Fighting fire with fire doesn’t work – that’s a fact. Capital punishment justifies this flawed philosophy and contradicts the idea of a civilized society.
The United States is one of only two developed nations in the world that still carry out executions, the other being Japan. Since the Supreme Court found capital punishment to be constitutional in 1976, there have been over 1,000 executions in our country.
The controversy over capital punishment is not just a political debate; it’s a moral one. By allowing the death penalty in United States, we are demonstrating that condemning someone to death is an acceptable means of solving a problem in society.
As basic sociology teaches, people will only be deterred from an action if that action has immediate consequences. In Texas, the average time an inmate will be on death row is 10 years according to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
In California, that average rises to 16 years. In some instances, inmates are on death row for over two decades. The death penalty is not an effective means of punctually demonstrating consequences.
Just as speeding tickets do not stop people from speeding and jail time does not stop people from stealing, the death penalty does not stop people from taking the lives of others.
Capital punishment is not stopping people from committing murders. If a murder is premeditated, the person usually will do all in their power to make sure that the crime is covered up so they won’t be convicted of it. Clearly they were aware of the possibility of the death sentence, yet they were still not deterred.
However, there has been a recent movement across the country to catch up with what the rest of the world has already realized.
In our country, 15 states have abolished the penalty. As research indicates, there is not a difference in murder rates between countries with or without capital punishment.
As the American Civil Liberties Union states, in the 1970s states with the death penalty averaged an annual rate of 7.9 percent criminal homicides per 100,000 people while states without the penalty averaged a rate of 5.1 percent.
Humans are imperfect and sometimes come to the wrong conclusions. The 244 people who have been found innocent due to DNA evidence after they were convicted would agree.
Many on the other side of the debate point to the cost of keeping a murderer alive in a jail cell. It potentially costs the taxpayer millions. But, if capital punishment were taken away and replaced with life without the possibility of parole we would actually be saving taxpayers’ money.
The Constitution calls for a long legal process for capital cases that costs millions and millions of dollars.
Revenge is an emotion that all of us have experienced. When a loved one is hurt by someone, we usually want to inflict that same pain onto them. But subjecting a person to a painless death does not allow them to think about the hurt they instilled. Instead, it gives them an easy way out.
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”