Last Updated 03 Jan 2023

An Argument on Why I Believe the Death Penalty is Not Unconstitutional or Cruel

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Capital Punishment and the Death Penalty are both common topics of debate in the United States which have many Americans divided. While some Americans support the idea of killing criminals for doing wrong, others do not. There are many reasons as to why I believe the death penalty is not unconstitutional or cruel, such as morality, deterrence, and uniformity.

Morality is best defined as “principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad." Also, most people that have been sentenced their execution more than likely have a valid reason to be put on the death row. In terms of the economy, to keep prisoners held hostage for an extended period of time is a large chunk of taxpayer's money. According to the Vera Institute of Justice, “A study in 2012 found the aggregate cost of prisons in 2010 in the 40 states that participated was $39 billion." This proves that most people who are sentenced to prison for life, should be added to the death row. What are they going to accomplish in prison?

Capital punishment deters citizens from committing crimes. For some people, death is their biggest fear. According to Ernest van den Hagg, a wise professor at Fordham University, "... capital punishment is likely to deter more than other punishments because people fear death more than anything else. They fear most death deliberately inflicted by law and scheduled by the courts." If citizens fear death, chances are they are less likely to commit crimes in which Capital Punishment could come in to play.

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Also, the death penalty is something that isn't used every day but when the time comes for certain criminal cases, we are lucky to still have it around in certain states. As Dieter says in Source A, "The death penalty is rarely applied." Since the death penalty isn't used as often as it was, it is currently being used in cases where it is most needed. Most criminal cases don't reach the standards of being executed, however when some cases are looked over and execution is a proper form of punishment, this is when I believe Capital Punishment should still exist.

The United States needs to have a uniform measure when dealing with Capital Punishment. Some people will travel to certain states commit crimes such as California because they don't believe in the Death Penalty. It's a luck of geography and which is not equitable for Americans. According to Source C, Khaliah Brown-Dean says, "These disparities persist across and within states. Texas, for example, has the highest rate of executions in the United States and accounted for 60 percent of execution warrants issued for capital offenses committed by juveniles. Harris County, in Texas, has executed more people than Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia combined." Brown-Dean proves a point where Texas seems to have a lot more executions because of their criminal rate, which has jumped up 27% since 2014.

"When pollsters seek the appropriate punishment for the worst of the worst - a man who rapes and tortures a child, a serial killer, a depraved mass murderer..." People who are serial killers without a doubt should be sentenced to prison. Some believe that a killer shouldn't be executed for killing others however, if they are taking the lives of innocent people I truly believe that they should be killed as well; such as, Ricky Gray.

On New Year's Day of 2006 in Richmond, Virginia, Gray went in to the home of the Harvey family and stabbed all four members of the household. He was sentenced his execution shortly after the incident and I believe that the Justice System made every right move. Another example would be The Snipers of Richmond, Virginia. The snipers drilled a hole through the trunk of their car where they inserted a gun. These two men, John Allen Muhammed and Lee Boyd Malvo, convinced the public as if he was a serial killer however, while he did kill over 7 people in over a week, their main focus was to kill one's ex-wife to gain full custody over his children. If Muhammed had killed the ex-wife and gained custody of his three children, the children could very well be in danger.

Capital Punishment can be a difficult topic to approach because of the different views that citizens have upon it. Death Penalty should still exist in the United States as a whole because certain criminal cases reach the extent of being executed. It is important that the nation is united as a whole on this issue, while some states support it, others do not. It is crucial that we make the court system agree as one on this topic, to help save our country.

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