Capital Punishment is Socially and Economically Damaging

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Capital Punishment is morally wrong and sometimes dangerously mistaken. Imagine you are sitting in the front row of a small room, seated in a chair designed for comfort, looking through the small window and watching as they strap your brother to the metal table. Your mother, beside you, is crying hysterically while your sister attempts to comfort her. You watch with sad eyes, as your brother dies alone on that metal slab. You look away, unable to watch anymore, but instead see the woman behind you smile as your brother is murdered, and you feel sick to your stomach at this madness. Has this new death actually righted a wrong? Capital Punishment is unjust and the US should abolish it.

Most of the population of Earth knows the injustice of Capital Punishment. "The United States is one of the very few industrialized countries in the world which continues to execute criminals. Further, it is one of a handful of countries in the world which executes mentally ill persons, persons with very low IQ, and child murderers (i.e. persons who were under 18 at the time of their crime)." (Robinson, Overview) We pride ourselves on our sophisticated society, but we prove ourselves to be mere barbarians when we execute prisoners.

"Barbarians. That's what we have become. We kill each other and instead of mourning the tragedy, we want the state to satisfy our bloodlust by killing the offender...we must learn to deal with these people in our midst - punish them, but do not become them." Another posting to the same feedback forum [Detroit News], 1999-MAR-2

(Robinson, Quotations)

On a national level, more people are beginning to recognize Capital Punishment as the crude sin that it is. "From 1976, when executions were resumed, until 2003-JAN-1, there have been 820 executions in the US. This includes 66 during 2001 and 71 in 2002. About two out of three executions are conducted in only five states: Texas, Virginia, Missouri, Florida and Oklahoma." (Robinson, Overview) This shows that many Americans are against Capital Punishment and no longer see the reason behind state executions. Even so, there are many people who will argue that Capital Punishment is essential to our society.

"'Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior?' NY State Senator James Donovan, speaking in support of capital punishment." (Robinson, Quotations) Many biblical arguments have been made in support of Capital Punishment. The Old Testament law commanded the death penalty for various acts, including murder, kidnapping, bestiality, adultery, homosexuality, being a false prophet, prostitution and rape, and several other crimes. Other pro-death penalty arguments include the value of human life. "Award-winning Chicago journalist Mike Royko strongly defended this position by stating:

'When I think of the thousands of inhabitants of Death Rows in the hundreds of prisons in this country...My reaction is: What's taking us so long? Let's get that electrical current flowing. Drop those pellets [of poison gas] now! Whenever I argue this with friends who have opposite views, they say that I don't have enough regard for the most marvelous of miracles - human life. Just the opposite: It's because I have so much regard for human life that I favor capital punishment. Murder is the most terrible crime there is. Anything less than the death penalty is an insult to the victim and society. It says… that we don't value the victim's life enough to punish the killer fully.'" (Pro Death Penalty)

Also, many people feel that the death penalty will discourage criminals from killing. "The execution of a murderer provides, however, that such a malefactor will never kill anyone again--the ultimate deterrent" (Meyer, Paragraph 8) And still more people feel that killing convicted murderers will satisfy their need for justice and/or vengeance. They feel that certain crimes are so heinous that executing the criminal is the only reasonable...
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