Opposing the Death Penalty

Essay by CervantesCollege, UndergraduateB, October 1996

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Opposing The Death Penalty

Taking this course has made me ponder on many issues which I never deemed worthy of my thoughts. I always considered the death penalty one of those things which I never had to concern myself with. First of all I'm not planning to commit any vial crimes, and I don't think anyone I care about has those plans either. Secondly, I've never been conscious or concerned with the likes of criminals. When we began speaking on the subject, I thought we were only going to talk about the institution of racism in capital punishment, and was quite unaware of the feeling this subject would arouse in me. Needless to say, I have formed some opinions on the issue which confused even me.

I always considered myself pro-capital punishment. I was of the mind that if someone killed me, I would like my death avenged, but pondering on the issue of cultural differences has made me doubt my prior convictions.

First of all, I am against the use of the lethal injection. I understand that it is cleaner, but if the law wants to inflict death as a punishment, it must understand that death is not a pretty thing. Criminals are painlessly put to sleep, and die in the same manner that Dr. Kavorkian's patients choose. Personally, if I was faced with the option of living the remainder of my life in isolation, perpetually haunted by pain and images of terror, I would absolutely chose to die by lethal injection. There is no true punishment in this method, except the fear of going to hell, which I strongly doubt is of much concern to most convicts on death row.

Assuming that the judicial processes which convict these individuals are legitimate, the only common bond within this group...