I&m against the death penalty. Previously, I was ambivalent about the topic. I could see validity in the views of both sides.

It was one of those random occurences that happens late at night when I&m about to go to bed. I realized I didn&t find any of the arguments for the death penalty particularly convincing. They all fall short in my mind.

One reason I hear most often is that of deterrence. I found very little evidence supporting this claim. I found considerably more showing that there isn&t a deterrent effect.

In California, Robert Harris was executed in 1992 after a 25-year moratorium. In next eight months there was a slight increase in homicides.

In an examination of executions in Texas between 1984 and 1997, which was published in 1999, the authors found no example of deterence.

Another common argument is the cost of keeping people in prison as opposed to executing them. This is one of the dumbest arguments I&ve ever heard. By its logical extension, it&s cheaper to execute almost anyone you put in jail for more than a few years.

Should we begin executing people for car theft and marijuana possesion? I don&t think so. Cost shouldn&t be an issue when it comes to our justice system. The point isn&t to be cost effective, it&s to bring justice.

People who have committed heinous crimes such as first-degree murder should be removed from society forever. The death penalty does that.

So does life imprisonment.

We take away the rest of their life and force them to spend that time in prison with little to do but think about what they did.

To kill them gives an easy way out. They don&t have to deal with what they&ve done.

Still others say the victim&s families need closure. I just can&t believe this accomplishes that. Either way their loved one is still gone and the killer is out of their lives and punished.

The flaws in the death penalty are too great to support it.

Ignoring the racial biases that are found in the implementation of the death penalty, one is left with what I consider to be the damning fact of executions 8212; you can&t take them back.

Illinois has already found that far too many people on death row were having their convictions overturned and as a result has halted all executions.

You can take back a life sentence and let someone go free if you find they are innocent.

Since its inception, one of the ideas behind our justice system is that no innocent person should go to jail. Obviously, no innocent person should be executed either.

The only way to prevent this from happening is by following the example of our european conterparts. We must abolish the death penalty.



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