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Capital Punishment - Right or Wrong?

Essay by review  •  October 6, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,765 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,295 Views

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Justice can not be served until the debate on capital

punishment is resolved and all states have come to agree that the

death penalty is the best way to stop crime completely.

"The bottom line is, one method of execution is just as brutal

and as barbaric as the next," says Mr. Breedlove of the National

Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. This comes straight from the

mouth of a member of a national organization against capital

punishment. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English

Language, Third Edition defines execution as "The act or an instance of

putting to death or being put to death as a lawful penalty." So if

Breedlove's words hold true, then what he believes is that someone

going out and killing someone is barbaric. In a sense isn't that what

he's saying, that one way of killing someone is just as bad as any

other. So if he finds this so barbaric, why doesn't he do something

about it?

Many people who are against capital punishment are only

thinking of the criminal and how cruel it is for them. But, shouldn't

we think of the families that are broken apart now because of the

merciless acts of these criminals. Think of Susan Smith, how she

knowingly drove her car off into a lake with her two children strapped

to the seats. Think of how they must have felt as the cold water

started to fill the cabin of the car, and then ultimately drown them.

Barbaric is exactly the word I would use to describe her actions.

But yet, the jury rejected the death penalty and chose a life sentence

instead. Mr. Smith, the father of the two children, broken up from

the ruling said "Me and my family are disappointed that the death

penalty was not the verdict, but it wasn't our choice. They returned

a verdict they thought was justice" (Bragg, pg.

1+).

But was it justice that she was not put to death for killing

her two children. How could someone possibly let her off the hook of

such a crime. They said it would be just as bad for her to be in that

cell alone because of her depression, but does it justify her cutting

short the lives of the two children who had no idea of their oncoming

death. "All grandeur, all power, all subordination to authority rests

on the executioner: he is the horror and the bond of human

association. Remove this incomprehensible agent from the world and at

that very moment order gives way to chaos, thrones topple and society

disappears." Says Joseph de Maistre, a eighteenth century French

diplomat. He is right, if we give up our punishing a deadly criminal,

then we throw our society into chaos and let the criminals freely do

as they please. I would know I was safe if anyone that tried to

fatally harm me would be put to death. But in this society when

someone can kill someone, get sentenced to life, get paroled and then

freed to go about and do the same crime again frankly scares me.

Another thing that scares me is the fact that this country has

softened up on criminals. It's hard to think that now a days everyone

has a right, even though when you go against the law and are put in

prison, you are suppose to be stripped of your rights. Not so

anymore. Justice in the nineties has slacked up a bit.

"In the late 1950's, on any given day there were about two

hundred prisoners awaiting execution," says Hugo Bedau of Tufts

University, Massachusetts. "Hardly any remained on Death Row for more

than a year." Today [November 1995], there are 15 times that number,

and many have been there for over a decade. Opponents of the death

penalty say this statistic is a moral outrage. Supporters see it as

undermining a key advantage of the death penalty over life

imprisonment: it saves tax-payers the huge cost of keeping murderers

locked up (Matthews, pg.'s 38-42).

Most of those against capital punishment argue that the forms

of execution are gruesome. While some might be seen that way at

first, others offer the advantages that both parties can agree on. In

1994 there were two hundred fifty seven executions in the United

States. There were five methods of doing so, as follows:

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Lethal Injection: 133

Electrocution: 112

Gas Chamber: 9

Hanging: 2

Firing Squad: 1

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