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Argument Against Capital Punishment Essay

1384 words - 6 pages

Welcome to America, the land of the free, of the prosperous, of the opulent. America the Beautiful, one of the only places in the world where all citizens regardless of race, background, or social class are constitutionally guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—that is unless you're on death row. In modern day America we are still faced with the antiquated ritual of capital punishment, a practice that interferes directly with the law of the land. The same forms of punishment used during the middle ages are still in effect today, the same ideas that should have been abolished had the U.S. government revised it's penology. Capital punishment is cruel as well as unusual and inadequate for our advanced society. The United States is known world wide as a place of freedom, however standing alone as one of the few Western countries with the death penalty still in motion reinforces an idea that the United States is bound by past barbaric practices.
The U.S. Constitution clearly states that each and every citizen is undeniably granted rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. However, capital punishment seems to challenge that statute. The state and federal governments can deem any individual convicted of a horrid crime fit and that individual can be subject to execution. "We see the death penalty as perpetuating a cycle of violence and promoting a sense of vengeance in our culture….we cannot teach that killing is wrong by killing” (U.S. Catholic Conference). Killing is wrong, whether it’s an action portrayed by a single person or a government. How is killing people who kill people going to act as a deterrent for murder? If anything it encourages it, condones it even, giving off the message: murder is okay as long as it’s performed by a licensed professional! The basis of the death penalty are fallacious at best. What happened to our right to life? Is that suddenly compromised once condemned by a jury? The Founding Fathers wrote the Amendments to protect the people of the United States from any and all “cruel and unusual punishments inflicted,” yet we have the death penalty as an active retribution in our country.
The death penalty is faulty in its age and obsolete in its usage, and frankly should be put out of its misery. Capital punishment began its time in the Middle Ages, as people were executed for simply thinking differently from the rest of society. Even now, as we look back on history we find their ways of execution purely barbaric and malicious in all its forms. However, we continue to practice these forms of butchery; the traditional method of execution, hanging, is still an option available in certain states. In addition, couple of states also still allow firing squads, and the electrocution chairs has been readily used throughout the last century. The United States stands as one of the few developed nations with a death penalty still in place. There’s a reason most of the European countries have banned the...

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