Capital Punishment
Capital Punishment: a.k.a. the death penalty. To kill or not to kill. This is an extremely controversial question in
today’s society. The number of people who are for it still believe in the saying, “ an eye for an eye, a tooth for a
tooth.” These are the people who feel if you intentionally take the life of someone else, then yours should be taken
as well. But then there are the other number of people who feel the death penalty should be banned because of its
cruel and unjust way of punishment. Should we keep it or not? And if it is kept, how do we determine who should be
sentenced to death? An easy way to answer these questions is to totally nullify capital punishment completely.
One reason why the death penalty is so controversial is because many feel its cruel ways of punishment are
unnecessary, even if the crime is murder, whether it be premeditated or unintentional. They believe there are other
ways of condemnation besides execution. In the case of an unintentional death feelings are that the perpetrators
should have the right to live, but have to face each day with the fact that they killed someone weighing on their
conscience. On the other hand, such as with a voluntary murder, the ideas are somewhat similar. They believe the
murderer doesn’t deserve the death penalty. Chances are if a person is insane enough to kill another human being in
the first place, they aren’t going to care what happens to them. They
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realize that their execution, in most cases, is going to be short and painless. This isn’t a just punishment for someone
who has inflicted severe pain upon another life. Our court system, after initiating a life sentence without parole,
should not offer these killers the comforts they have in jail. They should be treated more or less like animals. In
short, let the ones who institute a crime unwillingly live, but do not let the punishment be as severe as it would for a
voluntary criminal.
There are a vast number of people who believe that increasing the use of the death penalty will abate the crime rate.
Not true. While a criminal is in the process of committing a crime, chances are that he is not contemplating what his
punishment will be for his actions. More than likely his thoughts are upon getting what he wants, whether it be
something tangible, such as money, or something as valuable as one’s life. There have been studies done in areas by
criminologists who have been trying to find a direct relationship between use of the death penalty and the murder
rate. Their results? Negative. They have failed to discover any connection between the two. Therefore, use of capital
punishment will not affect the crime rate of an area in any such way.
The third and possibly the most important reason why capital punishment should be eliminated is because what is
stated in the Bible. The sixth commandment specifically says “Thou shalt not kill.” If someone is executed, our
court system is deliberately defying our Lord’s laws. John 8:7 says, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
This supports the idea that only a man who is not a sinner has the right to eliminate someone from this Earth. Many
feel the only person or being who is without sin is God. They also believe that He is the only existence who has the
right to take someone’s life, or “cast the first stone.” Which in turn means we as humans are not entitled to that
privilege.
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The use of capital punishment in today’s society is an incredibly controversial issue which will require a great deal
of contemplation to answer the questions: to kill or not to kill? Many feel that the annihilation of this practice will
solve a large number of the problems and questions about the death penalty that haunt our society today.Jennifer
Barnett
AP US History
6th period
September 6, 1994


Capital Punishment
Capital Punishment: a.k.a. the death penalty. To kill or not to kill. This is an extremely controversial question in
today’s society. The number of people who are for it still believe in the saying,