The Death Penalty:
Stopping America s Killers
The death penalty is an effective safeguard against crime. While one cannot help but feel pity for the criminal to excuse his crimes would be a step down the road to forgiving all crimes (McCuen 114). Life sentences do not adequately protect society, whereas the death penalty properly applied does so with certainty (Bender 97). By killing them we give them a zero percent chance of being released to commit a crime or to kill again. The studies show that the death penalty directly effects crime rates; between 1960 and 1969 as executions decreased the number of homicides increased (Zimring 176). By putting killers back into society, society is giving them the change to kill again; therefore, all killers should receive the death penalty.
When given a second chance a person will most likely commit a crime again even if they have already done time for the same or similar crime. The same is true with murders (Zimring 165). This can clearly be seen in the case of Eddie Simon. Eddie Simon was sentenced to death in Los Angeles… he was released from prison… within months he began to attack and kill women again (McCuen 65). The same must be said for the retarded, who must pay for their crimes also. John Paul Penry, a rapist and murder, has the mental age of seven. His lawyers… must not allow him to die… because he didn t understand the nature of his acts (McCuen 114). John Paul Penry was said to have the mental age of seven, yet he knew how to murder and rape a women. In fact, he stuffed her mouth with a sock so no one could hear. The rape was also a planed event. Penry purposely raped and killed this women, if released he could a commit a murder again. The death penalty should be given in all cases similar to this. People in America have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by releasing these murders we do not protect are society adequately.
The US justice system is not perfect. It is comprised of humans, and
(Nardo 39). The truth is no innocent person has been executed in recent history (McCuen 63). With new technology the justice system can use more full-proof ways of convicting a murder. DNA evidence can verify that the person on trial is truly the real murderer. … [M]odern-day examples of executed innocent defendants remain as rare as unicorns, it is much easier to find evidence to execute justly convicted capital murders than would produce fatal mistakes (McCuen 64). Innocents people being convicted of murder will become almost gone as we gain more science and technology knowledge. Senator Strom Thurmond chaired the senate committee stating that the possibility of mistakenly executing an innocent person is necessary price to pay for protection from crime (Nardo 45). The US justice system is also blind; it does not convict someone just based on if they are black or poor, it convicts on hard evidence. There are many reasons why have the people on death row are minorities. In 1987 of 11,474 murders 3,339 were white non-Hispanic, 5,751 were Black, 1,333 were white Hispanic, and 768 were white of unknown ethnicity. This justifies more minority executions (Bender 150). Also, The Racial Justice Act… The act would make it unlawful to carry out a sentence of death imposed on the basis of the defendant or victim (Bender 39). Even though this can not stop the conviction of a minority by accident, it can stop people who purposely want to convict a minority.
The more systematically we eliminate murders by executions… the greater we will be the reinforcement against killing and the greater the number of innocent lives saved (Nardo 25). The numbers add up, and they show that the death penalty does deter would-be murderers. In 1650 there
were 56 executions and 9,140 murders. By 1964 … there were only 15 executions… and 9,250 murders. In 1969 there were no executions and 14,590 murders… after 6 years of no executions in 1975 there were 20,510 murders (Nardo 27). … Dick Thornburg argued that juries should consider the victim s worth when sentencing murders. … [I]ntent was to deter would-be murders by more frequently imposing the death penalty (Nardo
57). The murder rate in Utah decreased as executions became more of a reality as a punishment for murder… people were deterred from committing murder (Nardo 28+29). In many states the death penalty has been proven to drive down and deter crime; this shows that the death penalty is a very affective punishment, not only in stopping one killer and giving the victim s
family justice, but also in stopping a person who could have been a murderer. Those who show no mercy should find none; and if hanging will not restrain them, hanging them in chains, and starving them, or… breaking them on the wheel…. should A. Balwin 1701 (Bender 17). Even though today we cannot use these punishments because of the constitution, we can get the point across using the death penalty.
The death penalty helps our country in many ways and is the most affective punishment we have. The principal reason our nation needs to maintain and carry out capital punishment is that it is the only proper way we can place the highest possible value on innocent human life (McCuen 65). Capital sentences, when carried out, save innocent lives by permanently incapacitating murderers (McCuen 64). In order to have an affective deterrent, the penalty has to be certain and the penalty has to be swift (McCuen 97). Yes, the death penalty is swift and it is very certain. The system may have made mistakes and sentenced a few innocent people to death, but the death penalty has saved countless lives by deterring crime, and if used more, more lives would be saved. Studies shown earlier in the essay shown the reduced amount of crime, with that it brings more life saved. Society can no longer give killers a second chance to kill again, by doing so we are putting more innocent lives in danger than the death penalty does. Being a death row inmate is cruel and unusual punishment, so is being a victim (Bender 57).
Bender, David L. The Death Penalty opposing Viewpoints San Diego, CA:
Green Haven Press, 1991.
McCuen, Gary E. The Death penalty and the Disadvantaged Hudson, WI:
GEM Publications Inc, 1997.