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Life Or Death Essay

1380 words - 6 pages

It has been a topic of discussion for forever. Do we give convicted murderers the death penalty or let them live in a prison cell for a life without parole? If we get rid of the death penalty sentence there could be millions of dollars saved that could be put toward violence-prevention efforts to keep offenders on the right path. But on the other hand prisoners that are sentenced to life without parole are forced to live in a maximum-security prison with very few rights. The death penalty and life without parole both have positives and negatives therefore it would be very hard to pick a side.
According to Death Penalty Facts and Statistics, in 2012, 63% of people were in favor of the death penalty, 32% were not in favor, and 6% do not have a preference. I find this statistic to be very surprising because I did not know that many people still believed in giving out the death penalty sentence. On estimate, 16,000 murders take place each year in the United States, 13,000 arrests, 8,000 convictions and fewer than 120 get death sentences (Guernsey). A positive about death penalty is that it will for sure end the crime recurrence risk since the offender is not alive anymore (Death Penalty Facts). This quite horrible to think of it that way, but it is the truth, if they are given the death penalty then they will never be able to re-offend. As of 2012, thirty-two states in the United States still use the death penalty (Death Penalty Facts). If an inmate believes that they are innocent then they are legally allowed to appeal the courts decision allowing a higher court to review the case. Not all cases get overturned, but some do which helps from executing innocent people.
Lethal injection, the current form of execution also known as the 3-drug injection, is seen to be the most humane form of execution. The 8th amendment protects inmates from enduring cruel and unusual punishment such as execution. But some people do not agree that we should care about what kind of pain they endure since they did commit a very heinous crime. “Why are we concerned whether a convicted murderer feels some pain at death? It’s supposed to be punishment,” states Kent Scheidegger who is a part of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation (Guernsey). He is correct, they committed a horrible crime and now we are worried about how they feel. The murderer obviously didn’t care how his or her victims felt during the brutal attack, so why should we care?
On the other hand, the death penalty goes against almost every religion according to Death Penalty: 10 Reasons to Oppose the Death Penalty. Is there really any proof that the death penalty is an actual deterrence? In states without the death penalty they have consistently had lower crime rates (10 Reasons). We are punishing murder with murder, but is this the ethically correct thing to do? What if the inmate is innocent? Then we have just killed an innocent person. From 2000 to 2007, there have been on average 5 exonerations per year...

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