death because the person?s life who they have taken away has also affected and destroyed the lives of the person?s family and friends. These people will be put at ease knowing that justice was served to the murderer and that he is now dead.
These are just a few of the reasons that lead me to believe that the death penalty is not only a suitable sentence for a convicted murderer but a must! It all comes down to one thing: if someone kills an innocent person, the same act he has done deserves to be done to him.