Death Penalty acceptable as punishment? YES

The death penalty has always remained the center of controversy. In a country that greatly values individual life, how far does one have to go before they no longer get the right to something so basic? Should we, the people, get to make such an ultimate decision?

In the state of Oklahoma, there are two circumstances in which we have deemed it okay to sentence someone to death. Rape or forcible sodomy of a victim under 14 if the defendant had a prior conviction of sexual abuse qualifies. So does first-degree murder in conjunction with a finding of at least one of eight statutorily-defined aggravating circumstances. Considering the crimes one would have to commit in order to be sentenced to death, I completely support capital punishment.

One thing people like to bring up is the fact that the initial process costs more than a life without parole case. The up-front costs of the death penalty are a lot higher than equivalent life without parole cases. However, JFA (Justice For All), a criminal justice reform organization, says that life without parole costs over time are from $1.2 to $3.6 million more expensive than death penalty cases. This would make the death penalty a cheaper alternative in the long run. Honestly, though, it’s almost pointless to compare costs considering how different every single individual criminal case is.  Death penalty cases do usually take longer but that’s only because they’re appealed. Not only that, but the jury needs to be sure, without a doubt, that the person being sentenced is truly guilty.

One thing about the death penalty is that it insures that these people will never harm another person again. When sentenced to life without parole, there’s always the chance of escape, harming another inmate or guard, or even possibly being released.

For example, a gardener named James Moore strangled and raped a 14 year old girl in 1962 while on probation for molesting two other girls. Her parents agreed to not go with the death penalty as long as he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. However, thanks to a change in sentencing laws in 1982, this man is now eligible for parole every two years.

There are many reasons I support capital punishment, but the biggest and most basic reason is that I firmly believe that the type of people who commit certain crimes should not be allowed to continue existing. Rape, molestation and murder are three things that I do not believe someone deserves to ever be forgiven for. When a person commits these crimes, they have shattered multiple people’s lives and forever changed everything for them. If someone takes another’s life, why should they get to keep theirs?

Not only is the death penalty a cheaper route in the long run, it also ensures these people will never harm another person again. It can help give the victim or the victim’s family a little peace knowing the person who committed the crime is gone for good.