Death Penalty

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Dead Man Walking: The Death Penalty ?Dead Man Walking? was a very emotional and touching movie. The movie truly captivated my conscience and made me think about the controversial standing of Capital Punishment. Is it morally correct to kill a man because he killed someone else? Ethically, it is considered wrong because it takes the inalienable rights away from the person. In the movie, Matthew Poncelet raped and killed two young teenagers under narcotic influence. For these crimes, he is sentenced to death via lethal injection. If you believe punishment must suit the crime, then he seems to deserve the death penalty. But, can we truly learn a lesson from this? Is this the best way to eliminate crime? Surely there must be a better, more humane act of contrition. The state murdering people owing to the extent of their crimes simply does not equate to justice.

It can discourage others from committing crime, but can not cultivate morals and respect for others.

The movie portrayed the feelings of both the families of the victims and the murderer himself. It illustrates the pain they suffer due to their sorrow and hatred for Matthew Poncelant. In the beginning, Matthew is rude and abrupt to Sister Helen. Matthew never thought that he would be visiting a nun. Soon, Matthew trusts Sister Helen and persuades her to help him file a petition to avoid his death by lethal injection. This marks a turning point in his attitude and in his ability to differentiate right and wrong. Matthew thinks that the only reason for his death is the injustice of the system and fails to identify the heinous errors he had committed. Later, by talking and sharing his thoughts with Sister Helen, he starts to understand what he did was...