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Alex T. Barner Ms. Maxine Patroni Eng 111 31 October 2013

The Death Penalty, a Necessity

I support the death penalty and. Just by hearing that statement, emotions are starting to rise, and arguments are starting to form in your minds. Some of you are questioning how I can even be up here talking about this topic, much less supporting it. Others are applauding me silently for standing by something that many believe has worked, to a degree, for centuries. This topic however is not as simple as black and white. There are a myriad of aspects that need to be brought to the surface so that we all may see it for what it truly is, a necessity. "I personally have always voted for the death penalty because I believe that people who go out prepared to take the lives of other people forfeit their own right to live. I believe that that death penalty should be used only very rarely, but I believe that no-one should go out certain that no matter how cruel, how vicious, how hideous their murder, they themselves will not suffer the death penalty." (Thatcher) How many of you agree with that quote? Does that stir up turmoil inside of you? Does that make yourself ask the question if someone murdered a member of your family, what would you do? Would you seek justice or revenge? Or, would you just want them to rot in a jail cell for the rest of their life? Now before you answer that last question, you should be aware of this. "All inmates are single cells which are equipped with a toilet, sink, bed and mattress. Each Death Row inmate has no contact with any other inmate. Out-of-cell time is limited to outdoor exercise in a secured area, two hours a day, three times a week, and a shower, three times a week. All meals are delivered by correction officers at the cell front. Limited non-

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contact visitation is available. Death Row inmates may place two ten minute telephone calls per week. Personal property is limited to hygiene items, two appliances, two books and writing materials, which can be purchased from the inmate commissary. Health care is provided at the Health Unit; medication is passed out at the cell front." (Death Row Information and FAQ) Many law abiding citizens do not even have that kind of support or care. How is that "paying" for ones crime? Eventually yes, they will be put to death, but it can take anywhere from 10-20+ years. ("Time on Death Row") And to put the add insult to injury it is we the people who pay taxes that go towards keeping places like those open and maintained. How is that justice? How is that fair? It's not. Al Gore and George W. Bush, in the 2000 presidential debate but stated that they supported the death the penalty. Here was Al Gore's statement. "I support the death penalty. I think that it has to be administered not only fairly, with attention to things like DNA evidence, which I think should be used in all capital cases, but also with very careful attention. If the wrong guy is put to death, then that’s a double tragedy. Not only has an innocent person been executed but the real perpetrator of the crime has not been held accountable for it, and in some cases may be still at large. But I support the death penalty in the most heinous cases." (Gore) These men were running to become the leaders of the free world and believed that the death penalty was necessary for the overall protection and justice to its citizens. They stood by the belief and laws that have been in place for hundreds of years. They also understood that it was not an instant or complete fix. They wanted it to be fair and just with all possibilities taken into consideration. The death penalty is there to provide justice and give peace to the citizens that were wronged. That is the idea that these men were supporting.

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After hearing all of that, I'm sure questions are racing through your mind about the moral, ethical, and religious implications of the death penalty, and rightly so. Before we continue though let me say this, there will always be a debate about this topic regardless of the information, facts, and everything else brought forth. Now, let us continue. Religion has always been a factor with the death penalty for the majority of the faiths. Thou shall not kill and their ilks have created more controversy over this topic than any other statement. So to that specific statement I ask you this; if someone kills one of your family or friends, would you just forgive them and be perfectly content to let them just stay in jail? Forgiveness is one of the main principles of the faiths is it not? Now, with that being said there will always be exceptions within the realm of belief and the individual. The same can be said for the moral and ethical dilemmas of this topic. Moral and ethics have always been to what the masses believe them to be, mob mentality as it were. For the better part of history that mentality has been relatively sound too, but it is not flawless, nothing is. So ask yourself this, if you were not going to be judged by society, by anyone or thing, what do you believe to be the right course of action? Is it right to kill another human being? Is an eye for an eye the ethical way to look at it, or is it not, as Gandhi states "an eye for eye makes the whole world blind." Now I know you've heard some statements today that might have upset you, some which you might have agreed to, or some that you just flat out deny. Let us look through all this clouded confusion, and focus on the point of this whole speech today. The death penalty, in its purest form, is put into place to protect the citizens and give a fair justice to those who have been wronged accordingly. By striving to attain that we have made mistakes, but learning from them we can better implement it and return it to its true state. Thank you all for attending today, a Q&A will be held afterwards.

Barner 4 Works Cited

Thatcher, Margaret. A Plus 4, TV interview, Oct. 15, 1984 Death Row Information and Frequently Asked Questions Web. 2013 Time on Death Row Web. 2013 Gore, Al. Presidential Debate, Oct. 17, 2000