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Berkner students

Death Penalty

2-15-16

By: Gemma Vick

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Why the death penalty should be illegal

Imagine laying there gasping for air, waiting for your heart to give out. Sounds cruel doesn't it? Well you shouldn't have to imagine it or ever have to go through it, nobody should, yet they still give the prisoners a punishment that is vengeful.


When people think of the death penalty they think "Oh they did something that horrible, they deserve to die", but they never think of the other side of it. Yes they did something that horrible, but should we show them that killing is wrong and then we kill them? My mother always told me that two wrongs don't make a right.


Many people argue that this punishment violates the eighth amendment, no cruel and unusual punishments, and this is pretty cruel to me. I'm not saying that they should be let off the hook, they should get life in prison instead. Doesn't life in prison sound harsher then the easy way out, the death penalty. When they get life in prison they have to live with what they did, and never be able to feel freedom until they die. When they are killing them, they are probably doing them a favor.


When the criminal is sentenced with the death penalty they often are imprisoned for years, not knowing when their time is up. The worse part about the death penalty is the risk of killing a innocent person. The sad thing about it is that once they are executed some are proven innocent. For an example, 150 U.S prisoners who were sentenced the death penalty were later found innocent. If they were sentenced to life in prison, they could have time to be proven innocent.


Discriminatory still has a big impact on who is sentenced to the death penalty. If you are poor you are more likely to be sentenced to death row. The poor is more likely because they don't have access to legal resources needed to defend themselves. For an example, studies show that those who murdered whites were more likely be sentenced to death row then those who murdered african americans.


The U.S uses the lethal injection method for execution. Since 1976, 788 people have been executed, and 90% percent of the cases they were able to feel pain. The execution could last up to 10 to 30 minutes. What they use in the shot makes the muscles relax and then makes the the heart stop. They feel a burning sensation, muscle cramping, and they gasp for air until their hearts give out. Autopsies have shown severe burn marks to skin, a foot long. Doesn't that sound painful, so why would you wish that upon a human being?


Apart from the pain, the death penalty is a pain for the tax payers, because the death penalty costs more than life in prison because of the long and expensive judicial process, but if they didn't go through that process it would cost way less than life in prison. 4% percent of taxes, or $49 billion, goes to corrections. The taxes pay for food, health care, and other things. Besides, the side who is opposed to the death penalty has way more important things to take in consideration, like how extremely painful it is for convicted person, besides the money.