The Justice of the Death Penalty
Whenever the word "death penalty" comes up, extremists from both sides start yelling out their arguments. One side says deterrence, the other side says there's a potential of executing an innocent man; one says justice, retribution, and punishment; the other side says execution is murder. Personally I think it is time for Americans to take a stand use the justice system as it was intended, for the punishment of criminals.
A big point of argument for the people against the death penalty is the accidental execution of an innocent person.(Royco, 370) Before deciding, one must remember the lives that the death penalty saves. Repeat murderers are eliminated, and potential murderers are deterred. One must consider the victims as well as the defendant. Is it worth it to lose forty-five innocent lives so that no innocent person is executed. Wesley Lowe states the matter best when he says, "As for the penal system accidentally executing an innocent person, I must point out that in this imperfect world, citizens are required to take certain risks in exchange for relative safety." We risk dying on the highway in a car accident for the convenience of using a car. This practice is considered acceptable. Risking the possibility that someone might be wrongly executed is worth it to save the lives of thousands of innocent people who might be the next victims of murder. One US Senate report stated this position this way: All that can be expected of...[human authorities] is that they take every reasonable precaution against the danger of error... If errors are...made, this is the necessary price that must be paid within a society which is made up of human beings.
Many persons against the death penalty say there are alternative forms of punishment, such as a life sentence. The problem with this is that no prison is 100% safe and criminals do find ways to escape or some are even paroled. This allows repeat offenders to be back out on the street and gives them the chance to kill again. Dawud Mu'Min who was serving a 48-year sentence for the 1973 murder of a cab driver when he escaped a road work gang and stabbed to death a storekeeper named Gadys Nopwasky in a 1988 robbery that netted $4.00. This could have all be prevented if he was executed.
Abolitionists claim that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent when it comes to crime. (Schwarzchild, 655) They say that the states with the death penalty have a higher rate of crime. The problem with this is that every state is different, each state has a different ethnic groups that make up the population,...