Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Death Penalty

The death penalty. The act of killing someone to punish him for a crime. Is it justifiable, morally and constitutionally? I always thought that putting someone in a cell for the rest of their natural life had to be the most terrifying and worst punishment there could ever be. However, when i was 6 years old, my father enlightened me to the fact that the government could enable capital punishment, and have you killed. Immediately i believed that this was in fact justifiable. If you killed someone, you deserved to die as well. But as I've gotten older, my opinions have changed.

I started to realize that if we incarcerated someone for the rest of their life, why would we kill them? Are they not already suffering a fate worse than death, that of having no free will? Personally I would rather be dead than have to ask when to use the restroom and be told when i must go to bed for the rest of my life. Not to mention on a moral level, that killing people is wrong. Mohatma Ghandi once said that "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole word blind". If we kill someone for having killed another person, how are we any different than the original offender? As a society we cannot make the mistake to sink as low as the common murderer any longer.

People who read this and disagree will most likely bring up the common argument, why should our tax dollars be spent keeping a murderer alive when we could just have them killed? The truth is, capital punishment costs more money than just letting the prisoner live without the option of parole. According to Jeanne Woodford, former director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California spends an additional $177 million each year working towards the death of prisoners on death row. Couldn't that money be spent in other ways, maybe education, which according to the Obama administration needs work? The death penalty is something we must address financially, lawfully, and of course morally.


Sources: Pro and Con online

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Marmaduke Maximillian Winchester III said...

What you fail to mention is that the reason it is more expensive to "kill them" is because they appeal the ruling.

I'm not sure if this is the same California case as yours but one article I found says this:

...One of those in favour of banning the death penalty is a Californian judge who has sent nine men to death row. Only one of them has died - of a heart attack in prison. "It's a waste of time and money", says the 82 year old retired judge. "Convicted inmates are on death row for about twenty years. It takes that long for a case to go through the whole system of appeals. It only makes the victims suffer longer".

So technically it's cheaper to keep them alive, but are we really sending them to "death row" when we sentence them?

typhoid penny said...

I agree with getting rid of the death penalty. It is the same as the murderer killing someone. Why should we get to decide who lives and who dies?

Pirate For Hire said...

A thought for all those who just read this article.

Why do we kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?

Snuffleupagus said...

I like Pirate for Hire's extra thought on this article. It made me think a little more and think about the death penalty in a different light.

I don't think that the issue of the death penalty will be solved anytime soon because it brings up issues that are moral to each individual and their own circumstances.

Mister T said...

considering the fact that according to Arizona state law all prisons have cable television, that all prisoners get free lodging, and food at absolutley no cost to them, and only to the taxpayers. I would say that the death penalty is an appropriate form of punishment. I'm not saying that the death penalty shold be more prevelant, but the fact is that the lowest of the low on death row live better lives then some of the working class Americans. With the death penalty enacted, it can create fear in the minds of potential criminals. This is a good fear, a fear that may prevent them from committing an act of homicide.