The Death Penalty (essay gives reasons for and against capital punishment).

Essay by LuckyCharmsCollege, UndergraduateA, November 2005

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There are many different views on capital punishment. There is really no sitting on the fence between supporting it and opposing it. The reasons people give for their viewpoints are equally valid no matter which side of the fence they do stand on. Capital punishment will never stop being a hot-button issue of debate in society.

Regardless of the view taken on the death penalty, a few things need to be considered. It is literally a matter of life or death to convict somebody of a crime when the punishment is capitalized. One must also consider being personally called to the jury. It may be easy to see a court case on TV and give your own verdict, but to sit in the courtroom knowing that your decision could end a person's life puts a little more pressure on things. In addition, whether a person is given life in prison or the death penalty, tax dollars will pay for it.

According to a 1998 report from the Death Penalty Information Center, "Race is more likely to affect death sentencing than smoking affects the likelihood of dying from heart disease. The latter evidence has produced enormous changes in law and societal practice, while racism in the death penalty has been largely ignored" ("The Death Penalty In Black & White: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides"). Since 1976, over 200 death row executions were to black defendants who killed white victims; in the same amount of time, only 12 executions were to white defendants who killed black victims. This shows that there is racial biasing when it comes to sentencing people to death row. Before deciding which side to take on this very important issue, one must first become familiar with reasons for either viewpoint.

To argue against capital punishment is to...