A major debate discussed frequently in today’s society is whether or not the death penalty is the right thing to do to punish those who have committed heinous crimes. While some states have allowed the death penalty to be used in certain cases, others have outright removed it as a choice. Why is this debate important? Well as U.S. citizens we need to make a decision of what is the best way to deal with criminals. Is it better to execute these criminals or incarcerate them? This paper will discuss the considered pros and cons of the death penalty and what my view is, on this topic.
Proponents of the death penalty have the belief that a criminal should be killed for what he or she has done. They believe that it is moral because it creates a feeling of justice. Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker, authors of, “CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: A CENTURY OF DISCONTINUOUS DEBATE” stated that “The retributive argument, emphasizing that the death penalty provides the only appropriate moral response to the "worst" offenses and offenders” (Steiker 676). Those who commit disastrous crimes should be punished to the highest extreme, which is death, something that many people are fearful of.
Proponents believe that the death penalty also helps the families who grieve for their losses and suffer psychologically as a retribution for their pain depending on the way of how their loved ones were killed. Michael Keane author of "The Ethical “Elephant” in the Death Penalty “Room” states, "A co-victim may suffer life-long, debilitating, obsessive thoughts about the incongruity of the murderer being protected by society after brutally and unmercifully taking their loved-one"(Keane 47). This means that families want revenge and have lots of built up hatred towards the criminal. "No, execution cannot bring back the victim, but it may improve the quality of life of some of the co-victims" (Keane 47). With the killing of the criminal, it feels like justice is rightfully served. It helps the co-victims because they like the revenge and believe in the eye for an eye mentality. Co-victims have the thought if you killed a love one of mine you deserve to die also.
Another pro of the death penalty is that it is costs less than incarceration. To make a prison for the criminals to stay and the taxes that go along with it can be costly. “The construction of prisons required enormous outlays of public funds and offered a previously unavailable alternative to the death penalty: lengthy incarceration” (Steiker 665). Keeping a criminal in jail is expensive and since incarceration can be for 50 years plus depending on the intensity of the crime, for those 50 years it costs a lot to keep that criminal incarcerated. Electricity, plumbing, food, services, security prices do add up and it can cause financial issues.
Some, who believe that humans are the way they are from genetics, fear that if a criminal gets out of jail, they could reproduce and those children will most likely be criminals....