Religious Values and Death Penalty
Religious and moral values tell us that killing is wrong. Thou shall not kill. To me, the death penalty is inhumane. Killing people makes us like the murderers that most of us despise. No imperfect system should have the right to decide who lives and who dies. The government is made up of imperfect humans, who make mistakes. The only person that should be able to take life, is god.
“An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”. (Gandhi) Two wrongs do not make a right. You simply can’t justify a wrong by doing something equally as wrong. I believe everyone deserves a second chance. I think many people are on death row and in our prisons because they never got any first chances. The death penalty doesn’t seem to recognize that guilty people have the possibility to change, and it rejects their chance to ever rejoin and contribute to society.
Anyone can change and be rehabilitated. We live in troubling times and the easiest path would be to get rid of criminals altogether but imagine a world where we can change lives instead of taking them. You cannot introduce new ideas into someone’s head by chopping it off.
The risk of executing innocent people exists in any imperfect justice system. Since 1973, 123 people in 25 states have been released from death row with evidence of innocence. Innocent people are imprisoned and executed all the time. As in ‘Just Mercy, police officers and prosecutors, whether they are under pressure from the public, or trying to further their careers, seem to make quick arrests and completely ignore evidence that might point to innocence. There have been and always will be cases of executions of innocent people. No matter how developed a justice system seems to be, it will always remain at risk for human failure. Unlike prison sentences, where people can be released upon new evidence, the death penalty is permanent and non-reparable.
The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. I read that In April 2005, in (The Lancet) a team of medical researchers found flaws in how lethal injections were being given, which caused extreme suffering to the person being executed. The report found “that in 43 of the 49 executed prisoners studied the anesthetic administered during lethal injection was lower than required for surgery. In 43 percent of cases, drug levels were consistent with awareness.”
Here is an article I read on botched executions. “On December 13, 2006, a man named Angel Nieves Diaz was the victim of a botched execution so terrible that it led Florida’s Republican Governor and death penalty enthusiast Jeb Bush to issue an executive order halting executions in the state. Technicians wrongly inserted the needles carrying the poisons that were to kill Diaz. The chemicals poured into his soft tissues instead of his veins. This left Diaz struggling and mouthing words in pain for over 34 minutes, when a second set of needles were inserted. The county medical examiner found 12-inch chemical burns inside both of his arms after the execution”. I also watched a video at home of a prisoner with a botched execution and it was horrific to watch, and it actually brought tears to my eyes.