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Constitutionality Of The Death Penalty Essay

1792 words - 8 pages

On September 9, 1993 a seventeen year old boy, Christopher Simmons, and his a few of his friends met up to discuss and devise a plan to commit a robbery and maybe even a murder, just for fun. Simmons’ plan was not complicated: find someone to burglarize, tie up the victim and either leave the victim tied to a tree or push them off a bridge. Simmons and his accomplice went through a window that was slightly cracked and proceeded into the bedroom of Mrs. Crook. The two teenagers tried the woman up and loaded her into the back of her minivan. They drove to the state park at the edge of town where they had planned to dispose of the body and that is exactly what they did. The boys were caught later on that month put on trial for murder in cold blood. The verdict of the jury was that Simmons was guilty of first degree murder and was sentenced to death. Later court decisions decided that because he was a minor when he committed the murder he could not be justly put to death. In the case the final sentence was life in prison with no bail and no parole. (Bessler, 12-16 ) The excerpt above is from the book Cruel and Unusual. It later states in this book that if Simmons had received the death penalty then that would have violated his eighth and fourteenth amendment rights. Why is it that a person committing such a heinous crime could receive life in prison when another person committing an equal offence might receive capital punishment? Is it right for the United States to operate a system such as capital punishment? Does that follow the guidelines set out by our constitution or does it contradict? What would the forefathers of this nation say about the death penalty? Is the death penalty a form of cruel and unusual punishment? America has established themselves as somewhat of the national police and our nation is constantly being viewed and examined. The death penalty was designed to give justice where justice is due but more importantly it is a huge deterrent for people who might think about committing a crime of extreme seriousness, letting no one forget that with extreme action comes extreme due consequence.
What is wrong with consequence? Growing up on a farm my family had a large number of animals of different species, most of them got along with each other but there was one particular dog that was constantly causing trouble and wreaking havoc. Specifically by getting into the duck pin and killing the ducks. We could yell and scream at him for doing this, but it would not make a difference because it would never make an impact on him. Desperately searching for a solution we found one that worked and thus the dog learned about the consequences that were coming to him if he killed a duck again. Now humans are not comparable to dogs in the slightest bit, however the analogy can still apply. Without the threat of consequence, or the memory in his case, the dog would have never thought twice about killing a duck. A person has a natural sense of...

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