“I don’t think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. I don’t think that’s right. I think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people’s lives.” -- President George Bush
Many who disagree with the death penalty believe it is immoral, discriminates, is very expensive, increases crime, and is only a way to carry out revenge. This, however, is not true. Capital punishment should be legal because it is moral, by not allowing criminals to roam the streets once again. It does not discriminate against those of color or the poor, and is actually less expensive than life imprisonment. The most important reason why the death penalty should be legal is because it deters crime.
In past centuries, the problem was how to find the most painful way to execute a criminal, not whether criminals should be executed or not. Killing alone wasn’t an acceptable way of punishment (McCuen 8). Nowadays, 97.5% of crimes go unpunished in the United States, and the 2.5% who are punished are not being treated harsh enough (90). The death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as a free moral actor to control his own destiny for good or for ill; it does not treat him as an animal with no moral sense (Kurtz). Criminals who murder, rape, kidnap, torture others, or commit treason should not have the same punishment as crimes of lesser value (Kurtz). This point is backed up by the bible, where it is stated in the first chapter. In Genesis 9:6 it says, “Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill another person is to kill a living being made in God’s image”. It is also brought up again in Exodus 21:23-24 where it states, “But if any harm results, then the offender must be punished according to the injury. Life for a life, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth”. Exodus 21:32 is another example in which the bible supports capital punishment (Marzilli 17). The way we carry out these executions is by lethal injection, which is much more humane than any ways we have carried it out in historical times (McCuen 27). A prison official had claimed, “The guy will just go to sleep forever. It will be easy-real easy” (49). He says said this when referring to a man who was on death row. By using lethal injection, the United States is ridding itself of criminals, and is carrying it out in the most humane way possible (Kurtz). Professor John McAdams of Marquette University said, “If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murderers, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call” (Marzilli 21).
An opposition to the death penalty is the fact that it discriminates. Almost fifty percent of people on death row between in 2014 were African American (Markoff). This might just mean that African...