The Death Penalty: The Controversial Act of Playing God
Everyone wants justice, especially for victims of a brutal crime. Citizens who are voting against California’s Proposition 34, which repeals the death penalty, believe that this proposition and its consequences do not provide a sense of retribution and that their taxes would have to pay for the criminals’ prison expenses. The death penalty is primarily reserved for people who have been convicted of murder or other capital offenses.
I, too, believe in voting against Proposition 34 because eradicating a harmful criminal from society will help create a more sound environment. The proposition is also in accordance with the Hammurabi Code, which justifies the act with an eye for eye that 64% of Americans agree with. The death penalty would also decrease prison populations, as a vast majority of prisons are overcrowded. The promise that a convict would not be set free to commit another crime, the sense of retribution it brings to families and victims, and tackling the problem of prison overcrowding are three reasons why many support capital punishment and why people should vote against Proposition 34. Executing dangerous convicts will add to the overall sense of security of today’s society. Once a criminal is executed, he/she cannot kill again.
A convict is a danger to everyone around him/her, even in prison. The most infamous case includes, Kenneth Allen McDuff who is an example of a convict who was sentenced to death, but since it was declared unconstitutional in the 1970, he was eventually let out on parole, and he killed again. More similar notorious cases include Randy Grenwalt, Arthur Shawcrossm, and Daniel Camargo Barbosa who all also murdered again after prison. The death penalty protects our community by removing a harmful criminal from society. A dangerous convict not only harms his victim, but invariably the victim’s family as well. An execution not only brings closure to the murderer’s crime, but also closure to the ordeal for the victim’s family.
For the most heinous crimes, criminals should be justified with the worst punishment under our system of law, and that is the death penalty. Any lesser punishment, such eligibility for parole or not receiving life in prison – would undermine the importance of how society places on protecting lives. Edward Koch, a prominent New York lawyer, once said, “It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life”. Although feelings of strong animosity may arise from many of the victim’s family members, one family member believes that eradicating a murderer isn’t revenge but justice. Vicki Romano, a Virginia mother whose daughter was cruelly murdered, elaborated that, “Revenge would be going out and killing one of [the murderer’s] family member.
The death penalty isn’t revenge. It’s the law.” Families of victims may never get their loved ones back, but with the death penalty they will have reassurance that a murderer will never have the opportunity to repeat their crime, and have closure to their situation. Executing convicts will help decrease the population in overcrowded prisons. It was four years ago when the government of California declared a “Prison Overcrowding State of Emergency,” and still to this day, this issue is still on-going. This eventually led the district court panel to order authorities to arbitrarily free more than 33,000 inmates.
By giving the death penalty to offenders who deserve it, will help alleviate the high number of inmates while still keeping low-risk criminals in prison. Ultimately, judges have the murderer’s lives in the palm of their hands. Judges can choose whether these murderers live or humanely die. Many would argue that the death penalty is unconstitutional. However, according to recent polls, most people agree that in murder cases, an eye for eye is justified in these instances.
J. Edgar Hoover agreed with this notion, stating “Have you ever thought about how many criminals escape punishment, and yet, the victims never have a chance to do that? A criminal on death row has a chance to prepare his death while victims can never do it. There are many other crimes where people are injured by stabbing, rape, theft, etc. To some degree at least, the victim’s right to freedom and pursuit of happiness is violated”. Voting against Proposition 34 would not only bring justice to those knowing the convict has received the same fate that he/she had bestowed upon their loved one, but it will also promise security that no prisoner will have the chance to kill another in prison or out, and it will help alleviate the problem of the prison overcrowding state of emergency which Gov.
Arnold Schwarzenegger declared. The death penalty will be beneficial for all of society. It would improve the quality of our communities and our nation a safer place. Overall, true justice may only be acquired by executing the prisoner.