The fifth amendment in United States constitution states that “nobody will be deprived of life… without due process of Law”. In the United States 72% of Republicans, 58% of independents, and 39% of Democrats (deathpenaltyinfo.org) are in favor of the death penalty for many reasons. The death penalty is heavily accepted and even uplifted in the United States because it is able to deter crime, keep society safe, as well as keep the punishing reputation of the United States in tact. United States is the only Western country, one of the only countries in the G7, and only part of the 58 countries that still utilize the death penalty. The death penalty is most often given to people that murder with an aggravated factor.
The death penalty is carried out by either hanging, electrocution, lethal injection, firing squad, or gas chamber depending on the state. The death penalty serves a great purpose to the United States and that is why it is still around today even after 140 countries have abolished it.More into the death penalty, capital punishment in America has been around for over 400 years. Capital punishment is the harshest penalty allowed by the courts.
32 states still utilize the death penalty, and lethal injection is the primary designated method of execution. The supreme court suspended the death penalty in 1872 (Furman v Georgia), for the reason that it is a cruel and unusual punishment. The Supreme court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 (Gregg v Georgia) ultimately finding that it is not cruel and unusual.
Over time the support for the death penalty has fallen, 80% of Americans in 1994 were for the death penalty, and recently In 2016, only 60% of Americans are for the death penalty (Gallup News Service). Overtime although the support for the death penalty has fallen its largely due to issues that have been solved. The truth of the death penalty is that it is one of the only punishments ever seen that does what it says, to protect life. People in prison can still make calls to order people to die through gang or mafia relations, prison guards, lawyers, are still at risk of being killed from prisoners, whereas the death penalty will foolproof protect all of society by killing those that seek to destroy it.
II. THE DEATH PENALTY IS A DETERRENT THAT KEEPS SOCIETY SAFEThe death penalty is used for its deterrent affect, Although the argument can be made that statistically there are fewer murders in states without the death penalty these arguments seem to ignore that the deterrent effect is hard to prove statistically. The deterrent effect which stops the crimes from happening in the first place. Professor Shepherd of Emory University found that every execution is associated with three fewer murders. Also Professor Shepherd states that the shorter waits on death row increase the deterrence, for every 2.75 year reduction in death row, one murder is deterred. In addition, two professors at university of Colorado who focused on the influence of commutations and removals from death row stated that for each commutation of five murderers, five additional murders resulted.
Furthermore a removal from death row associated with an increase of one additional murder. Similar results have been found from many professors from many universities including Auburn university, and even from Federal commissions (The Heritage Foundation). Professor John McAdams from Marquette University said that “If we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former”(Olivia Conetta, citelighter). The truth of the death penalty from this data alone proves that the death penalty saves more lives than it takes, and it only takes lives to save others. Even in cases we can see the affect the death penalty has, or could of had.
Joe Atkins in South Carolina was sentenced to a life sentence for the murder of his half brother, after escaping jail he killed his own father who fought for him not to get the death penalty, he also killed a 13 year old girl who lived down the street from Joe Atkins father, and Joe Atkins was prepared to kill the girls family with the pistol, machete and sawed off shotgun he had with him (murderpedia.org). In a similar case, Dimetery Smirnov killed his ex girlfriend in Illinois in 2011, prosecutors found on his computer that he researched if the state had the death penalty before he commited the crime (procon.org). This is another example of how the death penalty deters crime.
The death penalty is justified killing in an effort to save and stop the killing of innocent people from happening. Since over 60% of the American population is in favor of the death penalty it is clear that they feel safer knowing that vicious people who commit terrible unjust acts will be held to the most extreme, the one undisputed guarantee with the death penalty is that the executed can never kill again. Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson are some serial killers that have killed over thirty people, they have committed such horrifying acts that can always linger in people’s mind, but theirs reassurance that comes to their victims and society when they are executed for their actions, victims closure can be easier, public worry will be reduced. This can even be seen with the Boston marathon bombings, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death. The Boston Mayor said “I hope that this verdict provides a small amount of closure…” a transit police officer seriously injured in a shootout with the bombers said “the verdict… gives me relief and closure as well as the ability to keep moving forward” (Jason Marsh, CNN). When I say that the death penalty was established for the safety of society, society includes prison guards, and inmates who are in prison for less severe crimes but still exposed to these monsters, as well as the public. When a suspect gets a life sentence they are still in reach of prison guards and fellow inmates, it is not safe for guards, or anyone to have to deal with inmates that are ruthless and completely immoral. In 2011, 73 correctional officers were murdered by inmates (Audrey Reichard, NCBI).
