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The Capital Punishment Debate Essay

2556 words - 10 pages

Capital Punishment
Try to imagine a relative sitting in a dark, cold, and tight prison cell and knowing minutes later that death would come for them through lethal injection. What if their case wasn't handled correctly, what if evidence was mishandled, and possibly an innocent person is going to die. Imagine the family who has been waiting years for justice to be served by the means of lethal injection. There is two sides to every story either way both families will grieve or already is. According to Death Penalty Information Center (2011), since 1976 the United States of America has executed 1,243 individuals who have been convicted of a serious crime. The death penalty has been used since the Eighteenth Century B.C. to present day as a deterrence to crime and a tool to deliver justice for the victims. Capital punishment is a controversial topic that draws in much debate from people who are pro death penalty and those who oppose capital punishment.
In 2010 a poll was administered by Gallup covering a topic of, "Are you in favor of death penalty for a person convicted of murder?" (Gallop Inc., 2011). The poll resulted in sixty-four percent favored death penalty, twenty-four percent were against it, and six percent had no opinion (Gallop Inc., 2011). This information gives clear indication that there is quite a large group of people who believe in capital punishment. Many people concur with the death penalty, but have different reasoning behind it. One of the many reasons of those who are pro capital punishment is that it brings closure to the family of the victims. Every day of their lives they will be troubled with the idea and sometimes the fear of the fact that the person who committed this hideous crime is still alive. Many of these families can live with this pain, depression, or fear for decades and in some cases will never get over it. Extraordinary pressure can and usually is relieved when the family of the victim is finally put to death. Also a bid can be made that even great relieve comes to the family of the convicted inmate. They too have had to endure much suffering over their member of their family committing a serious offense and bringing much shame to them. Capital punishment can be viewed as a way of healing for the two families connected to the offense and bringing closure to all involved.
An argument that can be made for capital punishment is that in some situations, the convicted inmate gains sympathy or even becomes idolized. One example, is how Charles Manson at the age 75 and notoriously known for the horrific crimes his infamous "Family" had committed still receives mail frequently. He still carries a supporting group of fans even after he has been locked up in prison for over thirty years and still there is a group of people who idolize Manson. Another example is Stanley "Tookie" Williams, known as one of the founders of the infamous American gangs called the "Crips". Tookie was convicted of...

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