True Justice Through Application of the Death Penalty
The death penalty, as administered by states based on their individual laws, is considered capital punishment, the purpose of which is to penalize criminals convicted of murder or other heinous crimes (Fabian). The death penalty issue has been the focus of much controversy in recent years, even though capital punishment has been a part of our country's history since the beginning. Crimes in colonial times, such as murder and theft of livestock were dealt with swiftly and decisively ("The Death Penalty..."). Criminals were hanged shortly after their trial, in public executions. This practice was then considered just punishment for those crimes. Recently though, the focus of the death penalty debate has been on moral and legal issues. The murderers of today's society can be assured of a much longer life even after conviction, with the constraints of the appeals process slowing the implementation of their death sentence. In most cases, the appeal process lasts several years, during which time criminals enjoy comfortable lives. They have television, gym facilities, and the leisure time to attend free college-level classes that most American citizens must struggle to afford. Foremost, these murderers have the luxury of time, something their victims ran out of the moment their paths crossed. It is time this country realized the only true justice for these criminals is in the form of the death penalty. The death penalty should be administered for particularly heinous crimes.
Opponents of capital punishment are outspoken and vehement in their arguments. They believe the death penalty does not does not deter crime. They also hold the opinion that ending the life of a murderer is cruel and unusual punishment, prohibited in their literal interpretation of the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution (Bedau).
Conversely, one of the main arguments for the death penalty is that it does deter crime. U. S. Department of Justice F. B. I. statistical data supports this point by highlighting the fact that most criminals released back into society commit additional felonies. Indeed, two out of three death row inmates had prior felony convictions, and one in twelve actually had been convicted of prior homicides (Snell). Removing any chance of further contact with innocent human beings, by carrying out the sentence of death, effectively assures us that this criminal will not commit another crime (Fabian). The crimes he or she would have perpetrated on future victims have essentially been deterred. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine who these "spared" victims are, yet the statistics just mentioned support the assumption that more heinous crimes will be committed if these criminals are not dealt with in the most permanent fashion - by execution.
The death penalty is not cruel and unusual punishment. Authors of the United States...