Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Brief: Capital Punishment Is Wrong

Thesis: The Death Penalty should not being an appropriate means of punishment for crimes because of its immorality.

It is hard to agree on whether the death penalty is right and good or if it is wrong and bad? It is a hot issue in today’s public. The Death Penalty can sound so deserving when you think of truly evil people in our world and what a negative impact they have caused; that death is the only fair answer to what they have done. A list runs through my mind: Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, terrorist, cold blooded killers. But when you think of that, you also have to consider another list. Let’s face it; with our system of government, we are not always going to catch the right “bad guy.” This throws in all the innocent people who are convicted. Another thing is, although our society is a lot better than it was, racial diversity is still very much a part of our lives. Race is an obvious factor that gets in the way of the law and death sentences. There could be instances where the lawmaker or judge could knowingly condemn the wrong person. There could be such a thing as revenge that could get in the way of making the right decision. We would want a person’s life to be just left up to a single person or group of people, when it could ultimately be wrong?

Think about things this way. We see that a person is morally and unjustifiably wrong for killing someone. Then what are we doing “killing” a killer. Aren’t we just doing the thing that we are so adamantly against? Aren’t we just being hypocritical of ourselves? Two wrongs don’t make a right. I do not know what is wrong with putting them in jail for life with no chance of parole.

Another big issue about the death penalty is the overall cost of proceeding with killing someone. The cost is outrageous. It would be more cost efficient for one to be put in jail without parole, then going through with actually killing them. "As of March 2005, 119 innocent people have been released from death rows across the country since 1973 (“Punishment”).”

“Capital murder trials threaten to bankrupt townships costing taxpayers:
$2 million in legal fees to try a death penalty case, nearly 4 times higher than comparable murder trials.

  • The automatic appeal process costs up to $700,000 in legal fees.
  • $1.2 million in execution costs.
  • 1973 -1998, Florida spent $57 million on 18 executions.”
  • It can be seen how the cost of capital punishment is overwhelmingly expensive. (“Punishment”)

One of Capital Punishment’s main reasons for killing people as a means of penalty against their crime is to keep murder from happening again. But it can be see that the death penalty doesn’t actually lessen the killing.

  • “The two states with the most executions in 2003, Texas 24, and Oklahoma 14, saw increases in their murder rates from 2002 to 2003. Both states had murder rates above the national average in 2003: Texas - 6.4, and Oklahoma - 5.9. The top 13 states in terms of murder rates were all death penalty states. The murder rate of the death penalty states increased from 2002, while the rate in non-death penalty states decreased (“Punishment”).”

As can be seen, the Death Penalty is associated with so many negative effects, proving how wrong Capital Punishment is. The Death Penalty can entail such regrettable consequences, such as taking the life of an innocent person. It can be seen that the Death Penalty is not a proper way to punish wrongdoers.

"Punishment: The Death Penalty." 2006. Kari Sable. 1 Apr 2008 .


Cammie said...

Hey! Your argument seems really strong. I think there is a lot of great information and place to develop. There were some things that concerned me;
-Your brief seems really informal (its not necessarily a bad thing, i think it helps the reader to relate) but then at the end you say "As it can be seen...", it might be a good idea to either change that phrase and make it informal or make the whole brief more formal.
-You bring up a really strong and motivating argument with the race situations. I think it is important that you find the actual numbers because otherwise someone might write off your argument for lack of support. I think numbers and statistics about the racial dichotomy within the justice system would be really beneficial.
-There is a small section where you bring up that there is injustice and corruption in the justice system. I think this is true but I don't think it would go as far as someone in the justice system intentionally convicting the wrong person. Maybe it does but for many believing that point will be a reach without some real documentation. Even if it is true i think you many need more than one example to make it believable.
Thats all the things I though could use some alterations.:) I also wanted to point out that your section and information, especially the cost figures about the 'cost of a death penalty conviction and trial' was really strong. I feel like it brought your argument together because if nothing else people care about their money. I believe that argument will appeal to your audience and have a lot of impact on their opinion.
I think your brief is a really great start, hope my thoughts help and good luck with the rest of the assignment. :) Cammie

Jeff D said...

I can't agree that your argument about "convicting innocent an innocent person" is a good enough reason to get rid of the death penalty. First of all, how many guilty criminals are properly convicted and sentenced compared to the few that are unjustly sentenced? To obtain the verdict of capital punishment requires an in-depth trial with substantial evidence. The belief that innocent citizens are regularly convicted does not show very much confidence in our judicial system. Second, the relatively large number of dangerous guilty murderers executed far outweighs the extremely low number of innocent people sentenced to death. The ends justify the means by far.
As for racial discrimination, there are statistics that prove that death sentences are not issued based on race.
The high cost of capital punishment is also worth it, when one considers the amount of innocent lives that each execution actually deters. Capital punishment sets a necessary example for potential murderers.

Kierra said...

You have a very good argument against the death penalty. I actually liked when you talked about it being hypocritical. It is actually. We as citizen want to see the bad guys punished but to what extent? I actually hear a lot in the news about innocent people being convicted. It is sad actually. I am looking forward to seeing this blog progress.

Jeff D said...

Although your argument brings up some good points, I have to disagree that capital punishment is not necessary. We are not really being hypocritical by killing a killer because those that are sentenced to death are responsible for brutal, unjustified killings. If not sentenced to die, these criminals will never get what they deserve. Also, other potential murderers would not be sent such a strong message if death wasn't a punishment. Studies show that future murders are deterred for every execution.
As I stated in my last post, cost of the death sentence is no longer greater than the cost of keeping a convict in jail for life. Also, statistics prove that racial discrimination is not a factor in judges' decisions for capital punishment.