Death to the Death Penalty

Despite being legal in 32 states, the ethical and moral implications of capital punishment are leading many to wonder if it should even be practiced.

Joseph Rivas, Columnist

The death penalty and capital punishment is legal in 32 states in the United States and has a long history of controversy and criticism as well as an immense amount of support from certain states. However, despite all the support it does receive, I still strongly oppose it for a myriad of reasons. The overall cost economically, emotionally, and physically is in most cases too much and, to me, doesn’t seem to fix enough.

While it may provide a sense of closure for the victimized, it only serves to drive a wedge deeper and deeper between those who support it, oppose it, the victimized, and those who are in any way related to the victimizer. The history of the death penalty is also full of cases of abuse of power, corruption, and mishap. The usage of capital punishment also is used to serve and aid particular political and societal agendas that may not represent the pursuit of justice and justice alone.

The death penalty also has another crucial flaw: some death sentences don’t always end with the sentenced person’s death. This is completely unacceptable as the point is to kill a condemned prisoner as ethically as possible, not to torture them and prolong their death. Until we get to a place where ethically killing prisoners is always successful, I find it baffling when I hear people bluntly and stubbornly support it.

The question of whether or not the death penalty is effective as a deterrent is under debate with many claiming that concrete evidence is difficult to acquire. The most prevalent consensus thus far is that its effectiveness is not its ability to deter crime. The death penalty punishes the act rather than addressing the catalyst for the act, and the complications of punishing based on intent and ideas not yet acted upon can often cross lines. The death penalty is stepping into territory that is unfounded, morally questionable, or unconstitutional.