Often times, jail sentencing does not do justice to murder. Sometimes, crime is so cruel that there is no realistic punishment for it. There are too many victims out there that have suffered and their attacker received a painless life sentence. Painless, when comparing to horrifying murders that happen everyday. As Paul A. Winters says, If a person commits a gruesome murder, he deserves to be put to death (Winters et al. 154). So many murderers are convicted of man slaughter and only receive years in jail. Their victims feel the pain, but imagine the pain and sorrow the families of the victims feel. The Death penalty is the only justifying sentence for a murderer.
The Death penalty is effective because it deters crime. According to polls, more than 70 percent of Americans feel that murderers deserve the death penalty (Winters et al. 168). Although several people are in favor of the death penalty, abolitionist claim there are some alternatives, they say that life without parole serves just as well (Guilmette 2). Many citizens would agree that putting away the murderer is effective, but just isnt enough. Capital punishment is the most effective weapon against the murderers because no executed murderer ever has had the chance to kill again.
Over the years, many people would say that public safety has become meaningless and not worth defending anymore. Every country in the world is ready and willing to kill thousands, even millions of human beings in brutal, merciless way to defend their nation from the aggression of other countries. Why public safety doesnt deserve as much respect and protection as a nations national security does? In fact, it can be argued that supporting armies and war is far more barbarous than the death penalty is. The one of the main reasons why nations and governments exist is to defend their citizens from vicious criminals. When it fails to do that, they become of little use to its citizens. People throughout all the nations will soon realize that capital punishment, military or police force, and even taxes are an unavoidable consequence of every civilized society. It will no longer be the question of whether or not a nation should have the death penalty, but rather how it should be used.
What can you say to the parents of the kids that were killed in Columbine High School? What can be done about juvenile murderers? President Clinton proposed that the age at which penalty could be applied should be reduced from 21 to 18 (ORourke 1). Many people agree that everyone who is considered a legal adult should be sentenced like one; that means possibly the death penalty.
Those who advocate the abolition of capital punishment have supported their cause with many arguments. They have claimed that some have been wrongly sent to death row, while other decisions have been unfairly applied to minorities and the poor. Others argued for the sanctity of human life, as well as the expense involved in capital punishment. But those who believe in the opposition of the death penalty are often misled. They should consider the following cases that underlie the support for capital punishment, for it is certainly the only way to deal with the cruelty of crime that has infected our society.
Capital punishment was once supported by the theory of deterrence, yet studies have shown weaknesses in this argument. Although the death penalty may not have an effect in deterring crime, it protects society from the threat of the same criminal committing a violation again when they are set free. A notable example is the case of Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate the Pope after he had previously been tried and convicted of murder. Opponents may often refute this by suggesting a life sentence without parole, yet research has shown that the crime rates in prisons are gradually increasing. What happens when a person sentenced with life imprisonment kills another inmate or guard during that time? This brings about reconsideration for those who advocate sentences without parole instead of capital punishment.
A second way to look at the validation of capital punishment is the concept of retribution. Retribution cannot be confused with the concept of revenge. It is society’s right of intolerance to heinous crimes that bring about the need for death row. Criminals have not only injured their victims but also the important values that govern society, which is the respect for life. Society has a responsibility to protect its citizens, doing what is necessary and appropriate to those who break the laws. Thus, capital punishment is necessary to ensure the priceless value of human lives.
Thirdly, some people urge to abolish the death penalty because of their concern for the sanctity of human life. That is precisely the reason why this form of crime prevention should be maintained. Capital punishment is different from murder because the person being executed had committed a crime and was tried and found guilty. An execution carried out after a trial cannot be compared to a murder committed by a criminal.
Lastly, it is suggested and often proven that the death penalty discriminates against the poor and minority groups. One must see that this problem does not concern the justification of the penalty, but the unfair way in which it is distributed. This problem may be improved by properly reviewing the cases, imposing decisions without regard to race or class. This can be achieved so that all defendants receive equal protection ground.
Capital punishment has had positive benefits upon the country in determining the consequences that criminals deserve. This is needed to ensure the safety and moral values of society. If this is the case, there is no need for us to consider the expenses involved in the death penalty. We should not abolish capital punishment, but hold our country accountable for properly exercising the death penalty upon those who deserve it.
Many criminals don’t fear the judicial system. They are not afraid of jail or their punishment. How can we force them to stop killing or stealing if they are not afraid of the punishment we give them? Most rational men are afraid of death. They don’t want to die. There are also men that don’t fear death, but enjoy killing. What do you do with men who do not fear the loss of their life? One criminal of America, Carl Panzram was quoted in saying, “In my life I have murdered 21 human beings. I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, and arsons. Last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1000 male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience, so that does not worry me. I don’t believe in Man, God, nor devil. I hate the whole damned human race including myself” (Panzram 1). Men like this who do not care for any law and do every unthinkable act are being supported in some jails around the world. What should be done with people who only want to kill and cause chaos? Panzram doesn’t mind his fifteen years in prison, or even his twenty-five. Panzram was executed and can no longer bother mankind, but there are others like him. Australia has abolished the death sentence. They can no longer control the men like Panzram. Martin Bryant shot and killed 35 innocent people in Tasmania. The people of Australia are now supporting him. There is one option, which Australia no longer has. They cannot put this man to death, they are not allowed. We must keep the death penalty for the people like this; people who like to kill and that don’t fear imprisonment. The Death penalty is the only justification for people like these.
Bedau, Hugo Adam. The Death Penalty in America Statements in favor of the Death
Penalty. Ed. J. Edgar Hoover. Chicago: Alding publishing company, 1964. 130-135
Kronenwetter, Michael. Capital Punishment. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1993.
Winters, Paul A. et al. The Death Penalty. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997.
DiLulio, John J. Abolish the Death penalty, officially. May 99. Online. UMI
ProQuest Direct. (27 May 99).
Ramirez, Richard. Carl Panzram, 1861-1930 1996.
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(28 June, 1996).
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