Death Penalty Essay

Submitted By jamesalonzo23
Words: 642
Pages: 3

The topic about whether or not the death penalty should be abolished has been a very controversial one for years. Dating back to the first English colonies in the 1600’s, the death penalty, or capital punishment as it is formally referred to, is a part of American history that never began to be questioned until the American Revolution in 1776. To this day, many people have mixed opinions on the matter. Some people strongly believe that the death penalty should be instituted, while others strongly disapprove. As a result, there are now individual states with this policy in use and other states that don’t use it. “The punishment of murder by death is contrary to reason and to the order and happiness of society,” as Benjamin Rush, a physician and signer of the Declaration of Independence, stated. Although some people may see the death penalty as a very adequate punishment, it has its flaws and risks. One of the main flaws of the death penalty is its very concept. The idea of killing someone for a crime is not an appropriate punishment. Even if someone were to kill another person, their punishment in turn should not be a death sentence. This eye for an eye approach idea is instilled in many minds of the people as “fair”. Also, it violates the 8th amendment concerning the law against any cruel and unusual punishment. Not only that, but according to William Dudley, “It fosters a culture of violence”. Another big flaw of the death penalty is the fact that many innocent people are being executed due to mistakes. There are, quite simply, too many errors in the criminal justice system and too many innocent people turning up on death row. Numerous people would assume that DNA testing is always 100% correct. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, DNA testing, which is a big factor in determining people innocent or guilty of certain crimes, has a risk of proving to be incorrect. This means that there is a chance that someone innocent of a crime will be executed. A suitable alternative to the death penalty is a life sentence. A life sentence is irreversible after all. An execution, on the other hand, is not. In the bigger picture there would be less innocent people put to death. Finally, the death penalty has a huge financial disadvantage. Once again, it is instilled in many peoples’ minds that it would be