Death Penalty as A Tool of Injustice

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Do you remember those times in grade school when you had to sit out at recess because your teacher thought you did something you were innocent of? That was brutal punishment as a kid. You felt so angry because you missed the chance of playing your favorite game for no logical reason. If you could just sit back and remember how painful that was for you as a kid to endure an unfair punishment, then you somewhat have an idea of how the multiple innocent men and women felt when they were improperly punished because the legal system got it wrong this time. Instead of losing a chance to play a game, they lose a chance of living a life. Their life destiny is in the hands of 12 strangers, who most likely already made their decision once they saw their appearance. Imagine if that was you! How would you feel if you got punished for something you did not do?

The death penalty is indefensible and should no longer be legal. Too many people are being found innocent. Death row survivor, Jamison, would agree with me. He served “twenty years in prison, and seventeen of those years were spent in solitary confinement. Jamison was accused of robbing a bar and killing a bartender. Jamison was scheduled for lethal injection six prior times but luckily received a stay from the governor every time. Jamison’s trial reopened where the courts discovered that a numerous amount of evidence was withheld, evidence that would have easily proven his innocence”. (McCrabb,2015).

This is one out of many exoneration stories. Statistics show, according to Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), “since 1973, 161 people have been exonerated and freed from death row.” One hundred and sixty-one lives were changed, and we only think about the good that comes from being exonerated; for many things to the actual defendant will never go back to being the same. The wrongfully convicted will have to go through the process of being free again and living in the world. They have to live with being judged by the ignorant. Did they really become free if the false accusations will continue to follow their future?

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Seeking the death penalty is costlier than not seeking it. According to the Appendix 1B, in the state of Oklahoma “seeking the death penalty…incurs significantly more time, effort, and cost on average, as compared to when the death penalty is not sought in the first degree murder cases (Appendix, pp.1, para 1). The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) compared the cost of the death penalty to life imprisonment. “In Texas, to house an inmate for forty years, it costs a total of $693,500” (Carver, 2013). Meanwhile, “just the legal costs for a death penalty case from indictment to execution are 1.2 million” (Carver, 2013). Texas employs the death penalty. With that being said, “the death penalty case causes tax payers an average of 2.3 million, about three times the cost of imprisoning someone…for forty years” (Carver, 2013). Why spend so much money to kill someone in the end? What if we have situations such as Jamison and the one hundred sixty others who were innocent? All of that money just went to waste.

God is the only one who can take a life. A man should not have the right to see death as a punishment of another man. If you have faith, then you should understand why the death penalty is against Gods word. Romans 3:23 states that “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” God is all knowing so he knows we have fallen subject to sin. According to scripture, no sin is greater than the other. So must you do the same as the defendant, and become a murderer? Do you have the right, according to God’s word, to execute someone? In John 8:7, Jesus himself says, “let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” The answer is “no”, you do not have the right to kill someone else when you’re just as sinful.

Some would argue the death penalty is defensible and should be legal to keep criminals off of the street for good. Those who believe in the death penalty would say that the purpose of the lethal injection is to be used as a deterrent to murder. “After the death penalty was abolished, murder rates nearly tripled, rising to an all-time high in the 1980s” (Death Penalty, 2015). There’s also a possibility that if a murderer gets set free they’ll kill again. Take Ted Bundy as an example who “in January 1978, murdered two students and injured three others…” after his second time escaping the prison (Truesdell, 2016). “Ted Bundy admitted to 36 killings of young women across several states in the 1970s…” ( Certainly, it is also very important to keep society safe by removing criminals. However, the death penalty does not prevent crimes from happening on the streets. We have robberies, drug selling, and a little of everything else that goes on in the world. Also, it cannot be proven that the death penalty helps as a deterrent for murder because murder rates are constantly increasing with the practice of lethal injection currently being in place. According to DPIC, “for 2016, the average murder rates of death penalty states was 5.4, while the average murder rate of states without the death penalty was 3.9.” Ted Bundy, who was not at all deterred by the possibility of lethal injection, killed all of those innocent lives when he escaped prison, knowing he would face the consequence of being executed. The situation with Mr. Bundy was a mishap on the prison he originally was located at, before he escaped. Things like Ted Bundy’s story is less likely to happen if prisons correct their security protocols.

In conclusion, the death penalty is indefensible and should no longer be legal. A great amount of the men and women who have been sentenced the death penalty have been found innocent, this could have been avoided if those who are always convicted with this punishment could afford a good lawyer. The expenses that tax payers are losing because of the long drawn out cases for the death penalty are constantly increasing. If you are going to kill someone, then go ahead and do it instead of being inhumane and prolonging the time. God is all knowing and all powerful he tells us to “Obey the government, for God is the one who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. (Rom 13:1). He also states that “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” so we should have punishment for our actions but who on this earth is without sin that has the right to cast the stone (John 8:7)? Right now, we are at 161 exonerates, this alone is 161 reasons why the death penalty needs to be put to an end.

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