This essay None Provided15 has a total of 912 words and 6 pages.
Whenever the word "death penalty" comes up, extremists from both sides start yelling out their arguments. One side says deterrence, the other side says there\'s a potential of executing an innocent man; one says justice, retribution, and punishment; the other side says execution is murder. Personally I think it is time for Americans to take a stand use the justice system as it was intended, for the punishment of criminals.
A big point of argument for the people against the death penalty is the accidental execution of an innocent person.(Royco, 370) Before deciding, one must remember the lives that the death penalty saves. Repeat murderers are eliminated, and potential murderers are deterred. One must consider the victims as well as the defendant. Is it worth it to lose forty-five innocent lives so that no innocent person is executed. Wesley Lowe states the matter best when he says, "As for the penal system accidentally executing an innocent person, I must point out that in this imperfect world, citizens are required to take certain risks in exchange for relative safety." We risk dying on the highway in a car accident for the convenience of using a car. This practice is considered acceptable. Risking the possibility that someone might be wrongly executed is worth it to save the lives of thousands of innocent people who might be the next victims of murder. One US Senate report stated this position this way: All that can be expected of...[human authorities] is that they take every reasonable precaution against the danger of error... If errors are...made, this is the necessary price that must be paid within a society which is made up of human beings.
Many persons against the death penalty say there are alternative forms of punishment, such as a life sentence. The problem with this is that no prison is 100% safe and criminals do find ways to escape or some are even paroled. This allows repeat offenders to be back out on the street and gives them the chance to kill again. Dawud Mu\'Min who was serving a 48-year sentence for the 1973 murder of a cab driver when he escaped a road work gang and stabbed to death a storekeeper named Gadys Nopwasky in a 1988 robbery that netted $4.00. This could have all be prevented if he was executed.
Abolitionists claim that the death penalty is not an effective deterrent when it comes to crime. (Schwarzchild, 655) They say that the states with the death penalty have a higher rate of crime. The problem with this is that every state is different, each state has a different ethnic groups that make up the population, different numbers of population and other such differences including crime rates. It is excepted if a state has a high crime rate that there will be more murders and other such crimes that the death penalty can be used for. So it is unfair to say that states with the death penalty in use has a higher crime rates.
As Edward Koch once said: "It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life."(Koch, 652) This was backed by award-winning Chicago journalist Mike Royko when he said: "When I think of the thousands of inhabitants of Death Rows in the hundreds of prisons in this country...My reaction is: What\'s taking us so long? Let\'s get that electrical current flowing. Drop those pellets [of poison gas] now! Whenever I argue this with friends who have opposite views, they say that I don\'t have enough regard for the most marvelous of miracles - human life. Just the opposite: It\'s because I have so much regard for human life that I favor capital punishment. Murder is the most terrible crime there is. Anything less than the death penalty is an insult to the victim and society. It says..that we don\'t value the victim\'s life enough to punish the killer fully." The justice system was not intended to be morally correct which would be impossible to do because every person has there own set of morals that they based on their religion and upbringing. If the justice system was