Texas Capital Punishment

The death penalty has existed for centuries. Ancient societies like the Romans to modern day Texans have had their hands filled with this idea. The difference is the methods used to execute its victims; ranging from disturbing impalements to painless deaths by injection.

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Texas has had its own history of methods, electric chairs, gas chambers, firing squad, death by hanging and now by lethal injection. The question of whether these methods have caused a decrease in crime in the state of Texas is precisely because Texas is the leader in executions since 1976 when the federal government made the death penalty legal again. Today, many Texans take a stance against the death penalty on the basis of failed deterrence, still, there are more Texans who believe the death penalty has done more than their adversaries are willing to admit. Disbanding capital punishment at the point where Texas is at is not ideal for its push on crime. The death penalty should remain active as Texas looks to reconsider how it operates through its lower levels of punishment.

Arguments against the death penalty has caused major interest groups to form such as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, a group with 90 million members nationwide to, the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the biggest interest group against the death penalty in the state of Texas. All have common reasons against capital punishment. Their leading arguments are, the death penalty violates the cruel and unusual punishment, a constitutional amendment, and its denial of the due process law since its victim will never be able to take advantage on a new law or proof that may mitigate the conviction. Although these arguments hold strong, its reasons are individually minded; their more so meant to stop a case rather than what the death penalty is after. The death penalty was created with the intent of general deterrence – uses an individual’s punishment as an example to refrain others on criminal activity. Yet, a chart in deathpenaltyinfo.org shows that states without the death penalty have lower murder rates than states who operate capital punishment. Without a doubt, general deterrence exists psychologically, but what can be done is to regulate the amount of cases that lead to death row. In this situation the death penalty will serve its purpose to retain criminal activity while giving leeway to those who oppose it. Another issue brought by the NCADP and TCADP is the ability to decide the death of someone, something a democratic society shouldn’t have. This is true, but ways to deal with society can lead to measures not planned and it is why the federal government has a supremacy clause; the death penalty may not be the answer but it is subject to such dilemma. Its ethical issues regarding the way of executions have been minimal since the state of Texas has only one sole method by way of lethal injection. Nevertheless, death is death and its opposition will remain.

Proponents of the death penalty are a majority in Texas although it has seen a decline. Their arguments hold strong on preserving justice and order. Proponents argue that murders must meet with their own fate on the basis of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” a law of retaliation that promulgated capital punishment into existence.  

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