Death penalty-NO vs yes

The death penalty is faulty.

The fact that this is a hard thing to say in our society is frightening and downright strange. All my life, I’ve heard the arguments for capital punishment, and as they are generally made by well-meaning people, I have always honestly considered what they had to say, and I still come away with the same resounding conclusion: The death penalty is faulty.

Generally, the first argument made in favor of the death penalty is that it is somehow a deterrent to violent crime. I’ve often struggled with this idea. Death simply cannot be a deterrent to death. If the purpose is for a lesson to be learned, as the idea of being a deterrent would seem to imply, then I can’t see who the lesson is for. The killer will be dead, and the sort of person who commits crimes violent enough to receive the death penalty, such as gang members, serial murderers, and terrorists, would seem to live in a situation in which death is already a likely scenario.

People often argue on the side of revenge, saying that it provides closure to the survivors of a violent crime, or that, considering the crime, it is only fair to give the criminal an equal treatment. However, The vengeful idea of “an eye for an eye” doesn’t seem to mesh with our modern idea of justice.

If we are to believe that murder is wrong, I cannot see how we can hold that state-sanctioned murder is acceptable. If a man were to murder my family and then I were to kill him in return, I would go to prison, or receive some similar punishment. So, the impression I come away with is that murder is only legal if the state performs it.

When all is taken into account, the death penalty never seems quite to be equal to the crime. For a person who has killed someone, as shameful as that is, killing them for the crime seems like too much. For those who seem truly to deserve harsh punishment, like terrorists and serial murderers, death seems too little. Most countries seem to have already come to this conclusion. There are only 21 countries in the world still executing people as of the most recent study, a list topped by such illustrious countries as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and our own USA.