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Murder is the unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice. This country believes killings someone under certain circumstances is acceptable; this should not be the case. Capital punishment, the death penalty, is the maximum sentence used in punishing people who kill another human being. It is one of the most controversial topics in America today.
Capital punishment is still murder, simple as that. The death penalty needs to be abolished in all states. There are too many flaws that come with this punishment. Innocent people can be executed, it is morally wrong, and it does not discourage, or deter crime.
From 1976 to the present, data from The Death Penalty states one hundred and nineteen death row inmates have been found innocent and set free prior to their execution. Also, at least twenty-three people have been executed who did not commit the crime they were accused of. The average number of years between being sentenced and exoneration is 9. 2 years. Paying back someone nine years of their life is impossible; let alone telling someone that is already dead, they are innocent and free to go. These numbers are way too high; errors like this should be caught right away. Wasting years of a mans life, or ending it all together is not what America should stand for.
Without the death penalty, an innocent man will at least be able to pick up where he left off, and not be wrongfully executed. Mistakes like these do not need to be made. Another big issue with killing an innocent person is the case remains closed forever. If a case is closed the police will not have reason to look for the real killer. When an innocent person is executed, the real killer is still on the streets, ready to kill someone else.
Innocence goes both ways. Innocent murder victims and wrongfully convicted people that are sentenced to death are in the same boat. Both of them had their lives stripped from them when they shouldn't have. Murdering an innocent person is like executing the wrong person. There is no full proof way of making sure innocent people are not put on death row. Therefore there is no reason for the death penalty, in any state.
Any person of any religion can see that the death penalty is morally wrong. There aren't any religions that preach killing is right. "You can't teach killing is wrong by killing" (Wekesser 74). This quote is brief, yet it gets the point across. How does the government expect people to not specifically do something, when they themselves are doing it? Christians for one teach peace, love, and forgiveness. The death penalty contradicts everything Christians stand for.
Murder after murder is not peaceful, or loving. Executing is not forgiving. There are no second chances when a person is put to death. Instead of executing an inmate, put them through rehabilitation and allow for forgiveness. Many religions also teach that only God should choose who lives and dies.
The death penalty is a lot like "playing God. " A human shouldn't be given the ability to say whether a person lives or not. Instead the death penalty should be abolished, and God should pick and choose who lives or dies. The death penalty is immoral, un-Christian, and not needed. The government wants people to believe that the idea of capital punishment deters crime, when in fact it does the opposite. Cesare Beccaria, an Italian criminologist of the 1700 s, states in Wekesser's book, "The punishment of death has never prevented determined men from injuring society" (Wekesser 21).
This quote explains how if someone wanted to kill someone, being punished with death most likely wouldn't stop them. Recent studies from The Death Penalty Information Center back up Beccaria's statement. It shows that states that have abolished the death penalty have lower crime rates than those that haven't. Studies recorded since 1976 show the south remaining the region with the highest murder rate. At the same time they have the most executions, 776.
The next closest region was the Midwest with only 102 executions since 1976. In 2003 the South's murder rate was 6. 9 people per 100, 000 people and the Midwest's was only 4. 9. Not only is there a significant difference between the two murder rates, but the South had far more executions. Facts are facts, they cannot be denied. These statistics disagree with the belief that if executions are increased, the crime rate will decrease.
Clarence Darrow, a famous lawyer from Chicago, is quoted in Mitchell's book The Death Penalty as follows: "'It is hardly probable that the great majority of people refrain from killing their neighbors because they are afraid; they refrain because they never had the inclination'" (Mitchell 47). This quote further explains how capital punishment is not a deterrent, and that the idea of killing someone doesn't cross most people's minds. Life imprisonment itself should be a deterrent to any sane person; nobody wants to spend the rest of their life behind bars. The idea of punishing someone with death for a crime is taking it too far.
The people like to think it deters crime, but in all reality nothing is being accomplished with this policy. The evidence does not lie, and it shows the states with the death penalty have a higher murder rate. Murder is wrong all together. No matter the circumstance, the death penalty should not be allowed.
Capital punishment is a power that no man or woman deserves to make for another human being. This is taking away the peoples right to live. Capital punishment has no place in today's society. There are too many bad things that can come from the death penalty. Perfectly innocent people can be put on death row, or even executed. It is immoral on so many levels.
Also it has never been proven to deter crime. Therefore capital punishment, the death penalty, should be abolished in all states. Innocent or wrongfully convicted people will be able to benefit from this, and stand another chance without the death penalty. Also there is a great chance there will be a decrease in murder rates. Bibliography Works Cited Arguments For & Against the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Curricula for High School. 13 April 2005.
Dieter, Richard. Facts about Deterrence and the Death Penalty. Death Penalty Information Center. 12 April 2005. Mitchell, Hayley, ed. The Death Penalty. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. , 2001.
Wekesser, Carol, ed. The Death Penalty: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. , 1991.
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Research essay sample on San Diego Greenhaven Death Penalty Information Center