Opposing Viewpoints Regarding the Death Penalty



During the middle ages, when torture and public executions were common place, many crule methods of exicution were employed to punish those convicted of a crime. The most common methods being: beheading, hanging, strung, and quartered, burning at the stake, cruising, boiling alive, impatient, hanging, the wheel, sawing, and crucifiction ("Execution in the Middle Ages.") In the 21st century, those violent means of execution have mostly been replaced by electrocution, lethal gas, or lethal injection, but now more and more discussions on the morality of execution of prisoners are occurring. 

As our society matures, more people feel that prisoners can often be rehabilitated or kept far away from others instead of needing to be killed publicly. Now executing criminals is only seen fit for those who commit egregious crimes, like intentional homicide. Before being sentenced to death, these criminals face numerous trials to determine their guilt. Brian Terrell was not immune to this. He was tried three times allegedly stealing checks and killing John Watson in 1992. The first ended in a mistrial because the jourers could not reach a consensus, the second trial’s ruling was overturned by the Georgia Supreme court for errors in jury selection, and in the third trial Brian Terrell was convicted and sentenced to death ("Executed But Possibly Innocent."). He was convicted largely based on the testimony of his cousin, Jermaine Johnson, which he later admitted was false and he only testifyed to avoid the death penalty for himself. There were also 13 fingerprints found at the scene, and none matched Terrell, the footprints found near the body were also much smaller than Brian Terrell’s feet (Brumback). Despite the abundance of reasonable doubt and false testimony, Brian Terrell was executed by lethal injection on December 9th 2015, he was only 47 years old (Brumback). The death penalty should be abolished because it encourages false testimony and cruel punishment throughout the prison system, executions are more often administered to people of color and those of a lower economic position, and executing a person without proof beyond any reasonable doubt of their guilt goes against the US judicial code.

Those who believe the death penalyt has a place in modern society, often say that the threat of capital punishment acts as a major deterrent of violent crime. As Paul Rupin, author of “ The Economics of Crime'' states, “Criminals rationally maximize their own self-interest (utility) subject to constraints (prices, incomes) that they face in the marketplace and elsewhere." (Paul H. Rubin, "The Economics of Crime," in Ralph Andreano and John J. Siefried, eds., The Economics of Crime (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1980), p. 13. Originally published in American Economic Review, Vol. 28, No. 4 (1978), pp. 38-43.) If potential criminals know that the crime they are about to commit could result in the death penalty, then they are less likely to commit it in the first place. (https://netivist.org/debate/death-penalty-pros-and-cons) People most often commit violent crimes because of lust, loathing, loot, love. (https://www.crimeandjustice.org.uk/sites/crimeandjustice.org.uk/files/09627250608553401.pdf) Many of whom failed to take into account the reasons people commit crimes and how a person isn’t going to be dertured by the death penalty because they aren’t thinking of it. 

I’m right because abolishing the death penalty, would help to begin reformung the prison system and avoid false testimony to avoid the death penilty, like what happened in Brian Terrell’s case. People of color are more likely to be imprisoned for crimes and more likely to be executed for crimes than white people who committed similar crimes. In the U.S. all people are innocent until proven guilty beyond doubt, and if there is any reasonable doubt they can not be punished for that crime, in Brian Terrell’s case and many others, an extreme and irreversible punishment is given with an abundance of reasonable doubt; breaking U.S. judicial code and the morality of our society. 

The death penalty should be abolished in the united states because it hinders the judicial process and prison reform, extentuated racial and socioeconomic dispartities, and is an irriversible punishment that has been inacted without absolute ceritnay of guilt, breaking U.S. moral and legal ideals.

The death penalty should be abolished in the united states because it hinders the judicial process and prison reform, extentuated racial and socioeconomic dispartities, and is an irriversible punishment that has been inacted without absolute ceritnay of guilt, breaking U.S. moral and legal ideals. Death penalty shoud be abolished and all those on death row should have their cases reevaluated, and if found guilty beyond a resonble doubt, their sentances replaced with a prison sentance. 

The death penalty interfers with the judicial process, because it often relyes on unreluable eyewitness testi.