Death Penalty Essay

Submitted By elizabeth101liz
Words: 1205
Pages: 5

Execute the Death Penalty There are people in this world that cause harm; they commit acts that they may sometimes in the future regret. We often wonder why someone may do something to cause hurt to someone they have never met; someone that they just picked up off the street. Why would someone take that loved one away from the life they were living? For those people that take the life of the living, there has to be consequences. Some people say the more serious the crime, the more serious the consequence. Those people would say that the only answer to serious murders or crimes is the death penalty. Although the death penalty is a way to get rid of the problem, it does not fix it. The death penalty may comfort the family of the no longer living victim, or the friends of the person whom they cannot find; however, killing the suspect does not fix the issue she or he created, it simply just gets rid of it. Yes, there are many people who say that the death penalty is an excellent thing, but it violates human rights, teaches the condemned nothing, and does not deter crime. With every argument there is an opposing side. There are people who are for the death penalty just like there are people who are not. Those who are for the death penalty may say that it does not violate human rights. They say that it is not torture, and that it is because of the respect for human life that the death penalty is important. They argue that if someone has taken the life of the living, they should pay for it with their own, no matter how serious the crime (Barber 7). They also say that it gives the family of the victim comfort knowing that the suspect is dead and cannot harm any one else. In fact, many states that have the death penalty let the family of the victim watch the suspect be executed (Barber 8). Who would not want the comfort of knowing that the suspect is dead and not able to kill anyone else? In 1973, a study done by Isaac Ehrlich, a professor at the University of Buffalo, stated that for every execution, seven lives are saved (Walker 101); there was even a decline in the death rate in August 2006 (Walker 101). Many say that the death rate continues to drop each year. From this prospective, the death penalty is preferable because who would not want the death rate to decline? However, there are people who do not agree with the death penalty. An argument that is commonly brought up is that it violates human rights under the United States Constitution. Written in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights document, Article 3, states: “ Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person” (Barber 7). It also states in Article 5 of the same document:“ No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” (Barber 7). There have even been times when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled certain death penalties in certain circumstances unconstitutional. For example, on June 29, 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional to execute someone if the crime does not involve murder (Walker 101). The Court also ruled it unconstitutional to execute someone who is mentally handicapped no matter what the crime committed was on June 20, 2002 (Walker 101). Everyone has the right to life, so why is there a consequence that breaks that statement? Yes, the death penalty breaks the Constitution, but what does this teach the condemned? This is yet another commonly talked about argument. The opposing view may say that it does not matter if the criminal gets taught a lesson; if they did not want to end up dead, then they should not have killed a living person. However, it is not only about what the killer gets taught, but also about what we are saying when killing the criminal. There is a bumper sticker that states, “Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing is wrong?” (Barber 6). Logically, it really does not make sense as to why the death penalty is