Should the death penalty be banned?

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santon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would ask, if you banned the death penalty what effect would it have on our criminal justice system?

The Death Penalty poses a moral issue for each individual person, even if a person says differently. If you consider Hammarabi's Code of Laws which were seen as an "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" the killing of a killer seems so simple. If you consider the death of a human being to be punishment to the person who killed another human being, it seems ridiculous. If a death of one is less important than another, then the death penalty is sensible.

I personally do not believe that we have the right to ban the death of a killer unless we are the victim's family. The Death Penalty is closure for victims and the killer. When I consider Cruel and Unusual Punishment, I would consider the locking away of a human being cruel compared to the death penalty. some would say, yes, my point exactly, it is a more severe punishment. They live to remember their crimes, victims and loss.

The Death Penalty has been in effect since man has established its use as a form of punishment/consequence. Does it rehabilitate? no, does it punish? depends on who you are asking, and the one who was put to death could never be questioned.

Supporters of the death penalty are not evil, wicked, cruel, cold, heartless beings. Rather they can justify the Death Penalty in their own conscience. I can justify the death penalty for anyone who harmed my family... can't justify the death penalty for the cheated who coldly killed their cheating partner, unless I could empathize with the cheater.

No, the death penalty is a choice we should never take off the table.

saintfester eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An excellent question, but before I answer you need to know that depending on your state, some of the following may or may not be true depending on your particular states legal system and budget.

Opponents of the death penalty claim that it is not a deterrent to crime. In most states the crime rat fluctuates whether or not they have the death penalty in place.  They also say that the 8th amendment, which protects you from cruel and unusual punishment, should prevent the death penalty. Opponents also point out that statistically, people of color are executed more than whites for similar crimes, which shows a racial bias in the system. Also, for an execution to be deemed “sanitary” a physician must be present, which blatantly violates the Hippocratic Oath.

Proponents say that morally certain crimes are so offensive to society that only the termination of a criminal’s life is the only thing that will give justice to the bereaved. They say that due to the elongated appeal process, there are almost never mistakes and the process is very humane. They also point to how much is saved with an execution versus a life sentence. The death penalty saves room in overcrowded prisons, improving the quality of life for other inmates.