The Reasons against Capital Punishment

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The death penalty is barbaric and profound, defined through killing being a more economically and socially understandable ruling to those who commit heinous crimes. “The application of the death penalty is so arbitrary that it violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment (Cornell Law)”. The judicial system should not have the right to hand these sentences to individuals, it is basically giving them the right to kill human beings. Capital punishment is a direct loophole to the civil liberties, and fundamental values of our Federal Republic government. There have always been convictions and executions of innocent civilians in America. No matter, how advanced a judicial system is, it will always falter and remain susceptible to human error. Far from prison sentences, the death penalty is permanent. Capital Punishment in the United States is applied in an unregulated and preferential manner against civilians, largely dependent on how much wealth they may have, the skill and/or reputation of their attorneys, and the nationality of the victim and where the crime may have taken place. While some may argue that the death penalty is ethical, this paper asserts the acts of capital punishment are unjust and horrid.

The death penalty is an excessive waste of the taxpayer’s money and has no public safety benefit. The American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU), states, “a survey of police chiefs nationwide found they rank the death penalty lowest among ways to reduce violent crime.” They determined that increasing the number of black and whites (Police officers), reducing and controlling the uses of drugs, and creating a better economy with more jobs higher than the death penalty as the best way to reduce violence. Is it worth the risk? It is a ruthless and unorthodox punishment, which goes against our own amendments in the United States Constitution. Crime will always be a piece of the world and there will be and are better ways to handle it. The death penalty disregards the rights to life which is the most basic of all our human rights. It infringes our right to not be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

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The death penalty should be eradicated. Every year, countless people are put on death row for a heinous crime they did not commit. There's no way of knowing if they committed the crime or not. As recently stated by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA), “there is no conclusive evidence of the deterrent value of the death penalty” (UNGA). In many detention states, the successfulness of capital punishment is needed in order to prevent criminal acts, is questioned by a continuously increasing number of law enforcement professionals. Not only that but the injection method is the most severe way to do it compared to other methods, it collapses your lungs before the individual has a chance to yell in excruciating pain. In the ACLU article, it declares that “The injection chemicals are becoming more and more rare, thus making it more expensive with each injection. In fact, it is cheaper to keep an inmate in prison for life without parole than it is to kill them.” It isn’t wise to spend more taxpayer dollars on a morally questionable act that has shown little to no signs of determent. We are just wasting our limited tax dollars on non-useful elements that make no dent to the increasing crime rates.

The Eighth Amendment in the Bill of Rights, clearly expresses that “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.'' Though some may say that the death penalty is pure justice, it is just revenge for the victims. With capital punishment, you are purposefully deciding punishment by death for a criminal. This is the same conceptualization as eye for an eye and body for a body. It disregards human rights by our government enforcing the death of a human. The death penalty is essentially killing the killer. If we exchange an eye for an eye the whole world will be blind. Countless people in the history of the United States have been exonerated after receiving the death penalty. Even for one innocent to have to die is one too many. The death sentence is an incredibly costly and waste of information on murders and how they function as well. Supporters of capital punishment seem to tend to appeal to the emotions, but at the end of the day this type of revenge that seems so mainstream is never truly satisfying, it's just another death.

On the other hand, some may argue that capital punishment is not vicious and is certainly not uncommon. Capital punishment is only a vicious punishment if it is a too hard punishment for the criminal act. For example, should littering be execution worthy? No, unnecessary. Should mass killers and sex offenders who are mentally unstable and cannot offer anything positive to society and threaten other individuals be executed? Absolutely. It should be used to suppress criminals who cannot be law-abiding members of society, and we should not have to use our tax dollars for them to stay in jail/prison/mental asylum where they will and can cause more problems. Consider mass-murderers, serial rapists and other transgressors. These lawbreakers are often punished with life-sentences or stay at psychiatric wards (which are infamous for almost never releasing 'patients'). How is capital punishment crueler than the fantasy of living in a cell for the remainder of your life? Capital punishment, when used in synchronous with rehabilitation and other forms of methods of dealing with criminals, can be a successful deterrent, and can also bring a sense of relief to victims' families. Capital punishment holds a vital role in the criminal judicial system. It is cheaper for the government to kill murderers than to keep them in prison for the duration of their lives. The few mistakes that are made in carrying out the death penalty are offset by its crime prevention and economic benefits. Society has a moral right to punish the most violent criminals by taking their lives. Some violent criminals are vile, wicked persons who deserve to die. Though, it is an easy way out for criminals. It would be more humane to rather have them suffer in jail for the rest of their life without parole. It is not uncommon for murders to not fear death, so this form of punishment is not a deterrent, more of a get out of jail free card.

In conclusion, the death penalty is a very controversial topic in society. An author, Timm Bruch, from Global News Canada, recalls, “In 2008, a man by the name of Vince Lee was on a Greyhound bus in Canada, had a psychotic episode, took out a knife and decapitated the man next to him, a man by the name of Tim Maclean.” Yes; beheaded. “He took the guy’s head off, and if that wasn't enough, he started eating parts of the man, and when police arrived, he tauntingly held up the head to the bus window.” This young man was found, ''not criminally responsible'' by the judicial system, who said he was a schizophrenic and not aware of what he was doing was wrong, and he was then jailed in a mental institution (Bruch 1). In 2012, only four years later, he is now allowed to venture on ''short, supervised outings'' into the community. There are many cases where you cannot be entirely sure; there are no witnesses, but the evidence points to it possibly being this one person guilty of murder, or it was sort of accident, or it's kind of justifiable even though it's still illegal. So, they go to jail for the rest of their lives. But, when you have a bus full of witnesses, when you have an individual who is so insane that he did not realize that removing a guy’s head off and eating parts of him was inhumane, why would you not just suppress the man? This occurs with dogs all the time, like when a dog thinks a child’s face would make a good entree, and proceeds to devour it. Somehow, we have chosen that human lives are valued more even when the human is a twisted, sick, and warped shadow of one. A man who snapped, was mentally ill and did not know what he was doing, should not be compared to a dog who did not know what it was doing. We may be animals but we should not stoop to their level.

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The Reasons against Capital Punishment. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 16, 2024, from
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