The Value of Life on Death Row
A man in his late 30s is walking down a cold, lifeless hallway. He maintains a solemn stare at the ground as if it is a window through which he can see all of his past mistakes. He was found guilty of murder and, despite numerous attempts to convince the judge that he could change, was sentenced to death. The chains binding his hands behind his back remind him that he will never be free again. Surrounding him are three guards, each carrying a rifle. They walk the prisoner to a small room at the end of the hallway. Inside, a doctor is preparing what looks like a simple flu vaccination, but the flu is the last thing on the prisoner's mind. As the guards strapped him down, he began to beg for his life. With a sigh of regret, the doctor inserts the needle and counts to three. The prisoner began to shake violently as his organs shut down on him one by one. Within two minutes of the injection, the prisoner was pronounced dead. If this man did actually murder someone, who is to say that he couldn't change for the better? How does taking his life justify the death of the person he killed? This is in noway true justice. Although the death penalty can sometimes provide closure for the family of a murder victim, it should be outlawed because it is morally, ethically, and legally unjust.
As for the moral aspect of capital punishment, the expert opinion of the death penalty is constantly changing. It is widely accepted across the United States that lethal injection is the most humane form of execution. However, there is really no humane way to take away a man's existence. Several Supreme Court Justices who once voted in favor of capital punishment are now beginning to see this logic as well. It is very uncommon for a member of the Supreme Court to completely reverse his or her opinion on an issue, but in recent years, three justices have come forward saying exactly that. These are...
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