In my last post, I asked what you guys thought of the death penalty. The responses varied slightly, but most leant to the side of hating it, which is most definitely what I think. To me, the death penalty is the height of hypocrisy, I mean, why do we kill people who kill people, to show people that killing is wrong?
It’s just so silly. Sure, the person has committed the greatest sin imaginable, and taken another’s life, but who then gave us the power to do the same thing back to them? My commerce teacher was saying it goes back to the old ‘an eye for an eye’, but if I’m an executioner, why am I then not punished? To be charged with first degree murder, the prosecutioner needs to be able to prove premeditation, that the act was planned. A lot of the time murder isn’t, an execution always is. It’s classified as absolutely sickening when you hear of a murderer sitting at home planning their next kills, but it’s someone ‘getting what they deserved’ when the team in charge of executions does exactly the same thing.
Whenever this topic is raised in a classroom, the argument ‘if they know they might get the death penalty for it, they won’t do it’ is always raised. That’s complete crap. If you’re going to murder someone, you’re not going to think of the consequences. If you are that twisted, you’re not going to be put off by the thought of punishment. There have been studies done in the USA that have proved that there is no difference in murder rates between states with the death penalty, and states without. It’s not a deterent at all.
L and Anonymous commented on my last post saying that the thought of tax-payers having to pay thousands of dollars a year (I think my commerce teacher said an average criminal costs between $55000 and $100000 to keep in jail per year) to keep these murderers in jail isn’t fair either, and I do agree, but to me that thought is a hell of a lot better than them being put to death.
Another issue always raised is of the victim’s family, how they deserve justice and closure. Hopefully I never have to be a victim’s family, and as I don’t know what it feels like this is pure speculation, but I believe having the killer in a maximum security jail would be enough closure for me. You sometimes here of families campaigning for the death penalty for their family members killer, but if they did get put to death, the responsibilty is partly on their shoulders. I don’t think I could cope with the knowledge that someone’s death was even slightly my fault. It’s just not right. And what about the killer’s family? Sure, they seriously screwed up, and chances are they’re not a very nice person, but should a mother have to lose her child? A child have to lose their parent? A sister have to lose her brother? A brother have to lose his sister? It would be bad enough everyone knowing that your child (etc.) was a killer, but then to have to deal with losing that child would be even worse. That family has done nothing wrong, why should they be punished? At least in jail there is the chance of visitation.
Don’t even get me started on the possibility of mistakes, either. We did a minor study on Timothy Evans in commerce and it made me sick. He was put to death for the murder of his baby daughter, only for it to be discovered years later that he had been living with a serial killer, the real murderer. With the death penalty, you can’t just let someone out of jail and say ‘whoops, sorry for taking twenty years of your life’. It’s final. And the possibility of making an irreversible mistake is just too high.
To put it simply, as Cat said in the comments, human’s shouldn’t have the right to play God. It’s not our right to decide who lives and who dies. Personally, I find it disgusting that in the year 2010 we are still using this barbaric form of punishment, and I hope that we discontinue it’s use very soon.
frangipani princess xoxo