English 12 Block D
28 November 2012
The death penalty has been the highest form of criminal punishment in the American judicial system since the thirteen colonies. It has taken the form of hanging, stoning, beheading, gasing, burning, drowning, and injection. However, the taking of a man’s life as a repercussion for a criminal behavior is wrong. The moral injustice of murder, the cruelty of execution, and the death of innocent men are all concerns that make the death penalty wrong. The government should abolish the death penalty in order to observe morality, end cruelty, and protect innocent men. The death penalty violates the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment. A state should not have the right to take a man’s life as a repercussion for the man taking another. The death penalty is uncivilized; it makes people look as if they haven’t advanced as a civilization. “The death penalty is a waste of taxpayer’s money and has no public safety benefit” (Bedeau). Applying the death penalty does not lower crime rates, the states that have it enforced do not have a lower crime than those who do not. For some reason people who are colored are more likely to be executed, especially if their victim happens to be white. Innocent people are too often sentenced to death. “Since 1973, over 138 people have been released from death rows in 26 states due to innocence” (Bedeau). At least one person is exonerated for each person executed. Lethal injection is the standard execution method, since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. There has been about 150 executions by electric chair, about 10 by gas chamber and less than 5 by hanging or other means. The lethal injection is usually three different drugs. One drug numbs the person, one which paralyzes their muscles including their lungs and one which causes a heart attack. Executions cost a lot more than life in prison, it costs two million dollars...
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