The death penalty is a deterrent to someone who may consider committing a capital crime. Victims of capital crimes are entitled to retribution. Criminals committing capital crimes deserve severe punishment. If the crime was heinous, deliberate and multiple then capital punishment is the answer. The subject should be approached rationally and without emotion. It is not unfair and inhumane to execute another human being. For those who would unfairly, inhumanely and premeditate the demise of others, the death penalty is a necessary punishment. Many religions and religious leaders consider corporal punishment to be cruel and a unnecessary punishment. The late Pope John Paul II felt the death penalty should never be used. In an article by Anonymous (1999) the Pope is quoted as stating corporal punishment should not be used, "even in the case of someone who has done a great evil" (1999.) Corporal punishment is not cruel or unnecessary. It is a moral manner to punish someone who has committed a heinous crime. The death penalty is only used in judgment of the very worst crimes. Murderers and rapists are examples of the types of criminals who might receive the death penalty. The death penalty is the only way to react to such horrible crimes. It is the ultimate punishment. Inflicting corporal punishment ensures these types of criminals will no longer prey on society. In the racially motivated murder of James Byrd Jr. the death penalty was rightfully imposed. Mr. Byrd, an African American male, was walking home one evening when he was brutally murdered by three professed white supremacists. He was forced into their pickup truck and beaten. He was chained to the back of the pickup by his ankles and then drug for three miles. In the court trial, "A pathologist testified that Byrd was alive until his head and right arm were severed from his torso
" (Jet, 1999). One can not deny that the death penalty was not deserved in this instance. A recent Texas case in which the death penalty was imposed involved the brutal 1991 rape and murder of a single mother, Felicia Prechtl. Prechtl, unfortunately, lived next door to Karl Eugene Chamberlain. Under the pretense of borrowing a cup of sugar Chamberlain went to Prechtl's apartment where he bound and raped Prechtl. He then shot her in the head. Her body was found by two people, one being her five year old son. Chamberlain was not apprehended for the crime until 1997 when he confessed. At his trial a psychiatrist testified to have found Chamberlain to have a "sexually sadistic, antisocial personality" (United Press International, 1998). The rape and murder of Prechtl was not Chamberlain's only crime. He had other periods of violent and destructive behavior (United Press International, 1998). This is the type of person for whom the death penalty was written and should be imposed upon. Society needs to be protected from those who would commit a crime as heinous as this. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote "A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law." Justice Scalia has an opinion on what the death penalty means in this country. Anastaplo questions what the founding fathers meant by the term "cruel and unusual" and whether the death penalty fits that description (Anastaplo, 1999). Justice Scalia said, "Professor Anastaplo thinks cruel and unusual' may not mean the same today as it did before. Well, I suppose we may not think it cruel today when they may have before. Why does it have to be a one-way street? Do you think that maybe the framers had it in their minds to really oppose cruel and unusual punishmentsnot any particular ones, we just don't want punishments to be cruel and unusual, whatever that might mean? If a future generation might think that thumbscrews are not cruel and unusual, and we think they are, then that's okay. The only thing we're really against is cruel and unusual, in the abstract. That's surely not what they meant. They meant to stop those things...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document