Friday, January 23, 2009

An Eye for an Eye

Those who oppose the death penalty claim that it is committing a crime just like criminal, and how a life sentence is more effective. However, former Republican candidate, Mitt Romney was, as Seth Stern put it in his article, Can You Build a Foolproof Death Penalty? "pushing capital punishment with a provocative new twist." The provocative twist is that capital punishment is "possible to adopt a death-penalty system so reliable that innocents on death row can be made a thing of the past." Romney also claims, "Just as science can be used to free the innocent, it can be used to identify the guilty." Science can also be used to prove the falling numbers of homicides with inmates on death row. In Studies Say Death Penalty Deters Crime by Robert Tanner, he states just that. "Each execution deters an average of 18 murders, according to a 2003 nationwide study by professors at Emory University." With the execution of one person, the United States saves 18 more people. Eighteen people who could have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Eighteen people whose goals in life would have been to do good things. While the execution of that one person, who didn't have that goal in mind. That one person who took the life of an innocent person, and ultimately lost their innocence. That one person who was proven guilty and put on death row; taking that one life saves a few more. For those who are opposed to capital punishment because it's committing a similar crime as the criminal sentenced, consider this quote from Henry J. Cordes's article, New Lethal Injection Protocol Is Possible, "New York Law School professor Robert Blecker is a strong death penalty supporter. He has no problem with painful executions, asking, "Can't some killers deserve a quick but painful death?"
I'm not saying, just kill every person who's committed a crime. True, capital punishment is not a perfect system for dealing with certain crimes and criminals. But no system can be foolproof. The process is rather long, leading many criminals to come down with a cause of the "death row syndrome." "Death row inmates can now expect to wait an average of 12 years from the day of their sentencing to death by lethal injection or electric chair, a doubling of the time gap in the mid-1980s, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice," as Michael J. Carter wrote in his article, U.S.: Longer Waits on Death Row Erode Mental Health. I want to leave you with this quote from Walter Berns's Can't Have One Without the Other? "A world so lacking in passion lacks the necessary components of punishment. Punishment has its origins in the demand for justice, and justice is demanded by angry, morally indignant men, men who are angry when someone else is robbed, raped, or murdered ... This anger is an expression of their caring, and the just society needs citizens who care for each other, and for the community of which they are parts. One of the purposes of punishment, particularly capital punishment, is to recognize the legitimacy of that righteous anger and to satisfy and thereby to reward it. In this way, the death penalty, when duly or deliberately imposed, serves to strengthen the moral sentiments required by a self-governing community."


Works Cited

Berns, Walter. "Can't Have One Without the Other?" Weekly Standard 4 Feb. 2008: 18-19.
Carter, Michael J. "U.S.: Longer Waits on Death Row Erode Mental Health." Inter Press Service 4 Nov. 2008.
Cordes, Henry J. "New Lethal Injection Protocol Is Possible." Omaha World-Herald 10 Feb. 2008.
Stern, Seth. "Can You Build a Foolproof Death Penalty?" CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR 5 Nov. 2003.
Tanner, Robert. "Studies Say Death Penalty Deters Crime." LINCOLN COURIER 11 June 2007

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Rambunctious Mongoose said...

This is always a hotly debated subject almost anywhere you go. If you say the death penalty is a good thing, then why do you have the people on death row on it for 12 years? If someone has done a crime worthy of dying for themselves, shouldn't they be killed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of them somehow getting out of jail, and committing the same crime. I'm not saying capital punishment is a good thing, I am just saying that if you are going to have it, speed the process up, and not have inmates on death row for over a decade.

pawbearcatpaw said...

To me, the death penalty solves nothing. They commit these awful crimes and then are just killed so they don't have to live with guilt or punishment. I think that brutal punishment would be better. I'm not for abuse but I'm not for killing so at least they would have to suffer much more from abuse. Their suffering would be nothing compared to the families of the ones they killed.

Lil BK said...

If we start doing brutal punishment, it makes us just like them! It isn't right either way. I understand that people are mad that the killer of their blood our alive and the one's they love are not, however it doesn't make it right to wish for someone to be dead. Two wrongs do not make a right. If we do have brutal punishment, it would be like we are now the abusers.