Again, there are many examples of this in the Bible. Using Bible quotes to argue for or against capital punishment is what Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, calls "biblical quarterbacking. Instead of using quotes in the debate Prejean, and many Christian opponents, choose to use Jesus' teachings and their interpretation of them. Therefore, capital punishment contradicts almost all of these teachings, no matter how they are interpreted.
There is no clause in the Bible that says "Love one another Criminals are no less human than free citizens are, and yet American society sees no problem with murdering them. If this society can allow this what is to prevent us from being swayed into believing that blacks, Jews, or the poor are "lesser.
But should she die, you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stroke for stroke. So, the passage may not give religious permission for capital punishment, but it is horribly sexist. One of the least often mentioned justifications for the immorality of the death penalty is the idea that it is, in fact, psychological torture. American society has spent years making sure criminals are in as little physical pain as possible during their execution.
On the other hand, the psychological pain the convict goes through in the days, months, or years leading up to their execution can be compared to no other, and can be described as nothing but torture. Criminals sentenced to death spend the time leading up to their demise in what is commonly known as death row.
Prisoners on death row live alone in very small cells, which they rarely leave, are allowed less visits than normal prisoners, and usually only interact with guards and other death row inmates. Death row was originally created in this manner because it was only planned to be a holding center for the short time between sentencing and execution.
We have also decided that the advantages of having dangerous murderers removed from our society outweigh the losses of the offender. The United States should stand as a beacon of moral light to other nations in regards to its policies versus engage in troubling practices in terms of the ways in which it treats its own prisoners. Can you give it to them? Coretta Scott King has observed, "As one whose husband and mother-in-law have died the victims of murder and assassination, I stand firmly and unequivocally opposed to the death penalty for those convicted of capital offenses. The death penalty is a topic that the United States is divided on. I first lay out the argument and then explain why it is bad:. This quote proves that over people has been put on death that are innocent.
As most Americans know, that short time can now be decades. Most death row inmates spend their time working on appeals. After appeals fall through, which the majority do, they begin vying for stays of execution. Most stays of execution also fall through. So what does all of this mean in real words, as opposed to prison talk? The prisoner spends his or her remaining time on earth fighting for their life in a cramped cell.
Prisoners on death row get to know each other. This, whether they know it or not, sets them up for more mental anguish. As they get to know each other better, they become friends through the walls. They share stories, memories, and ideas. This makes life on death row better, until the inevitable happens. If two prisoners become close friends, one will eventually have to die first.
The other is left with not only the knowledge that a good friend was just murdered, but he or she will soon be murdered as well. This brings up an interesting problem though, a prisoner of unsound mind can not be executed, so their psychosis delays their execution. This is perhaps the most disturbing story related to that: "Henry McCracken, a condemned sex murderer, fell into a "self-induced hypnotic condition caused by fear of his impending execution He showed improvement, stopped imagining there were rabbits and cats in his cell, became neat in his personal habits, and began playing the guitar.
The successful treatment meant that the stay of execution must be removed; McCracken was sane and ready to be killed. These facts all but prove that capital punishment is psychological torture. Torture qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment, therefore the death penalty should probably be unconstitutional as well as immoral. Again, if most citizens knew of stories like the McCracken story, chances are there would be no death penalty. What if one condoned torture?
If someone is able to accept capital punishment, his or her acceptance of torture is not terribly surprising.
The level of moral rationalization required to argue for torture is not much different than what is required to argue for capital punishment. Therefore, the response against torture would really no different than the response against capital punishment. Besides the debate over the morality of the death penalty there are questions concerning whether the death penalty is applied unfairly to blacks and the poor.
The current American justice systems makes every attempt to provide an unbiased trial, but it is impossible to provide equal justice for all defendants. This raises the question of whether the death penalty, the harshest of all punishments, should be an option in a system that discriminates. There is almost concrete proof that the death penalty is applied more often to people of lesser income than more fortunate people are.
The most recent, and high profile, example of this was the O. Simpson case. The fact that the Los Angeles County District Attorney did not seek the death penalty in the case screamed inequity. Simpson had been a lower class, non-famous, factory worker instead of a household name, the DA would have almost definitely sought the death penalty. It is rare, especially in the state of California, that in a double first degree homicide case the prosecution would not seek the death penalty.
Was it by mere chance or convenience that O. Why does our criminal justice system seek the death penalty in cases dealing with lower class criminals more often than in cases dealing with wealthy criminals? In addition to the death penalty being applied unfairly to people of lesser income there is a good number of statistics supporting the idea that it is also applied unfairly to blacks and minorities. Forty percent of the criminals on death row are black, despite the fact that blacks make up only twelve percent of the United States population.
Ross, In almost every state where capital punishment is allowed the percentage of blacks on death row far exceeds the percentage of blacks that populate the state. One could argue against these facts by noting that fifty percent of people arrested for murder are black.
Therefore blacks are more likely to be in a position where they could be given the death penalty than whites. On the other hand, criminals were executed between and These criminals claimed the lives of victims.
Take these numbers into consideration, now realize that 86 minority prisoners have been executed for murdering whites, but only two white murderers have been executed for murdering minorities. Why does it seem that blacks are more likely to receive the death penalty for capital crimes than whites? Quite simply, it is because of racist jurors and prosecutors. If a black man has murdered a white woman the prosecutor will attempt to get a jury of all white, married, lower class men. These jurors are most likely to hold racial biases that will flare up when they see a black man that has murdered a white woman.
The majority of prosecutors in America are white, and it is the prosecutors that decide whether or not to seek the death penalty. There is an equally strong argument that racial bias does not exist in the American Justice system. Stanley Rothman and Stephen Powers bring up a number of examples and statistics in their article concerning racial bias in the justice system showing that despite how it appears, extensive racial bias does not exist.
They state that most black-black murders result from an altercation where the two parties know each other. On the other hand most black-white murders result while another felony is being committed, such as the murder of a store clerk during a robbery. These murders, because multiple felonies are involved, are much more likely to receive the death penalty than murders that resulted out of an altercation, or where there was no other felony involved.
When I started this project I did not have a stance on capital punishment. That is one of the reasons I wanted to research this topic. One of the first things I realized is that if I believed that the death penalty was anything but immoral I would be fooling myself. Taking someone's life, unless in defense of your own, is immoral, no matter what the circumstances are. The next question I was faced with was if I could allow myself support an immoral institution.
After reading about John Wayne Gacy and other ruthless criminals it is hard not to give into one's most basic desires, in this case to support the murder of horrible criminals. After more research, especially the article on the psychological effects of death row on inmates and Helen Prejean's article I realized that capital punishment should not be allowed in our society.
The death penalty serves no purpose but to assuage our basic human barbaric desires. I am almost certain that if most people knew all of the facts the death penalty it would not be a viable punishment option in our society.
People like the idea of capital punishment but they do not like the specific facts surrounding it, and choose to remain jaded about the immorality of it. I will end with what I thought was the most fitting quote to summarize how I now feel.