Death penalty is a growing trend in various states of America. It is a tough topic to discuss, whether you are for or against the death penalty. The opinion of others inevitably affects your opinion and vice versa. Some people believe that it should be an essential prerogative of the government to take lives and put to death convicted criminals in order for our society to be safe from them for good – even if their punishment might not be enough for the crime committed. As of now, there are many reasons as to why people still support the death penalty. There are also many reasons that draw people to oppose it.
The Constitution states that no one should be deprived of life without due process of law. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, however, explains that anyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This sets forth a very important principle in modern times. Yet, this is not strictly enforced. In America, the death penalty is still allowed despite the government’s obligation to preserve and protect life (Banner, 2022).
Capital punishment has been enforced in America for quite some time now. Although there are talks of abolishing it altogether, people still believe that the death penalty should remain an important part of our democracy because it helps deter crime, bring closure to victims’ families, deters future crimes from being committed by previously convicted criminals, and proves to be a deterrent for future criminals. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, capital punishment has made a comeback in America because it is used as a political tool and campaign promise by elected officials.
Capital punishment is a sensitive subject and one that triggers debate on both sides. People who support it tend to say that it has helped deter crime, bring justice to victims’ families, and lower the crime rate. People who are against capital punishment are usually those who claim the government should not have the right to take someone else’s life away. Also, people who are against the death penalty believe that lethal injections are a barbaric way of putting people to death. The first and most common method used to execute people is lethal injection (Dan-Cohen, 2018).
Based on past history, most people who oppose the death penalty tend to be from the group of religious or ethnic minorities. People from this group feel that the government should not kill a person when it will only cause more problems for society. They also feel that the government should not have the right to take an innocent person’s life when they have yet to be proven guilty.
Transportation is one of the main ways that people are executed by lethal injection. It involves a three-drug protocol: Sodium thiopental, pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride. Sodium thiopental can put a person to sleep within minutes; however, it has some serious side effects. It causes respiratory depression and it can cause nerve damage. Once the sodium thiopental takes effect, the other two drugs are injected. The pancuronium bromide is a muscle relaxant that causes paralysis. It makes it impossible for the muscles to contract which prevents a person from breathing or moving.
The potassium chloride is important in bringing life-threatening side effects. This drug stops the heart from beating and causes people to die of cardiac arrest. This can be a very painful and slow method of execution. It causes the death to take place in the same room where the person is executed. The pain and suffering that people go through when they are executed this way is unimaginable.
According to Facts on File, each country has its own unique execution methods. Various methods have been used thus far in America, such as hanging and electrocution among others. In 1978, the lethal injection procedure was developed. It was different from the other common methods used. According to the Supreme Court, this method does not violate the Fifth Amendment because it does not intend to kill a person (Dan-Cohen, 2018).
Some countries that do not use lethal injection include China, Iran, and North Korea. These countries execute their criminals by hanging them. The Chinese government claims that this is among their many laws and cultural practices that help to maintain order in society as well as make justice more fair for all citizens. The people of Iran claim that this method is commonplace as they believe it to be more humane and less harmful than other forms of executions. North Korean citizens claim that hanging is a form of punishment that is common in their society (Healey, 2016).
Capital punishment has been a controversial topic over the last two hundred years. It has had its ups and downs throughout the years. Today, however, it remains on a downward spiral because more people these days are against it than ever before. Many citizens claim that capital punishment is a barbaric form of execution because it violates human rights and it is simply not humane. While people are still in support of the death penalty, more and more people are against it these days (Healey, 2016). There was a time when most people supported the death penalty, but times have changed. Many people say that they want to live in a society where justice prevails and where laws are clearly defined and enforced so that everyone can be safe.
To conclude, many people believe that the death penalty should remain a part of the American democracy because it helps deter crime, brings closure to victims’ families, deters future crimes from being committed by previously convicted criminals, and proves to be a deterrent for future criminals. Capital punishment has made a comeback in America because it is used as a political tool and campaign promise by elected officials. While there is still opposition for capital punishment, it is no longer as common as it once was.
Banner, S. (2022). The death penalty. In The Death Penalty. Harvard University Press. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.4159/9780674020511/html
Dan-Cohen, M. (2018). On the (Im) morality of the Death Penalty. Berkeley J. Crim. L., 23, 194. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/bjcl23&div=21&id=&page=
Healey J. (2016). The death penalty debate. Spinney Press. https://worldcat.org/en/title/921242153