Monday, May 3, 2010
I am not quite sure where I stand on capital punishment. In some cases, I think an accused person may deserve to die. I think if someone does something truly horrific, such as killing a child or raping someone, they deserve to die. It will make the family of the victim feel a little better. If I were ever killed or if someone I loved was killed, I would want the killer to die. The question is whether or not capital punishment is effective. Where do you draw the line on capital punishment? When should a criminal be punished with the death penalty? What if someone gets the death penalty for doing something relatively minor, such as dealing drugs or stealing? It seems that the death penalty could escalate over time, as many things do. The amount of pain that a person feels when they are being executed also varies. I don’t like that. I feel like, when using the death penalty, there should only be one method of execution and it shouldn’t vary from state to state. Some of the methods of execution seem more painful and torturous than others. The lethal injection doesn’t seem nearly as bad as the gas chamber or the electric chair. So how does the court decide which method of execution will be used on each criminal? Is it based on the severity of the crime? I think that if a criminal is going to be sentenced to death, they should know exactly what is going to happen to them. They are still people, which is why I’m mostly against capital punishment. If capital punishment must be used, the least the government can do is make sure it’s consistent. Also, the death penalty is just a form of revenge. Revenge really never solves anything; the death penalty is just a form of catharsis. Killing the person who committed the crime will never change the fact that that crime happened. If a criminal kills someone, and they are sentenced with the death penalty and then they are killed, that is not going to bring the victim back to life. I think that the death penalty creates a vicious cycle of hate and resentment. It may make the family of a victim happy, but it destroys the family of the criminal. Just because a criminal may be a “bad” person doesn’t mean that they don’t have good people who care about and love them. The death penalty may sometimes be a form of escape for a criminal. Everyone has a conscience. Most criminals probably feel guilty after doing something terrible. A criminal may want to die after doing what they did. We should not provide them with that escape. It may be a form of catharsis for the family members of a victim to know that the criminal has to rot in prison forever while having to deal with the fact that they did something terrible. In a way, it is almost more cruel to not kill someone for committing a terrible crime. I guess while I was writing this entry, I sorted out my feelings about the death penalty and decided that I’m against it.