In today s world life is in no way at all easy or a given. Just because you are here today doesn t guarantee that you will be here to see the sun tomorrow. There are hundreds of life threatening diseases lurking around us, thousands of fatal transportation accidents everyday, and sometimes natural disasters. But then there are murders, where struggling individuals take into their own hands the decision as to whether you should see the sun tomorrow. Why should a cold-blooded killer be able to kill someone and live to talk about it? They shouldn t, but this is exactly what is happening as we speak. I don t care what anyone says, murder is murder. However in the U.S., only those that commit heinous acts of murder are considered for facing the death penalty. If the criminal justice system continues to enforce the death penalty so sparingly, then basically we are telling killers that what they are doing isn t wrong in society s eyes.
According to Ernest van den Haag, a retired professor of jurisprudence and public policy at Fordham University, in the United States each year there are nearly 20,000 homicides. So one would think that there would be close to 20,000 death penalties issued accordingly. But there isn t. In fact, not even 300 of the convicted are threatened with a death penalty sentence, and those that are given a death penalty sentence doesn t guarantee that they will even see the execution room. With an average waiting time of six to seven years only about 20 executions occur each year nationwide. Murderers do not deserve to survive their victims (van den Haag). I think that this is something that society, as a whole needs to take into severe consideration.
The thoughts of Edward I. Koch illustrate that the death penalty is the only way to convince murderers that they are not going to get away with cold-blooded murder. That s one of the major problems with the rising murder rate today. Murderers know that when they kill someone that there is a good chance that they can get away with it without having to face the death penalty. Proof of this idea in enclosed in the words of Luis Vera, who is serving time because he killed an innocent woman during a break-in. He says, Yeah, I shot her . She knew me, and I knew that I wouldn t go to the chair . Had the killer known that he would see the chair for the crime, maybe he wouldn t have done it. (Koch)
Michael E. Endres, a criminal justice professor at Xavier University, agrees that society has no room for inhuman behavior from violent offenders. However, he feels that there are better ways of doing it rather than capital punishment. We all live in a very plentiful society that seems to sift out those who are deprived either economically or culturally. This part of society is accustomed to uncivilized ways of life. It almost seems as though the death penalty is reserved for those who aren t benefiting from society.
David Bruck, a prominent murder case defense lawyer, feels that the death penalty is not the proper way to take care of things. One reason for this is the possibility that an innocent person could be executed for something they really didn t do. Since 1900, over 400 murder convictions have eventually admitted to being wrong. Luckily, not very many of those convictions led to murders. However, if the death penalty was issued and enforced to every convicted murderer then the number of innocent executions would be much greater than they are. (Bruck)
All in all the death penalty is indeed a great price to pay for a crime. But you have to take into consideration that the convicted took away the life of another citizen. Life is much too precious to overlook murderers so that they can get off with what they have done once only to do the same thing again. Everyone is supposed to take responsibility for their actions, including murderers. I don t think that making a killer sit in jail and think about what he did for five years is adequate punishment. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you . With that in mind when a murderer kills someone what he or she is saying is that they want to be killed too. Eye for an eye . That s how I think that the criminal justice system should take care of things.