The Death Penalty Essay

1425 words - 6 pages

The death penalty is currently used by 34 states and is used by the federal government for punishing federal crimes. And in most cases the death penalty is used when the criminal has been convicted of murder. However, two people have been sentenced to death for the rape of a minor. The definition of the death penalty is: execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense. This begs the question does the government have the right to take away someone’s life? And if so is it ethical and moral? Overall the goal of the Criminal Justice system is to give the right sentence and protect the people. Even though the death penalty does this, there are better more efficient ways to accomplish that task.
The government has an obligation to provide public safety and citizens are obligated to follow the law. When a citizen breaks the law he forfeits his liberty, and the courts decide punishment. However, the government must respect an individual’s rights, and one of those rights is to be free from excessive and cruel punishment. Thus, if capital punishment is deemed cruel and unusual then it is unjust for the government to use it. One could argue that it is due to the pain it inflicts. It is hard to tell if the death penalty cause pain to the victim because the person is dead at the end and can’t tell you.
Nonetheless, the drug that is responsible for causing death (potassium chloride) causes excruciating pain to a conscience person. So there is a good chance that the person is in great pain when they are injected with it. Although before they inject the victim with potassium chloride, they give the person a sedative, which prevents pain, but it does not usually last for the whole procedure. Many people think the person who committed the crime deserves this, because he killed other people. This is also known as an eye for an eye punishment. Although I agree that the criminal deserves rash punishment morale and ethical values come into play. Another great saying is two wrongs don’t make a right. The idea of punishing violence with violence essentially condones the use of violence. This has not yet been definitively determined but the fact that the government utilizes violence in a sense condones the use of it. At the very least, it may make it seem that vigilante justice is acceptable. So this doesn’t necessarily mean society is safer because it is not yet definitely decided that the punishment deters crime. Furthermore, the money that the punishment wastes could be used to make the community safer. As a result, the penalty has an adverse effect on public safety. A good example is the south has the most executions by far, and they also have the highest murder rate. So maybe if the government spent more money on making school systems better and making sure kids stay on the right track and don’t get involved in crime they would have to worry less about giving the death penalty. And therefore getting rid of...

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