Saturday, April 5, 2014

Debate: What Do You Think About the Death Penalty?

“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice” – Desmond Tutu, a political activist from South Africa and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

 He and I share the same views toward the death penalty. By taking away a person’s life doesn’t fix the committed crime, or make the world a better place. It amazes me how murder is illegal, yet 32 states allow the death penalty. No one should have their life taken– criminal or not. The death penalty is an immoral action on the government’s behalf.

The death penalty is an act of revenge of the government’s behalf. The government wants society to see itself as the hero – saving the nation from any harm. When in reality, the government is going against one of the primary immoral actions – the taking of others’ lives. I remember sitting at my grandmother’s house listening to the news about a man how had been penalized by death. The warden was talking about his experience when he was about to take the man’s life and he was describing how the mother of the man was wailing while watching her son be executed. At this very moment I came to the conclusion that another man should not execute a criminal because they do not have the right over anyone’s life.  It really spoke to me how even the warden felt unsettled about executing the person, then its definitely not right. No one should have the decision of the matter of life or death of a person. Overall, the government believes them “taking out the bad guy” makes them shine and so that other citizens, but others’ lives should not be apart of the plan to achieve goal.

The death penalty is not needed because nothing gets resolved. By executing the person who committed the crime, it will not bring back any innocent person who was harmed. Being put to death isn’t a punishment; death is very serious and should not be considered. The state should not be in control over a decision that involves taking away someone’s life. At an early age I remember my mother telling me, “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. I just shrugged it off because at the time that only applied to not retaliating against my friends for making me angry. Later on in life I realized this same motto applies to bigger and more complex things- like the death penalty. Killing someone who has done wrong isn’t going to fix any problem; it doesn’t even give that person a chance to learn their lesson.

The death penalty is a cruel act of the government, due to the fact is goes hand in hand with revenge. The death penalty doesn’t stop others from killing people, it doesn’t make the government a hero, and it doesn’t give a sense of security to the innocent citizens. There are always going to “bad guys” out in the world, and the government cannot execute them all…wouldn’t that make the government the serial killer? The only motive for executing a criminal is revenge, not serving justice.

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