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Sierra Klemin Professor Henriksen English 1010 12/22/13 OOOO Killem; Actually Lets Not Imagine this.

A man and a woman hit a rough spot in their marriage causing their child to become very depressed and out of whack. During this depression, the child occasionally goes out on a rampage and does things he claims he cant control. One day during one of these rages, he kidnaps and rapes a 19 year old girl. Afterwards he is distraught and embarrassed by what he has done. To keep anyone from finding out about it he brutally murders the girl and buries her far from the city. He is found guilty and is put on death row. After 10 years he is killed by injection. Who is to say he deserved the death penalty? Who is to say he didnt? When someone commits a crime, there must be a punishment. These punishments might include jail, fines, or even the death penalty. The death penalty is also known as capital punishment. Capital punishment is, The legally authorized killing of someone as punishment for a crime (Google Definitions) There are two opposing sides to the death penalty. One side believes that the death penalty is needed and important. The other side believes it is wrong and should not be allowed. People for capital punishment argue the following: it stops other people from committing the same crime, the belief of an eye for an eye, and punishment to fulfill justice. They believe that you must pay for what you have done in the same way the victims suffered. People who are against the death penalty argue the following: it gets people off free, doesnt protect the value of life, innocent people can and have been killed, and it is unconstitutional. This issue involves everybody. We as people have a say on what to do with

these criminals. Also, one day someone you know could be affected by this penalty. Imagine if the people in the previous paragraph were your family. How would you feel? The death penalty is a very interesting topic. It makes you think of the value of life and death and all of the moments in-between. It is an issue that brings not only factual bias, but emotional bias. I would argue that the death penalty is wrong and unjustified. We should not allow people to be killed for their mistakes. The death penalty is it is brutal and unconstitutional. The Eighth Amendment states that there should be no cruel or unusual punishment. The death penalty is both cruel and unusual, therefore it is unconstitutional. John Paul Stevens says, Emotional impact, biased jurors, and discriminatory application of death penalty cases work to create a real risk of wrongful convictions. Therefore, a penalty more severe than imprisonment without the possibility of parole is excessive and violates the Constitution. This shows that the death penalty may not follow by the principles given in the constitution. People who are for the death penalty claim that we need to live by the motto An eye for an eye. This is a hypocritical statement. If we truly lived by eye for an eye then things would be a lot different. If someone stole and crashed your car, you would have the right to steal and crash theirs. We need to move on from punishments of the old times and change things to do them the right way. Not only is the death penalty unconstitutional, but mistakes can be made that are irreversible. Before DNA testing was available, many innocent people spent time in prison on faulty evidence. In 2007, a man named Bryon Halsey was able to leave the jail and go home after waiting 19 years on death row because DNA testing cleared him. Believe it or not, this isnt the first time this has happened. There have been 130 death row inmates since 1973 that have been

released from prison because the evidence proved they were innocent. Clearly this is a problem because the punishment cannot be changed and taken back. By allowing capital punishment we show that we as a society do not care about the gift of life. Killing of any sort degrades us as human beings. All people have the same value of life, whether they are good or bad. Imagine that you are a parent and your child comes home crying. Another kid at school hit him during recess earlier that day. Are you the next day going to go and punch that kid in the face? Or are you going to have someone kindly teach the young boy that hitting is wrong and that there are better ways to do things. It goes the same way with the death penalty. If someone murders your cousin, should we murder them back? No we should not! That doesnt teach them anything or help them to become a better person. The death penalty teaches that revenge is the answer. In Raymond Lesniaks article, Justice is not Served with the Death Penalty, he explains why redemption is better than revenge. He states, Redemption instead opens the door to the space that asks healing questions in the wake of violence: questions of crime prevention; questions of why some human beings put such a low value on life that they readily take it from others; questions that help us understand how to help those impacted by violence; questions that take a back seat, and are often ignored, when our minds and emotions are filled with a need for revenge. Revenge will not bring peace or resolution to victims. The death penalty is not the answer. Crime comes at a price. You cannot do whatever you want and expect to not have a consequence. Although punishment is good, the death penalty is unjustified and unfair because there is a chance of killing innocent people, it is unconstitutional, and it teaches that revenge is

better than restitution. We need to change how our society thinks and acts: when something is broken, we should fix it, not throw it away.

Works Sited Lesniak, Raymond. "Justice Is Not Served with the Death Penalty." The Death Penalty. Ed. Jenny Cromie and Lynn M. Zott. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "The Road to Justice and Peace." blog.nj.com 2 Feb. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 12 Dec. 2013. Stevens, John Paul. "The Death Penalty Violates the Constitution of the United States." The Ethics of Capital Punishment. Ed. Christine Watkins. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2011. At Issue. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 20 Dec. 2013 https://www.google.com/#q=define+capital+punishment