The news, reading articles online or because they know

The death penalty or
capital punishment, refers to punishment by death bestowed to a person by a
state or a legal framework. Everyone at some point in their life has heard of
capital punishment which may also be known as the death penalty. Whether it was
from watching the news, reading articles online or because they know someone
who is facing such charges because of a crime they may or may not have
committed. There are many reasons that people are for or against capital
punishment, it can be considered one of the most controversial topics in the
United States. Typically, when a person hears of capital punishment, they
associate it with a person who has committed a crime that is bad enough that a
jury/judge gets to decide if their life should be ended or not. Among these
crimes are murder, rape, treason and many more. Since human life is considered
sacred and priceless, the death penalty is the ultimate form of endorsing that
reality and in some cases where rehabilitation and reform are not possible, the
death penalty is a justifiable option to be considered.

            There have been many violent crimes that have made the
news in the US in the past 30 years. One criminal that may easily be remembered
went by the name of Ted Bundy. There are many books and movies about Bundy
because of the horrendous crimes he was convicted of committing. According to
Biography.com “American serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy was one of the most
notorious criminals of the late 20th century. Ted Bundy admitted to 36 killings
of young women across several states in the 1970s, but experts believe that the
final tally may be closer to 100 or more. The exact number of women Bundy
killed will never been known.” Ted Bundy was put to the death on January 24th,
1989 in a Florida State prison. Ted Bundy’s death took place in an electric
chair that was sometimes known as “Old sparky.” Since 1976 when the death
penalty was reinstated by the US Supreme Court, a total of 1,458 people have been
executed as of July 28, 2017. Even today, in 2018 capital punishment is still a
very controversial topic. You have one side who believes that these criminals
dehumanize themselves when they decide to commit crimes that they know are
illegal. But then you also have another side who believe that everyone
has a human right to life, even those who commit murder; sentencing a person to
death and executing them violates that right. But even the famous philosopher
Immanuel Kant stated that “If an offender has committed murder, he must die. In
this case, no possible substitute can satisfy justice. For there is no parallel
between death and even the most miserable life, so that there is no equality of
crime and retribution unless the perpetrator is judicially put to death…. A
society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody
else’s life is simply immoral.” This can make one think that even he would have
been pro capital punishment if he was still alive today.

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            Along with many people supporting capital
punishment, there are just as many that oppose it. There is very little evidence
to support the claim that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent of
violent crime than life imprisonment. Some statistical studies have compared
the murder rates of jurisdictions with and without the death penalty which have
shown that the rate of murder may not be related to whether the death penalty
is in force or not. In some states there are as many murders committed in
jurisdictions with the death penalty as in those without. Another common argument
against capital punishment is that sooner or later, an innocent person may get
killed, because of mistakes or flaws in the justice system. Since 1974 144 people
that were facing the death penalty were exonerated before they were wrongfully put
to death. Which may lead one to think, how many innocent people have actual been
put to death before they were able to prove their innocence? Nothing is always full
proof, errors will always be made, but does is killing a person who may be innocent
worth it. But when one is looking at the big picture, this is only a total of
1.6 percent, which in fact isn’t a very large number. So should these statistics
deter the judicial system from punishing actual criminals who are in fact guilty,
from being punished to the full extent of the law?  Retribution may come into play if someone is
ever asked this question. The basic argument behind retribution is this: All guilty
people deserve to be punished, only guilty people deserve to be punished and guilty
people deserve to be punished in proportion to the severity of their crime.