Sentenced To Death: Morality vs Mortality

Stone Reid, Joe Stern, Blake Morin, Author

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Death as a punishment is a controversial issue within the United States, but how do we determine it’s morality? By implementing the death penalty, violent criminals are kept from ever committing heinous acts again. It also promotes non violence within prisons, with the possibility of death being an ever present possibility.

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom pushed through a moratorium that will temporarily ban the execution of 737 California inmates. The California state prison guards’ union says “the death penalty is the only deterrent to keep murderers from killing again behind bars.” Obviously, executing  people is not something that as a society we want, but when a person has committed an unspeakable crime, it is important that we make sure that it is not overlooked.

Killing is seen as a negative thing, but what if the one being killed is someone who promotes intensive violence and crime? Robert Blecker, a professor of criminal law at New York Law School, says how “Punishment itself is dying. The question is, if we abolish the death penalty, do we diminish justice?” A logical reason why people promote the death penalty is to rid the earth of people who have done horrible things. Justice is fairness, and by sentencing a killer, the ones who were killed earn justice. By killing them, they are also wiped from life, giving them no chance to ever harm someone again. If the death penalty is abolished, the human race may be eliminating the one thing that serves such horrible criminals justice; death.

People argue that the death penalty is unnecessary and unneeded. Evan Jones, a Sophomore at Hall High School says how: “It is unjust to solve killing with killing.” Evan and others agree that there are alternative punishments such as a lifetime sentence. In some cases, innocent people are wrongly executed for crimes they didn’t commit.  When asked about if the death penalty was unjust, Assistant teacher Colleen Corgan says, “I think the death penalty is an extreme punishment, I believe it sets a sick example to the public.” When someone commits such a crime like murder, a life time sentence in prison would allow the criminal to live a life of punishment. But with the possibility of parole and re-sentencing, lifetime imprisonment is never definite.

Ultimately, there is not much that could ever be more controversial than a decision that ends with taking someone’s life. The death penalty should stay in place because it serves justice to those who have committed some of the most repugnant crimes. After all, taking a human being’s life is not a politician’s decision.