Write a letter to your state legislator in which you explain whether or not you believe the death penalty is a just form of capital punishment to be permitted in your state. 

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mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Dear Senator or Representative Smith,

       I believe we should pass a law allowing for capital punishment to be a penalty for certain serious crimes which involve killing another person. When a person intentionally and ruthlessly kills somebody, they should pay with their life instead of being in prison for the rest of their life.  It is very costly to society to keep a person in jail forever. Since this person will never leave prison, and since this person inflicted so much harm to the family of the deceased, it is justifiable for this person to be killed. Allowing the death penalty to exist and possibly be used will bring a sense of closure to the victim’s family.  The death penalty may also serve as a deterrent to intentionally killing a person. Therefore, I urge you to support the passage of a law allowing for the death penalty to be a form of punishment for certain crimes involving killing in our state.


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Dear Senator or Representative Smith,

            I believe we should not pass a law allowing for the death penalty to be a punishment for certain crimes. While taking a person’s life is a serious crime, it doesn’t make it right to take another person’s life for the same reason. This is acting in a very barbaric way. Responding to violence with more violence is not an acceptable way to deal with the killing. It sends a message that our government will kill a person if that person kills somebody. It keeps the cycle of violence going. There are ways to make the convicted killer serve time and still be productive to society while in prison. There are various jobs the convicted killer could do while in prison that could help society. For these reasons I urge you to not support any bills allowing for the death penalty to exist in our state.


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bohemianteacher4u's profile pic

bohemianteacher4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Dear State Legislator,

      Capital punishment has always been a controversial issue.  Recently, I have thought long and hard about the issue and considered if I would or would not like my state to enact capital punishment.   After much consideration, I do not believe that I can support the ending of human life through the death penalty.

      The death penalty was established to serve as a deterrent.  The belief was that if people were afraid of being put to death, they would be less likely to commit murder or homicide. However, most murders are committed during moments of heated argument or passion when emotions override a person’s thought process.  At the time of the homicidal action, the majority of people are not thinking about the consequences of the death penalty.  Therefore, the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent.

      When a person is assigned the death penalty, he or she has the legal right to appeal.  Attorneys automatically appeal the death penalty in the majority of cases.  For the victims’ families this adds years of stress and reliving the death of their loved one.  To save the victims’ families from added duress, it is important that the state government take into consideration how traumatic the legal process was during the initial trial and how much more duress the victim’s family would experience through additional trials. 

      Over the past decade the nation has seen an increase in the review of court cases.  The component that has initiated the reviews is the development of more specific ways to analyze DNA as evidence.  Because death is permanent, as a state, we cannot allow ourselves to take permanent action against a person with no means for reversal.  Although, I recognize the need for punishment, the death penalty should not be used in retaliation for a victim’s life.  Humans make errors and evidence in the courts may be manipulated by wise attorneys.  At least if a person is sentenced to life in prison instead of the death penalty, should new evidence surface at a later date, the person will still be alive.

      Thank-you for taking the time to read what I have to say and to consider my words.  As a concerned citizen, I feel that it is important that I voice my opinion.  I hope that my words will help to make the decision not to allow the death penalty in our state. 



McLaughlin, J. (2014). The price of justice: Interest-convergence, cost, and

       the anti-death penalty movement.  Northwestern University Law Review,

       108(2), 675-710.  Retrieved from Academic Search Elite, Ipswich, MA,

       Accessed September 18, 2015.

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