Pro Capital Punishment Essay

According to my research there are some people who believe the death penalty is right just because it is safer to end one condemned life than to risk the lives of other innocent people. The death penalty is most commonly legal only for the most extreme cases, such as premeditated murder. Even in the event of murder, out of the 15,000 committed each year, we are only now reaching the 1,000 execution mark after thirty years! This plainly shows that those who may be pro capital punishment still use it sparingly.

Also backing up the belief for using capital punishment are numerous stories of murderers who, after being released from prison, simply killed again. One such account reads, “In 1985, 13-year-old Karen Patterson was shot to death in her bed in North Charleston, S.C. Her killer was a neighbor who had already served 10 years of a life sentence for murdering his half-brother Charles in 1970. The murderer, Joe Atkins, cut the Pattersons’ phone lines, then entered bearing a machete, a sawed-off shotgun, and a pistol.

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Karen’s parents were chased out of their home by Atkins.

Karen’s mom ran to the Atkins home nearby, where Joe then murdered his adopted father, Benjamin Atkins, 75, who had worked to persuade parole authorities to release Joe from the life sentence.” Other accounts show that a life sentence simply is not always enough to stop a person from repeating their crimes. “In 1965, Robert Massie murdered mother of two Mildred Weiss in San Gabriel, Calif., during a follow-home robbery. Hours before execution, a stay was issued so Massie could testify against his accomplice. Massie’s sentence was commuted to life when the Supreme Court halted executions in 1972. Receiving an undeserved second chance, Massie was paroled, but eight months later robbed and murdered businessman Boris Naumoff in San Francisco.” From a religious standpoint a religion that does endorse capital punishment under certain circumstances is Islam.

According to the Qu’ran in Al’ Ma’idah 5:33 “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make corruption (Fasad) in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be banished from the land; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement” This shows that they believe in the death penalty for those who simply cause corruption or bring disgrace upon Islam, especially if the perpetrator is a former Muslim. The other justification for the death penalty, according to Islam, is murder. “…If anyone kills a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he killed all people. And if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all people” (Qur’an 5:32). This obviously states that murderers should undergo the same penalty as the crime they commited. My personal beliefs about capital punishment are fairly in the middle of the road.

On the one hand I do not believe it is sinful for criminals to be put to death, as the Bible clearly endorsed the idea in the Old Testament In Genesis 9:6 it says “ Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” The New Testament of course contains more of the “grace” approach and therefore I tend to lean more that way. Although even in the New Testament the Bible states in Romans 13: 4 “ For he ( the police, judges, etc.) is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Clearly this endorses capital punishment for evildoers. On the other hand, people in America are judged as guilty by a group of people who do their best but can hardly be 100% sure on their verdict. Human error may cause and no doubt has caused some innocent people to be condemned to death while some of the guilty roam free among us.

That makes me uneasy, and is very disturbing. But is that a legitimate reason to do away with the death penalty? That is a hard question to answer, but I believe the answer is no. I believe there are certain cases where capital punishment is absolutely necessary, but I have to say that I would not want to be the one who makes that decision. How do you judge which life is more valuable than another? The other question has to do with whether or not capital punishment is truly a deterrent to others from committing crimes. There are strong arguments on both sides of that question but it is hard to judge when because of the appeals process and other delays and red tape, only a small percentage of those sentenced ever get put to death. I refer back to the fact that only about 1000 people have been executed during the last 30 years when there have been nearly half a million murders in America! So the argument that capital punishment is not a deterrent to crime carries no weight to me.

Therefore, it is still my personal belief that capital punishment should be used, with discretion, after a fair trial, and in certain cases, but I also believe that once the decision has been made, it should be executed with much greater speed. Death row shouldn’t be a mile long. I believe that once the judge has given the sentence, there should be a much faster process to the day of execution. I hate the thought of an innocent person being executed, but even worse are the hundreds of thousands of victims who are left without feeling that justice was done for their loved ones and the millions who are at risk because of the leniency of our justice system. My partner and I got along quite well. We had an easy time discussing our material and he was not difficult to deal with. He spent the time given researching, and kept in touch with me to review our presentations. When we met the next day, he was there at the time agreed upon and +wasn’t full of complaints, which I appreciate. Brandon is a good partner and I would work with him again.

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