Arguments For And Against The Death Penalty

Friday, October 29, 2021 5:19:43 AM

Arguments For And Against The Death Penalty

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Five Arguments For the Death Penalty

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Torturing them is less than killing them. Syski believes that "torture is dehumanizing, but capital punishment is the essence of dehumanization. Richard Viguerie reached his positions on abortion and capital punishment independently, but does see a connection between the two issues: "To me, life is sacred," Mr. Viguerie says. They don't think they have a right to play God, and they don't believe that the state encourages respect for life when it engages in premediated killing. Camus was right: We know enough to say that some crimes require severe punishment. We do not know enough to say when anyone should die.

First, a reminder: I told you that, since I had just returned from an out-of-town trip and had a pile of work to do, I wouldn't be able to respond to you until later last week or sometime this week. You are, after all, commenting on an article that I researched and wrote over 30 years ago! Responding to your request for names of people who were executed for crimes to which other people later confessed: Alabama hanged Mitchell Wooten in for the murder of his employers, an elderly couple. Two other men later confessed to the murder and said Wooten was innocent. The late Mr. Espy did an enormous amount of historical research on the death penalty in the United States.

Nebraska executed R. Mead Shumway in for the murder of his employer's wife. The following year, the employer--on his deathbed--confessed that he himself had murdered his wife. Tennessee executed Maurice F. Mays in for murdering a woman; but another woman confessed to the murder four years later. England executed Timothy John Evans in for the murder of his baby daughter. Several years later, another man confessed to that murder and to the murders of several other people.

Bedau and Radelet also noted several cases in which alleged victims of murder were later discovered to be alive. That kind of discovery came too late for William Jackson Marion, who was executed for murder by Nebraska in Several years later, his alleged victim was found alive. In many other cases, there is good reason to believe that people who were executed were, in fact, innocent. Because of DNA testing and the admirable "innocence projects" around our country, such people today are more likely to be exonerated while on death row instead of after execution.

But death row itself is a terrible punishment. And science cannot solve all problems of evidence—especially when trial witnesses lie to protect themselves, or make a deal with prosecutors for a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against someone else. I hope to respond to some of your other comments in coming days; but I just do not have the time to read and respond to all of the articles to which you linked. Your source for jobs, books, retreats, and much more. Mary Meehan November 20, Deacon John Flanigan holds a sign during a vigil outside St. Louis University College Church Jan. Louis Review. Ending the death penalty is closer than you think.

Pope Francis' case against the death penalty. Death Penalty on the Ropes? Mary Meehan Mary Meehan is a writer and speaker on a variety of pro-life issues. Show Comments Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more. Rebuttal to the ten now 14 points. We have allowed 14, - 28, murderers to have murdered, again - recidivist murderers - , just since There is no credible evidence of an innocent executed, at least since the 's, if then. Just as murderers, potential murderers, as the rest of us, fear death more than life and prefer life over death.

That which we fear the most, deters more, that which we prefer the most, deters less. Rebuttal to 2 White murderers are twice as likely to be executed as are black murderers. Wealthy capital murderers are so rare, there is no data available to show if there is a wealth benefit, even though we may all suspect that there would be. There is a credible argument, depending upon how you define "wealthy", that wealthy murderers are more likely to be sentenced to death. Has a greater percentage of wealthy capital murderers been so spared?

Probably not, but it is likely so tiny a data base that it would not be relevant. Rape can get probation or life. Nor is there any sanction with greater limitations on its application. Nor one that has greater controls in pre trial and at trial. Nor one that has two separate trials - one for guilt or innocence and, if guilty, another trial for the punishment phase. Nor one with greater care in jury selection. Nor any sanction with more thorough and extensive appeals. The US Supreme Court has stated that the death penalty has "super due process".

