Why do we kill killers? The death penalty has always been such a debatable issue in the U.S. and a hot issue at that. I am leading towards the side that the death penalty is not the best solution for the U.S. to adopt. There is no question whatsoever when it comes to the death penalty that murder (or the taking of a life of another) is one of the worst and ugly crimes that someone can do.
“The United States stands alone as the only Western, industrialized nation to still execute criminals (Zimring and Hawkins 1986). However, there was a short time in United States history when capital punishment was prohibited. In 1972, the Supreme Court outlawed executions in the United States on the grounds that the procedures used to impose death sentences resulted in arbitrary imposition of the punishment, which constituted cruel and unusual punishment prohibited under the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution (Furman v. Georgia)” (Stephanie Boys, The Death Penalty).
Our government seems to contradict themselves by allowing capital punishment or the death penalty to take place because, an innocent person was murdered and therefore we should now take the life of the person who committed this crime. Back in the old days, this doctrine was known as Lex-Talionis, “an-eye-for-an-eye” and “tooth-for-a-tooth.” Who truly needs laws in place when you have such a harsh system like this? If someone would decide to strike me for no reason, why would I even hesitate to turn around and strike him or her back two-fold? It would be like living in the Stone Age, caveman time again – when we all were just primates running around the undeveloped earth.
Another argument has to do with deterrence – that threatening criminal behavior with the death penalty in return will deter individuals from going out and taking the life of an innocent victim for whatsoever the reason may be. That maybe, just maybe, the fear of losing their own life in return for taking the life of an innocent victim, would be enough to make them rethink their actions beforehand. However, what we must first look at is how many criminals really murder in the first place if they know they will be caught, even if they thought there was the slightest chance of someone witnessing the murder and identifying them. Who cares if this state even has the death penalty? Most people who murder think that in their right mind they have a solid, impenetrable plan to get away with it and not be caught. While some are right, a lot are not and the law usually catches up with them eventually.
Being opposed to the death penalty, I must side with the Bill of Rights and in particular, the Eighth Amendment that is strongly against “cruel and unusual punishment.” If you can think of anything more punitive that death itself, please fill me in on what I am missing because I truly cannot. To say that our wonderful judicial system is beyond racist is an understatement. In the south states, “8 percent of the black...