Get help from the best in academic writing.

Vile Criminals Deserve Death

There is one simple reason why I support the death penalty: because I do not want people who have committed senseless, malicious, violent crimes against innocent people to be allowed to remain in my society, locked-up or not. I want them to die for their sins.

Let me first stipulate that I will not cite any Biblical passages or volunteer any sort of religious evidence for my position – partly because I believe that it is possible for just about anyone to find a passage in the Bible to twist around to support or refute just about any position on just about any subject. Also because, seeing that I do not subscribe to any specific organized religion, I have had limited exposure to the Bible.

Anyway, this whole controversy concerning the moral validity of capital punishment came to my attention the other day while I was watching television. A PBS program called “Frontline” had done a report on the true story behind the book “Dead Man Walking,” written by Sister Helen Prejean, which was a primary source for the construction of Tim Robbin’s movie of the same name.

The appearance, mannerisms and attitude of the main character, Matthew Poncelet, in “Dead Man Walking,” closely resembled those of real-life death row convict Robert Lee Willie, whom Sister Prejean spiritually counseled. Also, the experience of the victim, Hope Percy, in the movie and the reaction of her family, closely paralleled those of the young girl, Faith Hathaway, who was savagely raped, beaten, and killed by Willie. And since Sister Prejean deliberately intended that her book rally people against the death penalty, and because this book served as the central groundwork for the movie “Dead Man Walking,” I believe it is important that people be made aware …

… middle of paper …

…ctims, I believe that the death penalty has done its job.

I could also be attacked on the premise that, like many other institutions in this country, the assignment of the death penalty is racially biased. That allegation unfortunately may be true, and should consequently be addressed as Americans continue to seek out and eradicate this country’s deplorable racist undertones. Nevertheless, I believe we can fix this troubling shortcoming, without abandoning the policy completely.

The fact is, the government does not seek out people to sentence to death. It is a fate that can only be brought upon someone through his or her own actions. And to be frank, in my opinion, individuals who commit vile, murderous crimes, which show nothing other than a savage indifference to the suffering of a fellow human being, have earned their destiny. It is really that simple.

Capital Punishment Essay: Death Penalty Can be Fair, and Fun!

The Death Penalty Can be Fair

Every American should want fairness in all areas of public policy – this is especially true with regard to the death penalty, since the stakes are high. But the opponents of the death penalty make a most peculiar argument about fairness. They argue that if the death penalty is not administered fairly, and especially administered with racial fairness, it must be abolished.

Nobody would even think of trying to apply this principle in a consistent way. If we find that black neighborhoods get less police protection than white neighborhoods, would we withdraw cops from both black and white neighborhoods? If banks are discriminating against black home buyers in mortgage lending, would we demand they stop all mortgage lending? If we find the IRS discriminating against middle-class and poor taxpayers, would we want to abolish the IRS? All right, that does have an attraction, but nobody is seriously suggesting it.

What do the opponents of the death penalty say should replace it? Life imprisonment, perhaps? But there is no reason to believe this penalty is more fairly imposed than the death penalty. So are we going to knock the maximum down to 10 years? If so, we face the same problem.

In addition to the philosophical incoherence of the argument, the empirical reality of racial disparity in capital punishment is a lot more complicated than simplistic notions about racism run riot in the criminal justice system would lead you to believe. It’s important here to understand that the opponents of the death penalty make two different arguments about racial fairness, and they are flatly contradictory.

The first thing that we see when we start looking at statistics is…

… middle of paper …

…pital defendants are a highly self-selected and hardly unbiased group.

So what we have, in the way of hard statistical evidence, fails to support the politically correct fantasy of massive discrimination. Is the death penalty administered with perfect fairness? No. Is it administered as fairly as other public policies, and especially as fairly as other criminal sanctions? Yes.

Public officials should work to make the system even fairer. In particular, better provision could be made for an effective defense in capital cases. And I think that a revival of executive clemency (which has fallen into disuse) in cases where a jury is perceived to have been too harsh would be a good thing. But the notion that unfairness, and particularly racial unfairness, requires the end of the death penalty makes neither philosophical nor empirical sense.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.