English Composition ENG101
03 December 2011
The death penalty is a subject of much debate amongst the American people. Some people support capital punishment while others do not. Examination of sources and analyses of important history regarding the death penalty will hopefully add to the understanding of why it is so important in our day and age to have such a penalty to deter and deal with the most violent of offenders in our modern day society. A major influence on my position is my uncle being murdered when I was younger. The points I use to support my argument for being Pro Death Penalty are the history of the death penalty, the death penalty as a deterrent, cost comparison between the sentences of life and death, and is victim’s justice served. Knowledge of this personal influence, and the points mentioned above adds to the understanding of being Pro Death.
The Death Penalty
The position I take on the issue of the death penalty is one of deep conviction due to personal experience with a murdered family member. Many people might say that this would cause me to have a biased view. This experience if anything gives me a better understanding of the importance of such a punishment, and I truly believe that you can not accurately speak on such a topic unless you yourself has been affected by the outcome of such a heinous crime. Therefore the death penalty should not be banned as a form of punishment and should be implemented in a much more aggressive manner. Besides the murder of my uncle influencing my decision, there are a few other reasons to support my position on the death penalty, and those are, looking at the history of the death penalty, the death penalty as a deterrent, cost comparison (Life vs. Death), and victim’s justice served (retribution).
The history of the death penalty in America was derived from the British. The first recorded execution in America was that of Captain George Kendall for being a spy for Spain in 1608. All throughout colonial times the death penalty was evolving from Duke’s Laws of 1665 which meant you could be sentenced to death for stealing grapes, or striking ones own parents, to Thomas Jefferson proposing a bill to only enforce death sentences for the crimes of murder and treason. In 1794 Dr. Benjamin Rush with the support of Benjamin Franklin led Pennsylvania to become the first state to consider degrees of murder. That same year Pennsylvania repealed the death penalty for all offenses except first-degree murder. As we came into the nineteenth and twentieth century some states began abolishing the death penalty while some states held onto capital punishment recognizing the importance of ridding society of worthless human beings. Surprisingly as time goes on from then till present day people continue to become a weaker and weaker society losing the backbone that our forefathers once had. Unfortunately our justice system shows more sympathy for criminals than it does victims. People would rather coddle a violent criminal instead of giving them the sentence they deserve, death.
The fear of death is by far a person’s greatest fear, it does not matter who you are, or what you do for a living, no person wants to die. There is no better deterrent to violent crime than capital punishment. (Clemson University Professor Shepherd) found that each execution results, on average, in five fewer murders. The problem we face with deterrence is the speed in which the death penalty is carried out, to instill the fear that you will be dealt with swiftly for your violent crimes. Without a shadow of a doubt the death penalty is a deterrent and saves a lot of innocent lives. Actual testimony from convicted individuals states this fact. One example is of an Iowa prisoner, who escaped from a transportation van, with...