Death penalty rebuttal

By on October 3, 2002

The death penalty is one of the most controversial debates in history.
“I don’t know about you, but when I get into a discussion about the death penalty, my first thoughts go to the victim and to the brutality of the murder. That is the foundation of the just nature of the death penalty” said author Dudley Sharp.
You can only pick from two sides: either against or for the death penalty. Joseph Reynolds in his article last week opened the door for debate on the issue of the death penalty.
According to Reynolds, “the issue of the death penalty has shifted from a philosophical debate on nature of crime and punishment to a purely political battle.” If this is true, then why does society allow for this debate to remain in terms of politics and the print, radio waves and video?
To view the capital punishment as unsuccessful is very difficult to believe. According to the Honorable B. Rey Shauer, Justice of the Supreme Court of California, the death penalty has purpose in this society.
“The death penalty, for murder in the commission of armed robbery, each year saves the lives of scores, if not hundreds of victims of such crimes cannot reasonably be doubted by any judge who has had substantial experience at the trial court level with the handling of such persons,” said Shauer.
Supporters of the death penalty make valid points stating that a valid way of dealing with criminals who commit these heinous crimes toward humanity is to eliminate them by lethal injection, hanging, the electric chair or so on.
“If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. This, to me, is not a tough call” said John McAdams, a faculty member specializing in Political Science on deterrence at Marquette University.
Going further, we must now look at why these criminals are sentenced to death. Capital punishment is not because of petty crimes like robbery at gunpoint. If you commit a crime where you knowingly murder an individual for whatever the reason you must face the consequences for your actions.
In the United States, whether morally correct or not, the death penalty is a part of capital punishment and the Judicial Branch of the American Government. That is what is stated as a punishment handed down by the Judicial Systems: federal, state, county and/or municipalities decided by a juror, and sentenced by a judge.
Realize that in the American system when you are put on trial “you are innocent until proven guilty.” Jurors are supposed to be objective when making judgments against individuals when they are on trial.
Critics often refer to capital punishment as a debate between politics and morality. What will come of the death penalty all depends on who is speaking and how passionate they are in their beliefs. Morality and politics should remain separate until a compromise can be made.
Through public debate, no resolution has been made. Until then, respect the right of the people, the jury, to sentence and essentially decide which individuals deserve the death penalty.
Unless you are put into that situation, in figurative terms “Playing God,” you should state that the death penalty is wrong. Think of the victims of these crimes and think of the enormous responsibility put onto the backs of the juror.
Murderers who have put men and/or women to death should decide in moral terms along with the victim’s friends and families whether the death penalty is right or wrong. Don’t argue for the sake of arguing. If you have been affected by the death penalty or by having a friend or family member murdered, then voice your opinions, otherwise know when to speak.
Just because some citizens believe they have the right to kill does not give them the right to get away with murder. When you commit murder you should be punished.
Elected officials decide what bills become law until the argument shifts to completely in support of capital punishment or against. Until then, the death penalty will stand as a means of disposing of guilty criminals sentenced other than life in prison.
The American Judicial System was set up for a reason. The debate will go on, but only through discussion, until one side wins the argument.


About Sean Hughes - Staff Writer