It is clearly shown that not only is the death penalty a proper moral and justified penalty, but it should be given to more suspects responsible for brutal acts, because the death penalty has the effective results that can be seen from unthinkable situations. POLITICAL CULTURE OF THE DEATH PENALTY IN US There are many reasons why the death penalty is implemented in the United States, the political culture in certain states can be vital for seeing why the death penalty has not been abolished. Political culture refers to the beliefs and values that people have towards governments. Texas is the state that most often uses the death penalty, Texas political culture belief that many states share is traditionalistic and individualistic. A traditionalistic culture is a political ideology pushing the dependance for laws governing morals. Since Traditionalist states favour the elite the death penalty can be seen as a way for the elite to govern and control the masses of people under them. In an individualistic political culture Individualistic states care about people and when people’s lives are taken individualistic states can favor the “eye for an eye method” which would favor the death penalty. Both these political cultures can be seen in Texas where the death penalty is utilized the most.
It is every government’s duties to protect their citizens. Laws are put in place that forbid people from rape, murder, stealing… These laws are sometimes ineffective, because if they were flawless their would be no crime rate or court system, or maybe even police. Because these laws are broken their are court systems put in place to ensure the punishment of these suspects. The fifth amendment in the constitution states “nobody will be deprived of life without due process of law”. This law includes the death penalty for the most unthinkable crimes. The death penalty doesn’t target random people, the death penalty is only ever used on the monsters in this world. People that have murdered multiple people, or murdered people with aggravating factors. The death penalty is just for the government to use to defend its people, The united States will continue using the death penalty because it is effective, and the people that US’s very own constitution protects, are in favour of it.
III. PUNISHING REPUTATION OF THE UNITED STATESThe United States has always been seen to have a strict attitude with any regards towards punishment. Out of Americas 239 years since 1776 which is America’s independence, 222 out of these years there has been wars (WashingtonsBlog).
Conflict and violence has always been apart of the United States, being that they’re considered the world’s police of course they’re going to have strict laws and punishments. Having the death penalty is necessary in a nation especially like United States. United States can be seen as the one top country in the world. But how can they be the world police that deals with international problems if they can’t handle their own. The death penalty in the United States is necessary to keep their top gun ego alive.
United States civil wars further provides proof of the strength of the country. The civil war in USA occured because of the abolishment of slavery. This war is an example of how the US has solved disputes. When something is wrong or unjust, a point is to be made out of it, for the abolishment of slavery a war took place to end it. The same formula can be seen where a murder takes place, in this case with aggravating factors, and to further prevent it, a point is made, and the death penalty runs its course. Governments are put in place to protect the rights of every citizen. In United States at least this includes life, liberty, and property. If one country like Japan for example is a threat to Americans like it was after Pearl Harbour, its United State’s responsibility to punish Japan and do so to defend Americans.
If United States just like every country is justified to do this, why cant they use this same deadly force to protect its own citizens from people that are a threat. The government makes decision to go into wars for protection of their people which is the government’s duty, this is the exact case as to why the government is authorized to carry out the death penalty if it can protect life, liberty, and property. HOW HIGH POSITIONS FEEL ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTYPresident Trump is a strong advocate of the death penalty.
Trump’s political position on the death penalty has been one of the only stable things about him. This can be seen on his twitter where he comments favoring the execution of convicted individuals and during his campaign where he called for mandatory executions on those convicted of killing police officers, or when he tweeted about the NYC terrorist. “NYC Terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room.
He killed 8 people, Should get the death penalty” (@realDonaldTrump, twitter). Since Donald Trump is the president of the United States and represents the States on the highest level its clear to see that the US is heavily into capital punishment. Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions also supports the death penalty. Sessions is attorney general in Alabama and he has fought to uphold more than forty death sentences, he also advocates to pass a bill for mandatory death sentences for those convicted of drug trafficking.Let the punishment fit the crime.
It is clear that when capital murders take place where the murderer is often suspected of dismembering, kidnapping, raping, and murdering multiple people this way, they need a punishment best suited for them. Life imprisonment is too general to cover the spectrum from murders that are revenge or passion related to terrorist and serial killers that are psychopaths, disconnected from society, with no chance of rehabilitation and still a threat to the people around them. It seems wrong that the constitution is in place to protect everyone but only ends up protecting the suspect. When a victim is killed IV.
CONCLUSION The United States has always been an advocate of the death penalty and will continue being so for a long while. Capital punishment is a tool to deter crimes, keep society safe, and keep the United States punishing characteristic in tact. The death penalty has played a key role in United States law since it was established in the sixteen hundreds. More than half of the United States population is in favor of the death penalty, including President Trump and Attorney general Jeff Sessions. The death penalty is a moral, just way to execute convicted murderers in order to prevent them from endangering society more than they already have. The United States is in favor of the death penalty because of the success that comes with it, and the United States will continue to be in favor of capital punishment for a long time to come. Maintaining law and order is a major part of the government which is able to fulfill that need through the death penalty