Do we have the right to kill, even in the name of justice?
Many people have strong pro and con feelings on this subject, discussed and argued about only second to abortion. Putting another human being to death is a hard thing to think about until you realize the horrible things one person can do to another without drastic punishment as a determent.
"The death penalty is a warning, just like a lighthouse throwing light beams out to sea. We hear about shipwrecks, but do not hear about the ships the lighthouse guides safely on their way. We don't have proof of the number of ships it saves, but we do not tear the light house down" (poet Hyam Barshay). This quote is showing that even though we can't say how many murders capital punishment has prevented it is still known to help prevent people from killing other people.
The death penalty has been part of our civilization since earliest times, from the ancient cultures to the Romans were harsh and swift in their judgments and execution. Jesus himself was a victim of the death penalty. Up though time murder has always been punishable by death as well as many other crimes. Justice was often harsh and brutal. In England there was hanging, drawing and quartering or beheading, France the guillotine was used as being quicker. When we came to this country we brought the same ideals with us. The witches of Salem were burned or drowned when they were thought to cause deaths. We used firing squads, hanging was popular in the east as well as out west, the electric chair and gas chamber, now the lethal injection. And until the present time justice was swift! When our forefathers signed the constitution the death penalty was being used but no mention of it was made in the 8th Amendment as the death penalty being "cruel or unusual punishment", because they did not feel being put to death because you deliberately took anothers life was unusual or cruel but EXPECTED!
At this time in 2001 the 32 states that have the death penalty have 3756 men and women waiting on death row. Of these 48% are White, 1677, 42% Black, 1481, 8% Hispanic 265, and 2%, 107 other races. In 1998, 68, 1999, 98, 2000, 68 deaths on death rows. The inmates have been on death row on an average of 9 years, which costs about $32,000.00 per year, not counting the cost of appeals, about $150,000.00 to $275,000.00 per appeal.
I do not believe watching cable TV, three meals a day, education (many inmates acquire enough education to help with their appeals), body building gyms, and even the ability to earn money to buy things for themselves in prison. In jail they have a possible chance for parole. If they happen to make it back out to the world, who's to say they wouldn't kill again. Of the 2,575 prisoners sentenced to death in 1992, 1 out of 11 had a prior conviction of homicide, that means they killed at least 1 other person before they were tried for the
currant murder they were in jail for now! This means additional people...