Capital murders represent the smallest category of crimes. Is there any trial, whereby mandatoryy sentences are not used, where the result, so often is the maximum sentence? Is there any other trial, whereby mandatoryy sentences are not used, that only two possible sentences are available? Clearly, the facts tell us that the death penalty is the least arbitrary and capricious sanction in the US. Nothing else comes close. Knowing those unchallenged facts, how could anyone call the death penalty arbitrary and capricious? Methinks its those anti death penalty folks, like Ms.

Meehan, who are arbitrary and capricious, because, we know, that. Rebuttal to 4 Anti death penalty activists and the media, often one and the same, are the ones fueling the publicity for death sentenced murderers. Stop doing it. If the death penalty goes, away, then those same folks will do the same thing with life without parole, then etc. Rebuttal to 5 There is no moral prohibition against doctors participating in execution, although there used to be very strong ones against them participating in euthanasia and abortions. Some physician moralists found the prohibitions against euthanasia and abortions to be inconvenient and so, just, wrote them away. I am sure that Ms. Meehan will not see those examples as laudable.

Meehan, in using the physician example against the death penalty. Rebuttal to 7 There is no category of crime or sanction whereby it will all be consistent with each subjective view of the crime, responding with an equally subjective opinion as to just sanction for that crime. We have categories of crimes with a range of punishments for them. You, simply, can do no better than that. You would have to do away with all sanctions, if you went by the standards provided by Meehan.

Rebuttal to 8 The Catholic Church has a year rebuttal to these comments, courtesy of Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, biblical scholars and theologians. Pope Pius XII: "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live.

Part of Synopsis of Professor Lloyd R. Rebuttal to 9 In breadth and depth, traditional and eternal Catholic teachings, in support of the death penalty, overwhelm any teachings to the contrary, as we see in the year record from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians. See rebuttal to 8, below. Rebuttal to 10 Read the Catholic positions from rebuttal to 8 and 9 The right to life, just as the right to freedom, is conditional and not absolute.

The Church agrees. Freedom and life may both be forfeited based upon the nature of the crimes. All life is forfeited by sin. Rebuttal to Richard Viguerie. As a rule, anti death penalty arguments are either false or the pro death penalty arguments are stronger. Richard A. Viguerie gave a detailed revew of why he opposed the death penalty. It was easily rebutted, here: Rebuttal to Richard A. Virtually all Christian denominations, biblical scholars and theologians are aware that the correct translation is some version of "thou shalt not murder". Viguerie wrote: "that Christ would oppose the killing of a human being as punishment for a crime.

Well, no. Meehan writes: "A number of persons executed in the United States were later cleared by confessions of those who had actually committed the crimes. Can you name them and provide a link for the evidence? Follow up: There is no statute of limitations for murder. Were those who confessed prosecuted? Was the executed party ies pardoned? Meehan has since added two more reasons to oppose the death penalty see footnote : 1 That the death penalty is assisted suicide; and 2 That murderers are executed despite mitigating circumstances to rebut 1 The death penalty is assisted suicide a Some of them waive appeals because they are doing the right thing, as they deserve their sanction and want to show that they accept it.

We want criminals to accept their sanctions, to show contrition and remorse. Very few, if any, would be found to have committed suicide. Because the sanction has been imposed upon them -- it is not their choice, except in the context that they put themselves at risk of the death penalty , because of their decision to murder, just as all criminals put themselves at risk of sanction because of their bad choices.

Meehan's illogic would include removing any sanction whereby a prisoner commits suicide while in prison, likely, causing the removal of all sanctions, based upon Ms. Meehan's poor reasoning. Juries and judges weigh mitigating circumstances against aggravating factors and make the decision for death, based upon those cases wherein the mitigators are overwhelmed by the aggravators. This is how it is intended to work. Meehan only lists alleged mitigators, not the rebuttals to them or the aggravating factors. In other words, she only presented the defense side, which may have been completely destroyed by the prosecutor and overwhelmed by the aggravating factors. Meehan recommends: "Murderers should do productive work in prison in order to pay for their room and board and to make financial restitution to the families of their victims.

