The Death Penalty: Abolishment is the Only Solution
One of the most amazing things about living in the United States is the freedom to choose. While I respect that freedom, I feel that the freedom some states use to kill convicted criminals is uncivilized, and the practice should stop immediately.
First, I believe that human beings, and the courts are run by human beings, should not decide whether other people live or die. To me, God should be the sole decider of life and death. Second, there are people on death row who have been proven innocent after years in prison. If those people had been put to death before being exonerated, there are no measures to give a person his or her life back. Finally, we begin teaching young children to treat others as they want to be treated, not as they’ve treated you. We teach children to “turn the other cheek.” Yet, when it comes to felons, we are practicing the old “eye for an eye” adage. What message does this send to our children?
Abolishment of the death penalty is getting a lot of support. In a Feb. 16, 2007 news article, reporter Vivian Berger discussed New Jersey’s push to eliminate the death penalty. She wrote, “The odds are good that New Jersey will make history by becoming the first jurisdiction to repeal the death penalty in the modern era of capital punishment” (para. 1). She also cited a May 2006 Gallup poll which found that 48 percent of Americans preferred life imprisonment as an alternative to the death sentence (para. 7). Berger also mentioned the cost of the death sentence. She wrote, “Florida spent $51 million more a year on the death penalty than what it would have spent in a life without parole regime” (para. 8). This is clear evidence that there is more than one reason to get rid of the death penalty.
Of course, supporters of the death penalty have their reasons for wanted felons (sometimes recitivists) to die for their crimes. They believe that a heinous punishment should follow a heinous act. They feel that when a crime is too gruesome, the offender simply doesn’t deserve to live. Sometimes, they feel that the families of victims get satisfaction from knowing that the person who severely maimed or killed their loved ones will be put to death. According to Berger, however, many families do not, in fact, support the death penalty. Some of them feel the process is too tedious, and others just don’t believe that more death honors the memory of their loved ones.
On Feb. 21, 2007, Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden of Baltimore spoke out in hopes of getting the death penalty abolished in Maryland. The march 12, 2007 Sign of the Times reported that his speech was “an unusual move that highlights the priority Maryland’s bishops have placed on abolishing the death penalty” (para. 1).
As iterated earlier, the death penalty goes against my personal beliefs. I think it is inhumane to kill other people, for any reason. Most states ban euthanasia for terminally ill people who are in severe pain. Why, then, would we kill perfectly healthy men an women because they have committed a crime. We should all be pro-life. If a person commits an horrible act, he or she should be punished, but with life in prison. It saves the states money – and it keeps our society humane.
Berger, Vivian. “N.J. Move Brightens Prospects for Abolition of the Death Penalty.”
New Jersey Law Journal (Feb. 16, 2007): no pagination.
“Maryland Bishop Urges Ban on Death Penalty.” Signs of the Times. March 12, 2007: