Posistion Paper

The Declaration of Independence states, “…That all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights. That among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men… (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/)” These detailed words written over a century ago in 1776, lay the foundation for what our government is supposed to stand for today. What if there is something present in our society that holds people back from these rights that they are granted at birth?  Capital punishment is an example. Today, there are thirty-five states that still practice the death penalty in the United States. There are more than three thousand people currently waiting on death row for their execution who have probably been on death row for well over 15 years. I believe that Capital Punishment should be terminated in the United States because it is immoral, the process is unconstitutional and violent, and the money used in the death penalty could be used for more important things to better our society and stop the violence as a whole

            Capital punishment is immoral and human life should never be destroyed. No one has the right to kill unless his or her life or someone else’s life is in danger. Those who believe in capital punishment may say that these men and women who have committed these crimes deserve to die for what they have done but what lesson is being taught? But the solution “an eye for an eye” keeps our society in the killing cycle and no lesson is every learned. The prisoners should be punished and kept in jail without parole. Instead of putting the guilty person to death, the person will be locked up in jail for the rest of his or her life and will at least have the chance to regenerate their minds and turn their life around if they choose to. Lethal injection is immoral and downgrades human being’s rights.

Another reason why the death penalty should be removed is the process used in the death penalty is unconstitutional and sometimes violent. Lethal injection is currently the standard procedure for executions in the United States. There are three different drugs used in the lethal injection that account for different parts of the death. The first numbs the person, next paralyzes the muscles including the lungs, and last one that causes a heart attack and stops the heart. Though people for capital punishment may say the person dies peacefully, there is some question to whether or not the lethal injection causes great pain but the person is to show emotion to it since their body is paralyzed so their last breaths are very uncomfortable. “Constitutional law states that capital punishment is only acceptable if it doesn’t violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. A person shouldn’t be aware of or able to sense any pain during the procedure (Sergo 2007).” Even though people are unaware, electrocution, and gas chambers are still permitted in some states even though they are rarely used. Kentucky is one of the few states that do allow prisoners to choose to have lethal injection or the electric chair if they were sentenced to death before 1998.

Lastly, I believe that the death penalty should be terminated because the great cost that is required for the uphold of the death penalties in the United States. About $137 million dollars is spent annually on the death penalty while it would only cost around $11.5 million dollars to keep the people in prison for the rest of their life. This money could be used for violence prevention organizations or other groups to stop the murders in the United States. Also, not only are the capital cases complex and complicated, it is almost impossible for the families of the victim that was killed to move on with their lives because it can take up to several decades for the execution to even take place (Oliveria, 2008).

Capital Punishment has been present in our society for centuries and it is time for a reform on this issue. We need to stop taking life for granted and live for a more just and moral society. Capital punishment should be banned so people start living a moral and just life, to stop the violent and unconstitutional process of the death penalty, and to be able to put the money to more important use to stop the violence in the first place. People need to stop and start thinking more about the value of life and away from the thought of revenge and death.

About allisonklare

CIS 111
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