I am certain that the respondents to this poll have no idea how grotesque it is. Let's say your daughter was raped and murdered. Her birthday? Your birthday or wedding anniversary? The day she would have graduated from high school? Is there any day you would want to open that letter and hold that check from the man who raped and murdered your daughter? Think about it. From Ms. Meehan's other site, as well Ms. Executions are premeditated killings in which society actually imitates the killer.

This is a common anti death penalty problem, not being able to see the obvious moral differences between the rape and murder of children a crime against an innocent victim and the execution of that rapist murderer a sanction for the guilty party. Anti death penalty folks equate both killings, only because they have no moral compass. They also equate kidnapping and incarceration, as they do fines and theft. Zero moral compass. Just astounding. Meehan finds: 9. There is no good way to kill someone; all of the methods are appalling. Her statement is based upon her opposing the death penalty and not much else. The only relevant case she mentions is one lethal injection case, whereby a "cut down" was required. This is a common procedure with surgeries, when a suitable surface vein cannot be found, the same procedure used in lehtal injection, when required.

Lethal injection is painless. I agree with her assessment that the search for the most painless method is a bit of a bad story. However, I think she overlooks the constant efforts by anti death penalty activists to undermine any method of execution, by legal as well as public policy channels, inclusive of the absurd one with lethal injection, that made it all the way to the US Supreme Court. A review of the most common anti death penalty absurdities. Camus is fascinating. But, I am not sure he's the guy to listen to on the death penalty. Camus sees this question of suicide as a natural response to an underlying premise, namely that life is absurd in a variety of ways.

As we have seen, both the presence and absence of life i. But Camus also thinks it absurd to try to know, understand, or explain the world, for he sees the attempt to gain rational knowledge as futile. But he doesn't argue for life's absurdity or attempt to explain it—he is not interested in either project, nor would such projects engage his strength as a thinker. Accepting absurdity as the mood of the times, he asks above all whether and how to live in the face of it. But he does not argue this question either, and rather chooses to demonstrate the attitude towards life that would deter suicide. In other words, the main concern of the book is to sketch ways of living our lives so as to make them worth living despite their being meaningless.

Leszek Syski, a Maryland antiabortion activist, says that "capital punishment is the essence of dehumanization. Anti abortion activists find the fetus to be profoundly human, some pro abortion folks find the fetus to be a zygote, a collection of cells. The Death Penalty: Recognizing the Humanity of the Murderer Both pro and anti death penalty folks recognize the humanity of the murderers. In fact, Christian moralist C. It is the sense of this sanctity that constrains the demand for the infliction of this penalty. The deeper our regard for life the firmer will be our hold upon the penal sanction which the violation of that sanctity merit. Gervas A. For capital punishment provides the murderer with incentive to repentance which the ordinary man does not have, that is a definite date on which he is to meet his God.

It is as if God thus providentially granted him a special inducement to repentance out of consideration of the enormity of his crime. Even divine justice here may be said to be tempered with mercy. Robert Ingram, ed. Thomas Press, Houston, , Indeed, this is the reason why scripture and Christian tradition have upheld it, a fact which suggests that, if anything, it may be the abolition of capital punishment which threatens to cheapen life, not its retention. There is no greater legal due process than with the US death penalty, what the US Supreme Court calls super due process, only present because of our reverence for the human condition. To punish with death, each one of the 12 jurors must agree with the prosecution in each of five specific areas 2.

If convicted and sentenced to death,some inmates may then begin an appeals process that could extend through 23 years, 60 appeals and over individual judicial and executive reviews of the inmates claims. The average time on death row for those executed from was over 10 years. Gee, Dudley, you have me wondering what feeds your zeal to kill and defend that killing? A sense of justice, fairness? Or is it an ideology? What if it were your child who was condemned to die, yet who had not killed anyone himself? I know several cases, men children, really who are convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to die see the felony murder rule even though they neither killed anyone nor had an intention to kill.

Essentially, most were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Is this fair? If you respond to this, I would appreciate it if you would speak from your own life experience and not refer me to other sites. Dudley Sharp. Beth: Thank you for the inquiry. I thought it was clear by my responses. To be more clear: Anti death penalty arguments are either false or the pro death penalty arguments are stronger. That should have been obvious in every response. In any public policy debate, fact checking should be very important. In the case of the death penalty, justice is at stake. In the case of the death penalty debate, truth is at stake.

Truth and justice are preeminent moral concerns and thus, should always be defended, particularly in the primary context of the horrendous crimes and their innocent victims. I was much more thorough, here, because it is the America Magazine. Beth: It is doubtful that you are truly speaking of cases whereby the persons "were in the wrong place at the wrong time. To be clear, a criminal who can become a legal accomplice, under the felony murder law, or more properly, the law of parties, is one who was actually part of the illegal activity, an activity which resulted in a capital murder.

The accomplice is part of the capital murder, even if they did not "pull the trigger", because they were, legally and morally, an accomplice to the criminal activity, just as Bin Laden was, thousands of miles away. It is much more likely that the innocent murder vicitm s were in the right place at the right time - but a bad guy perverted it into the wrong time and place - the murderers turned something right into something wrong. You might end up on death row. Texas Law of Parties: A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense or if, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy.

By John Gramlich, Stateline. Beth Cioffoletti. Dudley, I will tell you about the case that I know most intimately, that of TW. I had known TW since he was 5 years old - he was a bright, creative, eager to please child. He was never in any trouble whatsoever at school. ZERO record of misbehavior of any kind. When he was 18 years old, just before he graduated from High School, he got "mixed up" with some questionable characters.

TW had a car and was coerced into driving these characters to a house where they were going to buy marijuana. TW waited outside while they went in to get the marijuana. While they were in there, a young man was shot and killed it wasn't planned, it just happened. TW's parents were not properly advised, legally, and could not believe that their son could be convicted of 1st degree murder, so they refused any plea deals. TW was in fact convicted of 1st degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. This was in Yet all attempts for clemency and pardon have been denied. This is just one story, the one I know most intimately. Under the mandatory sentencing laws of the state of Florida, the judge had only 2 choices in sentencing Taylor: the death penalty or life in prison.

Is this justice? Is this reason to condemn this young man to death? Beth: What is TW's name and do you have a link to the appelate or court record? I would need to look at the case and make a determination based upon the facts, which all can see. Full disclosure, please. When you don't have the court documents, who do you believe? The judge. Judge Maxwell writes in his order. Wells also stated that the co-defendants had two guns, while they were talking about picking up the weed, and that he saw them take the two guns into the house in Cape Canaveral," " Wells also stated that they wore masks when they went into the house so they could hide their identities.

A jury would not believe that the defendant did not know the co-defendants planned to commit a robbery after he saw them entering the house with masks on, carrying guns. Lykkebak defense counsel said the statements are false, citing portions of Mr. Wells' post-arrest interview. Lykkebak writes. Wells could not even see the house. Wells intended to reap the benefits of the robbery. The Court finds that even if co-defendant Kharibe Burgan testified that the co-defendants took advantage of, and intimidated the defendant, and that the defendant did not know about the robbery plans, the result of the trial would have been about the same.

The testimony of the four co-defendants would not overcome the defendant's statement to police. Lykkebak strongly disputes Judge Maxwell's opinion. Lykkebak states. In the arrest interview Mr. Wells said Burgan had Wells drive him to the grocery store, so Burgan could buy some zip-lock bags. Lykkebak argues that Judge Maxwell's ruling improperly relies on a previous opinion from another judge and not on the post-arrest interview and statements by co-defendants whose testimony was previously unavailable.

So you believe the judge? I was at that hearing. Lykkebak did a good job presenting the facts and gross misinterpretation of the case by the prosecution. From my point of view Judge Maxwell was a coward, unable to undo the rulings of previous judges because of political and career considerations. So you think that it is ok to execute this 18 year old who is still in high school and has no prior criminal or other record of misbehavior? Or to send him to prison for the rest of his life? Beth: As I stated, the problem is that I don't have the trial transcript and as a matter of fact, any neutral party must accept the opinion of a neutral judge, over that of the covicted parties advocate, who is, by definition, not neutral.

In addition, this judge repeated a number of the facts as stated by a prior judge, which as a matter of law and fact, provides a stronger case against Wells and less credibility to defense counsel. Under that scenario, yes, of course I believe the judge. I can see no evidence for your allegation that political or career considerations were part of the judges decsion and I suspect you have no such evidence, other than what appears to be your vested interest in being another advocate for Wells. None of this is to say that your side of the story is untrue. However, the opinon I read is supported by two neutral judges and is only rebutted by two advocates for Wells. Both reason and probability makes one side wth the judges, which explains why pardon and clemency efforts have failed, based ONLY upon the limited evidence I have read.

If you have court documents of other judicial opinions, that would be helpful. It is not a matter of me saying what is OK or not. It is a matter of being fully informed, prior to rendering an opinion. We all want truth and justice. In our system it requires admissable facts of evidence. A prior record is, very often, not telling as to guilt. John Wayne Gacy, as well as a number of additonal serial murderers, had no priors to their being found guilt of their serial murders.

Even criminalss with massive prior records can be innocent of other crimes they are charged with. The issue is having all of the facts. For me, that is a requirement, as it should be for all. I think it is the responsible position. All I am asking, Dudley, is if you think that the law is just? A law that allows someone to be executed who is peripheral to a murder? Taylor's is the one case that I know the best. I know plenty of other cases where there is more or less involvement. A guy drives a friend to a to get cigarettes. While he is in there the friend shoots the shopkeeper.

The friend comes out with his cigarettes and the guy drives away, never even knowing what happened. Two weeks later the guy is arrested and then convicted of 1st degree murder. Whether you believe the judge or the attorney or me, or read the trial transcript - the end result is that Taylor Wells is culpable under the law and that the judge would have been perfectly within bounds to have him killed. It took me a few years to understand this. For a long time I wanted the judges to listen to reason, have some compassion, before I realized that they just follow the law. You are a big proponent of the Death Penalty.

This is how it works in America. Young kids are killed or sent to prison for the rest of their lives with no chance to get out, for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. They never killed anyone or held a gun or assisted a gun-man. Get to know some of these cases and families. When a party to a criminal enterprise knows that robbery, with threat of force, weapons, is part of that enterprise and someone gets murdered, yes, they should be prosecuted as part of that conspiracy and subject to the same culpability as the actual murderer, while also considering any mitigating circumstances, in additonal to the aggravators. A crime with threat of harm, robbery, rape, car jacking, etc.

That is why the weapon is there and that is always the threat, as all parties to the conspiracy know. Bin Laden was thousands of miles away. Just as it is the same for a robbery conspiracy, whereby folks are murdered. I must correct you. The only neutral evidence that I have read finds that Wells was in the wrong place at the wrong time at his chosing and with his full knowledge. One has to be a minimum of 18 years old, at the time of the crime, to be sentneced to death or life without parole. These are not young kids, but young adults. If we are honest, most all of us will admit to errors of judgement when we were 18, 19, or 20 years old. Situations not so very different from that of my friend, Taylor Wells. In fact, most every one I tell the story of Taylor to say: that could have been me!

You are saying that these situations warrant execution or life in prison without a chance to ever get out. Beth: My guess is that you described the scenario to others, as per your bias. If we accept the neutral judges opinions, that Wells knew it was an armed robbery of a drug dealer. The probability of violence or death is way too high for any rational person to say they would have gone along with it. Your guess is wrong, Dudley.

I know that he is not a criminal and has never intentionally hurt another person in his life. Everyone of his teachers and classmates have testified the same thing. He was one of the best kids you could ever know. That he is spending his life in prison is beyond absurd. Since I have been so outraged about Taylor's sentencing, I've found out that there are tens of thousands of others in this country with similar stories. I also know that I have been in situations with questionable characters, especially during early adulthood, where I would have been in a similar situation as Taylor and gone along with something that I wasn't sure about.

If you are honest, you would know and admit to the same thing in yourself. Once again, I ask you to dare to get to know, personally, some of these cases and people. Just one case is probably enough. Go to a prison and get to know a prisoner. It will change you forever. You might be able to forgive yourself so that you don't have to be so rigid and hard with everybody else. Beth: I have reviewed a number of these cases, often involving folks with an emotional attachment to the guilty party, such as you, with them and defense presenting only their side of the story and leaving out the court evidence and judicial rulings, which conflicted with those advocating for the criminal.

The appeals courts, most often, providing their neutral opnions, contraditcting the position of those advocating for the criminal. The same, as I have observed, here, in Well's case, with my limited review of the judicial opinions. You know, Dudley, every one that I tell this story to other than those who know Taylor personally think that I am leaving something out. Like you, they think that I'm biased and in some way twisting the story. But I am not. They can't believe that this kind of outrageous injustice is done in the courts of America. I couldn't believe it either. For many years I thought that some court error had taken place, that it could be corrected. Surely we didn't execute or cage forever promising young kids like Taylor who made an error of judgement.

For maybe 10 years I thought that we could we could find a way for Taylor to resume his life. But I was wrong. It's all cut and dried. In all these years more than 20 , I have only known of one FMR conviction that was overturned - a girl whose father worked in maintenance at the University of Colorado. He got a major writer and the entire University community behind him and was able to get a judge to overturn his daughter's 1st degree murder conviction. That is the only one. There is something seriously wrong here. You can't believe it either, so you tell me that I'm not telling the story straight. Beth: You seem to be missing what I am stating clearly. Based upon the two judges neutral opinions, I can see no one agreeing with your position.

I make these case judgements based upon the facts, not faith. The ONLY neutral facts at my disposal are the opposite of your story. Well, there are more facts against your position and for the position of the judges. All of Taylor's appeals have been denied, which are decisions in line with the judicial comments I have read, which conflict with your side of the story. You misunderstand what I am arguing, Dudley. The judges are just upholding the law. Their rulings are correct. Taylor was part of a group of people who committed a robbery and during that robbery someone was killed. Taylor made a terrible mistake and deserves some punishment. But does he deserve to be killed??? They fear most death deliberately inflicted by law and scheduled by the courts….

Hence, the threat of the death penalty may deter some murderers who otherwise might not have been deterred. And surely the death penalty is the only penalty that could deter prisoners already serving a life sentence and tempted to kill a guard, or offenders about to be arrested and facing a life sentence. This was due to other possible murderers being deterred from committing murder after realizing thatother criminals are executed for their crimes. Capital punishment also acts as a deterrent for recidivism the rate at which previously convicted criminals return to committing crimes after being released ; if the criminal is executed he has no opportunity to commit crimes again.

Some may argue that there is not enough concrete evidence to use deterrence as an argument for the death penalty. The reason some evidence may be inconclusive is that the death penalty often takes a while to be carried out; some prisoners sit on death row for years before being executed. This can influence the effectiveness of deterrence because punishments that are carried out swiftly are better examples to others. Although the death penalty is already effective at deterring possible criminals, it would be even more effective if the legal process were carried out more quickly instead of having inmates on death row for years.

The death penalty also carries out retribution justly. When someone commits a crime it disturbs the order of society; these crimes take away lives, peace, and liberties from society. Giving the death penalty as a punishment simply restores order to society and adequately punishes the criminal for his wrongdoing. Retribution also serves justice for murder victims and their families. The death penalty puts the scales of justice back in balance after they were unfairly tipped towards the criminal. The morality of the death penalty has been hotly debated for many years. Those opposed to the death penalty say that it is immoral for the government to take the life of a citizen under any circumstance. It is immoral to not properly punish a person who has committed such a horrendous crime.

The criminal is also executed humanely; in no way is he subjected to torture or any form of cruelty. All states that use the death penalty use lethal injection; the days of subjecting a prisoner to hanging or the electric chair are long gone in the US. Inmates are first given a large dose of an anesthetic so they do not feel any pain Bosner ; this proves that the process is made as humane as possible so the inmates do not physically suffer. Although the issue of morality is very personal for many people, it is important to see the facts and realize that capital punishment does take morality into account and therefore is carried out in the best way possible.

The eighth amendment to the United States Constitution prevents cruel and unusual punishment. Many opponents of capital punishment say that execution is cruel and unusual punishment and therefore violates the Constitution. As was stated earlier, the recipient of the death penalty is treated humanely and is not tortured in any way, shape, or form. After the anesthetic is administered the person feels no pain; the only part of the process that could be considered painful is when the IV is inserted, but that is done in hospitals on a daily basis and no one is calling it unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the death penalty as constitutional in cases they have presided over. In the case of Furman v.

The Supreme Court has not found capital punishment to be unconstitutional, and therefore this argument for abolition is invalid. Another argument put forth by death penalty abolitionists is the possibility of executing an innocent person. Many people that argue this overestimate how often this happens, it is an extremely rare occurrence and has not happened since the death penalty was reintroduced in Steven D. Mistakes will be made in any system which relies upon human testimony for proof. We should be vigilant to uncover and avoid such mistakes. Our system of justice rightfully demands a higher standard for death penalty cases. Stewart points out that death penalty cases are held to a much higher standard. Due process in these cases takes much longer so that the court can be absolutely sure that the person is guilty before sentencing him to execution.

This helps to eliminate any errors that could lead to executing the wrong person. He also points out that although there is a small possibility for mistakes to be made, this does not mean capital punishment should be abolished. If everything that had the potential for harmful mistakes were outlawed, society would be extremely crippled. It is true that there is disproportionality when it comes to the races and classes that most frequently receive the death penalty. It has been proven that minorities and those with lower income levels are overrepresented on death row. This is not due to discrimination; this is due to the higher rate at which these groups commit crime ProCon.

It has been argued that poverty breeds criminality; if this is true then it makes sense that those at a lower income level would more frequently be sentenced to execution than those at higher income levels ProCon. It has also been proven that minorities are disproportionately poor, and therefore they would also be more likely to receive the death penalty. Ernest van den Haag said it best:. Guilt is personal. The only relevant question is: does the person to be executed deserve the punishment?

Whether or not others deserved the same punishment, whatever the economic or racial group, have avoided execution is irrelevant. It does not matter what race or economic status a person is, if he is guilty he must receive the appropriate punishment, which in some cases may be the death penalty. Capital punishment can be a difficult topic to approach because people tend to have extreme views on it. The death penalty is an asset to society; it deters potential criminals as well as serves retribution to criminals, and is in no way immoral.

The arguments against the death penalty often do not hold up when examined more closely. It is important that the nation is united on this issue, rather than having some states use capital punishment while others do not. The death penalty can be an extremely useful tool in sentencing criminals that have committed some of the worst crimes known to society. It is imperative that we begin to pass legislation making capital punishment legal throughout the United States so that justice can be served properly.

Bosner, Kevin. Budziszewski, J. August Death Penalty Curricula for High School. Death Penalty Information Center. Green, Melissa S. Lowe, Wesley. This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 24th, at pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.

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