The death penalty is the worst that can happen to a criminal if he is tried for murder, treason, or airplane hijacking. This is a very touchy subject for politicians also. Many politicians will not even speak about it for fear of looking too soft on crime, or, if they are in favor of it they will look too barbaric and uncivilized. A recent poll shows that the American population is split nearly half-and-half on the topic. In the poll, 41% preferred the death penalty, 44% were against it and 15% were unsure (Death Penalty Info).

Of the fifty states, thirty-eight states use the death penalty plus the U.S. Government and Military (Death Penalty Info).

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Twelve states plus the District of Columbia do not use it (Death Penalty Info). From the thirty-eight states that use capital punishment, seven of them, and the U.S. Government and U.S. Military have not executed any criminals since 1977.I am against the death penalty because of many reasons.

I feel that government sanctioned killing is wrong in whatever form it comes, whether that be killing an unborn baby during an abortion, killing an elderly person by euthanasia, or killing a criminal by the electric chair. When I think of the death penalty, an old saying comes to my mind; Two wrongs dont make a right. I feel this is exactly the opposite of what the government should stand for. There is no way to make up for murder, treason, or airplane hijacking, and many times the criminal would prefer to die than sit in a prison cell.

After reading about many of the botched executions that have occurred mainly because of human error, I believe that the death penalty could be considered cruel and unusual. There are many instances where the criminal has needed more than one jolt of electricity in order to kill the person. In between each time they send the electricity the body needs time to cool down before the physicians could check to see if the condemned person still was still alive. Lethal injections can also have problems as shown by the death of Raymond Landrey.

Pronounced dead 40 minutes after being strapped to the execution gurney and 24 minutes after the drugs first started flowing into his arms. Two minutes into the execution, the syringe came out of Landry’s vein, spraying the chemicals across the room towards witnesses. The execution team had to reinsert the catheter into the vein. The curtain was closed for 14 minutes so witnesses could not observe the intermission. There have been accounts where witnesses have fainted, and suffered from insomnia after viewing an execution that went wrong.One of the prime reasons that people support capital punishment is because of the deterrence factor involved with the death penalty. Four authors looked into the deterrence factor of capital punishment in Texas and their findings were very intriguing.

The authors examined the patterns of executions and murders and found that there was no deterrent effect (Death Penalty Info). This also was true in Oklahoma. The author William Baily researched the murder rate in Oklahoma between the years 1989 through 1991 and he found that there was an increase in stranger killings, and in non-felony stranger killings (Death Penalty Info).

I believe that when a criminal is out to do a crime they are not thinking about what could happen to them if they get caught, they are thinking about getting money, or killing the person they want killed.I believe that one reason for many people being in favor of the death penalty is the cost factor. People believe that it will cost less to end a persons life rather than housing, and feeding them for the next fifty or so years in prison, however they do not factor in the legal system. It is substantially more expensive to go through all of the legal battles that capital punishment entails than to keep a person in prison without parole. A study of North Carolina found that each execution performed costs approximately 2.16 million dollars, and to keep the condemned person alive in prison costs roughly one million dollars (Death Penalty Info). The Savannah Morning News in Savannah Georgia reported that the city was going broke because of all of the money it was putting into executions (Death Penalty Info).

The evidence that I have presented shows ample evidence that the death penalty should be abolished, there is a slim margin of people that oppose it to the ones that are in favor of it; it is cruel and unusual, and it is more expensive than keeping them in jail.Words/ Pages : 796 / 24

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