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Frederick

Death Penalty Michael Ross, a serial killer, was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of eight young women. Eight lives lost. Eight broken families. If you ask almost anyone, they would agree this sentence was fitting for this mans crime. Ross ended up on death row for seventeen years and was suffering from death row syndrome. As the days and years went by, Ross had sat in his isolated cell thinking about the crimes he had committed in shame for twentythree hours of the day. He has also attempted suicide three times, because the anxiety of what he had done, and not knowing when he was going to be put to death. When Ross was forty-five years old, he waived all his appeals and accepted his execution due to his desire to end his own pain. His execution date was pushed back because people were questioning Rosss mental stability and if all this time in prison had affected his psychological state. His execution ended up being carried out on May 13, 2005 (Death Penalty). The death penalty, Americas harshest form of punishment has 3,200 inmates waiting for their sentence to be carried out, and has taken the lives of 1,226 criminals since 1977. This punishment has been recorded in early centuries. Jesus Christ himself was victim to the death penalty. Though the end result, death, is still the same, we have become more civilized over the years in our ways of execution. In America, the most common form of execution is by lethal injection, because it is supposed to be quick, painless, and humane. Although lethal injection is the main form of execution in America, we still have in some states as back ups electric chair, firing squad, gas chamber, and hanging. Though the death penalty has been around for a long time, it is becoming less and less popular as only thirty-four states still practice capital punishment. It does not seem to be that shocking either. The death penalty is not an all around effective form of punishment. It is a

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flawed, ineffective form of preventing crime and punishment. It is also not economically wise. The death penalty is a flaw in our justice system, it is not morally right, and there would be far more benefits if it were out-lawed. Dr. Bryan Stevenson, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law says, Ultimately, the moral question surrounding capital punishment in America has less to do with whether those convicted of violent crime deserve to die than with whether state and federal governments deserve to kill those whom it has imprisoned...Death sentences are imposed in a criminal justice system that treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent. This is an immoral condition that makes rejecting the death penalty on moral grounds not only defensible but necessary. Something to look at when talking about the death penalty is the people committing the crimes. It is said that individuals with low IQs are seven times more likely to be incarcerated at some point in their lives than an individuals whose IQs fall above average. Moreover the more serious the crime is, the lower the IQ of the offender (Bealil). These people that commit these crimes for the most part are sick and hurting people who need help. Yet in our justice system we would rather just lock up the problem or put them to death, and I do not think that it is right to put a mentally unstable person to death because of their crime rather than try and help. Not only is the death penalty at best morally questionable, it is also questionable if it is actually a humane punishment. It is said that the death penalty by means of lethal injection is quick, painless, and humane,(Death Penalty) yet on more than one occasion these executions have been botched, and witnesses have said the criminal(s) have looked to be in excruciating pain. There have been thirty-one of these botched executions as of 2010.(Death Penalty) Another thing to take into account are that these executions have on people involved in the process. Jerry

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Givens had spent seventeen years as an executioner in Virginia. He stated that taking a life is not a pleasant thing to do, you have a condemned inmate that didnt do anything to you...I didnt do it to make you suffer, i didnt do it to inflict pain on you. I dont want you really hurt nobody. I was just performing a job. Givens also went on to say, I performed the execution. So you might suffer a little. Im going to suffer a lot, because I performed the job. Givens is now opposed to the death penalty. Frank Thompson was also a former executioner but he only carried out two. Franks described the death penalty as a failed public policy, and said that capital punishment fails terribly in meeting any evidence-based outcomes. Frank is also now opposed to the death penalty (Gustafson): So this goes to show that the death penalty goes far beyond just effecting the criminals it has a direct effect on the innocent men and women who perform this job. Some people say they are for the death penalty because they dont want to be paying for a criminal in prison. In all actuality the financial side of the death penalty has also proven to be not worth it. According to the L.A. Times, California death penalty system costs taxpayers $114 million per year beyond the costs of keeping convicts locked up for life. Taxpayers have paid more than $250 million for each of the states executions This is not the only state that pays for all this, and it is because of the long process of appeals and getting the death sentences, we the people, are paying for these court cases. The cost of the present system with reforms recommended by the commission to ensure a fair process would be $232.7 million per year, while the cost of a system which imposes a maximum penalty of lifetime incarceration instead of the death penalty would be $11.5 million per year. The numbers speak for themselves, this costs way to much especially given the fact only forty-three executions were carried out last year. (Death Penalty):.

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The death penalty was also put in to prevent crime and that has also not been the case. Jerry Givens while he was still an executioner believed that the death penalty deterred crime but no longer does. The nation took a moratorium on the death penalty and after it was reinstated in Virginia, Givens noted, ruefully, crime went up. According to a survey of the former and present presidents of the countrys top academic criminological societies, 88% of these experts rejected the notion that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. (Death Penalty) . There is even a lot of scripture that covers this topic Exodus 20:13 commands, thou shalt not kill. It seems pretty straightforward. So with scripture that goes as far to say an eye for an eye it also simply states, thou shall not kill. 1 Samuel 2:6 states, The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. So would that mean that we as a people who put people to death, are taking on the role of God? Some say yes and this is one of many arguments on whether or not the death penalty is morally right. The cons of the death penalty seem to clearly outnumber the pros and given that and the fact that a human life is on the line it is not something that should be taken lightly. We hopefully will never be in the shoes of the family of a murder victim: we also dont know what it must be like to be on death row and have the anxiety everyday not knowing youre going to die. Both of these people are suffering in ways we hope to never understand. Also suffering are those that gave the person the sentence and the executioner that ends the criminals life. The death penalty is a flaw in our justice system, it is not morally correct, humane, financially wise, or even a deterrent to crime.

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