Capital Punishment: A Controversial and Costly Solution
There is plenty of controversy surrounding capital punishment. The idea of killing someone for punishment seems cruel and unjust to many, but to others, capital punishment may be the only way to fix the situation. But the truth is, every human has a right to life, and we should not be the ones to take that away, no matter the circumstances. The death penalty can range from lethal injection to being beheaded, but either way, there is no humane way to take someone’s life.
Innocence at Stake: The Flaws and Risks of Capital Punishment
Capital punishment is expensive, out of date, and just flat-out unjust. There are always cases and situations where innocent people have either been convicted or executed because, let’s face it, our justice system is flawed; it always has been and will continue to be. At least 48 people have been set free from death row since 1930 due to evidence of their innocence. Now the question is, are we willing to risk it? Are we willing to risk taking the life of someone innocent?
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Life Imprisonment vs. Death: Seeking a Humane Justice System
The death penalty is irreversible and unrepairable, and due to the constant justice system and human failure, we are bound to make mistakes. We all want a justice system that’s effective and fair, and that allows us to live in a society that is safe with less crime. Some may seek out capital punishment to obtain that society, but that’s not the case. The death penalty does little to nothing to drop crime rates and to keep us safe. Capital punishment is also not a deterrent, but life imprisonment can be. When someone sits in prison, they have time to think about the things they’ve done and the wrong behind their actions. Life imprisonment can be used as rehabilitation, while the death penalty is final. You want someone to pay for their crimes, then let them sit in prison for the rest of their lives and rot.
Most murderers may not be afraid of death, so why give them something they probably already want? It also costs more to kill someone on death row than to let them spend the rest of their lives in jail, so why go through the trouble and cost to put an end to someone’s life? The death penalty is simply cruel and unjust and violates our 8th Amendment. We want to live in a world with lower crime rates, and that’s understandable, but the death penalty is not our solution.
Instead of investing time, money, and energy into taking someone’s life, why not invest that money into something more beneficial to our society, something that can actually help lower crime rates? The 8th Amendment states that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted..” What is more cruel and unusual than killing someone? Crime will always be a part of our world. We just have to find better ways to handle and control it.
- Adams, R. (2019). The Ethics of Capital Punishment: A Philosophical Investigation. Oxford University Press.
- Barnes, J., & Lee, S. (2021). Lethal Injection and the Evolution of the Death Penalty. Cambridge University Press.
- Carter, P. L. (2020). “Human Rights and the Right to Life: Assessing Capital Punishment”. Journal of Legal Ethics.