Death Penalty Essay

Words: 1384
Pages: 6

Capital punishment is a prudent issue that creates a spectacle among those for and against the death penalty. From those that have lost loved ones from homicides to those that have committed murder and are then “lawfully”, according to the judicial systems, put to death. Although those for and against the death penalty may agree that there is a lawful and unlawful treatment of people, there is discern on who has the right to make the decision on who lives and who dies. Does man have the right to make this decision? Groups for and against capital punishment would benefit from Carl Roger’s approach to opening honest communication, since both groups are seeking justice and no crime should go unpunished.
According to Carl Roger’s “Communication: Its Blocking and Its Facilitation,” the reason why these groups may fail to comprehend what the other party is saying is that the other party fails to reiterate what the previous speaker has stated. This tends to not be the same scenario. There seems to be a failure to recognize why and how the death penalty exists and what does the overall tactic resolve?
The American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU, states that capital punishment is a violation of human rights and that it is unconstitutional and a denial of their civil liberties. Dr. Ernest Van Den Haag, a former Professor of Jurisprudence and Public Policy at Fordham University, reiterates what the ACLU states, but argues that one is a not a crime and the other is punishment for a heinous crime ( Pro Con). Steven Stewart, JD, Prosecuting Attorney in Clark County, Indiana says capital punishment in a sense, is “an eye for an eye”, and that he could not think of any other way to justify the crime. While Coretta Scott King, wife of the late Martin Luther King, Jr., says justice in retribution and punishment is not the solution, retaliation by putting the convicted murderer to death is murder itself. She is quoted as saying ( Pro Con):
"As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses. An evil deed is not redeemed by an evil deed of retaliation. Justice is never advanced in the taking of a human life. Morality is never upheld by a legalized murder."
Coretta Scott King – September 26, 1981
Amanda and Nick Wilcox, whose daughter was murdered, are against the death penalty as the solution for punishing those who committed murder. The families of those who were murder victims may say that justice will be served in the case of the death penalty, but that is not the opinion of the Wilcox’s. The Wilcox’s feel even more so with what happened to their daughter that the death penalty will not return their daughter and may not bring the closure that families seek. The Wilcox’s still feel that the crime should not go unpunished and that the person that committed the crime should be accountable; however, Amanda and Nick should not have to deal with the burden of the consequences of the murderer’s demise (Wilcox). The approach of Roger’s should be sought after here to open up both families of the slain and the murderer, as both families may lose a child if the death penalty is sought and the person is convicted. The families should discuss openly the issues of death and the consequences and emotional issues that occur.
Another factor in all of this is the cost of the death penalty versus life in prison. There have been 1,382 executions in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center since 1976 (Death Penalty Info). There have already been 23 in the United States in 2014. With the rise of incarcerated criminals for all crimes increasing, it may be hindering the prison system from efficiently justifying the costs of keeping an inmate on death row. The costs of the death penalty, including costs of trials and incarcerations, are approximately a million dollars more than that of an