Capital Punishment

Essay by greek9 October 2009

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For years, politicians have been passionately debating the subject of capital punishment (death penalty for a crime), which has only served to create more divisions within our society. It is an extremely sensitive subject, and one that inspires strong emotions in both directions. Thirty eight states in the US still allow capital punishment. Lethal injection is the most common form of capital punishment used in the US. Nineteen of those states and the federal government set an age minimum of eighteen for capital punishment, Prisoners on death row tend to commit suicide six times the rate of regular inmates and ten times the rate of suicide in the United States as a whole(Facts). Like abortion, gun laws, and the war on terrorism, capital punishment is an issue on which everyone is never likely to agree.

If we examine some arguments presented from both sides, opponents of the capital punishment claim that executing someone is nothing more than an immoral, state-authorized killing which undervalues the human life and destroys our respect for our government which itself says that killing is wrong.

But the supporters of the death penalty think that certain murderers do deserve nothing less than a death for themselves and that although everyone is born with the right to live, criminals lose these rights at the moment when they take away the rights of another human and only by punishing them in such way, the society is affirming the value which is placed on the victim’s right to live (Why Abolish).

Opponents of the capital punishment also claim that the whole principle of the death penalty is overshadowed by the proven risk of executing innocent people and that the avoidable killing of such people can never be justified. And according to Amnesty International, there were more than 400 known...