The Death Penalty should not be Legal

Category: Law
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Pages:  4
Words:  1172

Imagine you hit your sibling and your mom hits you back to teach that you shouldn’t be hitting anyone. Do you really learn not to be violent from that or instead do you learn how it is okay for moms or dads to hit their children in order to teach them something? This is exactly how the death penalty works. The death penalty has been a form of punishment for decades. There are several methods of execution and those are hanging, firing squad, electrocution and lethal injection. The death penalty, a sentence of ending a life of criminal as a punishment to their crimes, should not be legal due to the fact that it gives quick relief to the prisoner, makes others become murderers and the decision might vary based on judge’s opinions or beliefs.

Hanging, killing a prisoner by breaking their neck or choking with a rope that is being tied around their neck, has been one of the oldest methods of execution. The inmate will be placed on top of a trap door and the rope would be placed around her/his neck. The executor opens the trap door leaving inmate to drop so that they will die due to a broken neck or choking. The measurement of the drop is very important because different body types need a different amount of force for their neck to be broken. If the drop is too high or too short, the inmate will suffer a long and painful death, which will take around 45 minutes. Once the inmate is dropped, the rope will compress carotid arteries in the neck, main arteries that carry blood to the brain, which will cause brain and other organs in the body to stop working eventually due to lack of


oxygen (“How Does Death by Hanging Work?”). If things go wrong the maximum amount of time will take for a prisoner to die is 45 minutes, which is a really tiny number comparing to the punishment of a lifetime. As it was stated before, hanging will give quick punishment or relief to the killer. It is also cruel because it might turn into a slow and painful death. Cruel punishments are against our 8th amendment.

Firing squad, a sentence of death by shooting, was another method of execution. Usually, a military personnel would be executor in this type of execution. The prisoner would stand against a wall facing a couple of soldiers with a gun. Only one soldier would have a bullet in the gun, but all of them would receive some sort of command to shoot at the same time. Prisoner’s eyes are usually tied with a piece of clothing to prevent soldiers to doubt while they are doing their duty. Also, soldiers will never know who had a real bullet to blame themselves with the death of the prisoner (“Firing Squad”). As it was mentioned prior, the execution which just made one soldier a murderer, is similar to a prisoner who was also a murderer. This is not a way of punishing people because two wrongs don’t make right. The reason for being punished shouldn’t be the way of how a punishment work. If killing murderers keep goes on, there wouldn’t be anyone left because one person will eventually kill another one to punish them but they will also get punished due to the fact that they killed someone. If we are looking for a justice, this is not a way of finding it. Justice doesn’t contain killing people in it.

Electrocution, ending the life of a prisoner with a great amount of electrical voltage, was also a method of execution. The prisoner would get shaved and tied to an electrical chair. A metal hat looking cap would be placed on their head over a sponge that is wetted by saline. The


amount of saline that was conserved by the sponge is very important because it can slow down the process or give a lot more voltage to the body than intended which would burn the skin. Doctors would check the prisoner’s heartbeat to see if the second or third round of electrocution is needed (“Descriptions of Execution Methods”). This is against 8th amendment which states the prohibition of cruel and injustice punishments (“8th Amendment”). While trying to kill the prisoner, executors would punish a criminal couple of times which is identified as cruel punishment and it is against their amendment. The second or third round of electrocution is also mean that prisoner is suffering a painful death.

Lethal injection, injecting potassium chloride to stop the heart, is the most recently used method of execution. Prisoners would be tied up on a gurney and be injected potassium chloride to stop their heart. Doctors would inject anesthesia first in order to put the prisoner into an unconscious state before stopping their heart. This method might seem less cruel but due to lack interest of doctors in a death penalty, inexperienced people might do the injection and if they inject the potassium chloride into muscle rather than a vein, it might lead to a very painful death. So it is not any less of a cruel than other methods (“Descriptions of Execution Methods”). Killing someone with anesthesia or without anesthesia doesn’t change the fact that you are killing them. Studies are not enough to prove that a person in an unconscious state doesn’t feel anything when they are in a process of dying.

Different beliefs of judges might also lead to wrongful death penalties. If the judge is racist, the decision might not be accurate which is really important because it is life or death situation. In a book called “Equal Justice and The Death Penalty” authors state that “Several of


the concurring justices expressed concern that unrestrained sentencing discretion in capital cases left jurors free to consider racially discriminatory or other suspect factors, such as defendant’s sex or socioeconomic status, when imposing sentence. Indeed, Justice Marshall flatly asserted that, based on the available evidence, racially discriminatory death sentences had occurred” (Baldus, Woodworth, Pulaski Jr. 140). This piece of evidence can show that discrimination can be a problem in the sentencing death penalty and it also has been a problem. Judges gave an order for a prisoner to be killed maybe based on their sex, skin color or religion. This problem might lead to executions of prisoners who are not anywhere close to getting death penalties. This is not a problem that can be fixed because there is no way for that judge or executor to wake the prisoner up after killing them. It is too late to recognize something and put a stop to it. Whereas if judges keep the criminals in a prison for a lifetime, they can set them free if there was some sort of mistake in putting the criminal in prison. There have been people who are being killed mistakenly because of wrong outcomes of trials. This can be prevented if we put a stop to a death penalty.

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The death penalty should not be legal. (2020, Feb 16). Retrieved from

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