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Running head: DEATH PENALTY

Death Penalty
Sam Martt
Ivy Tech Community College

Who agrees that murder is wrong? I am sure that most everyone can agree. So, why
would people think it is okay to take someones life through capital punishment? It is
hypocritical in all honesty. It is not okay that we look so down on people who murder people,
then allow our prisons to take lives. It is not right in any way, shape, or form. No one should be
able to choose if someones life should be taken away from them. An eye for an eye will make
the whole world blind. The Death Penalty should not be considered a chose when punishing
someone for a crime; no matter what it is.
Many people agree with the Death Penalty tend to complain that their tax dollars are
paying to keep killers and rapist alive when in reality it cost less to keep someone incarcerated
for life than it does for a state to put a person to death through capital punishment. In Indiana the
average case ending with the death penalty cost $449,887, compared to the average cost of
keeping someone in prison for life being only$42,658. This is not just the case in Indiana either.

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There is not any state where it is cheaper to put someone to death than it is to keep them in
prison for life. (Death Penalty Information Center [DPIC], 2014) The tax payers money that
would be saved by not putting a person to death could be used for something so much more
important. Such as maybe helping out the families of the murder victims. (Death Penalty Focus
[DPF], 2015) Now, why would it be okay to pay more the kill a bad person when we could keep
them locked up for life? Some would say, because they do not deserve to live. Think about it
death would be the easy way out. Inmates in prison for rape, murder, or molesting children are
treated much worse by both grads and other inmates. No one would rather live life locked away
with people that are out to get them, than just be put to death. In prison they have nothing going
for them, and nothing to look forward too if they no they are never getting out. Knowing that
would be far worse than death itself. After taking that all in to consideration they do not deserve
to die. They deserve to have to life with what they did.
The death plenty is too random. There are about 15,000 to 17,000 homicides committed
every year in the United States. Only 120 people of those people are sentenced to death. That is
not even 1%. (DPF, 2015) It makes no sense to let some people live when you are putting others
to death who committed the same crime.
Someone is more likely to be put to death if you kill a white person than a black person.
As said in the paragraph above it is just to random. If people are going to kill someone for killing
a white man, then the same thing should be done to someone who killed a black man. In a study
done since 1976 the percentage of victims whose killer were put to death that killed black people
was 14.2%. The percentage of victims whose killer was put to death that killed Hispanic people
was 4.87%. The percentage of victims whose killer was put to death that killed whites was
78.67%. Other was only 1.96%. (DPD, 2015) These percentages clearly show that something
unfair is going on here.

DEATH PENALTY

People in American look at places such as Iraq, Iran, and China, and think they run their
countries wrong. Most of the things they do are wrong; along with capital punishment. The
majority of countries in Western Europe, North America and South America that are more like
the United States think capital punishment is wrong. (DPF, 2015)
Humans make mistakes. Nothing is for sure. People can be set up. This stuff really does
happen. It is very possible for someone to be convicted for a crime they did not do. Just knowing
there is the slightest chance of our states putting someone to death for something they did not do
should be enough to make it not okay. There have been many cases where people have been
convicted for a crime and done a lot of time before being proven innocent and let free. Things
like that can ruin a good persons life forever. I am sure many people have died doing time for
something they did not do, and it is not fair at all.
There are many examples of people doing time for something they did not do and here
are just a few of them. One is Ernest (Shujaa) Graham, convicted of 1st Degree Murder in 1976.
He was to be put to death. He was wrongly conviction and released in 1981 after serving 8 years
for something he did not do. He says, "I've been out 20 some years now and every day when I
get up I think about capital punishment, and not only what happened to me but also those I left
behind." Another is Gloria Killian, Convicted of 1st Degree Murder in 1986. She was sentenced
32 years to life. She was wrongly convicted, and set free in 2002 after doing 18 years for a crime
she did not commit. "They destroyed my entire life," said Gloria. "They took everything I had
and they smashed it into a million pieces just because they could." Also Glen "Buddy" Nickerson
was convicted of two counts of 1st Degree Murder in 1984. He was sentenced to life without
parole. He was wrongly convicted and set free in 2003 after doing 19 years for a crime he did not
do. "Everybody out here believed, 'Oh, there's no way innocent people would be in prison. It just
doesn't happen, this is America,'" said Nickerson. "It happens every day. Everyday. And one day,

DEATH PENALTY

it could be you." John Stoll was convicted for 17 counts of child molestation in 1985. He was
sentenced to 40 years. He was wrongly convicted and set free in 2004 after doing 20 years for
something he did not do. (DPD, 2015) There is a pattern going on here. The list could go on and
on. The list of cases like these is very large. Hearing their stories may not affect a person very
much, but if they try to imagine it as their dad, mom, brother, sister, best friend, aunt, uncle, or
any other loved one that was wrongly convicted like this. What if they were sentenced to death,
and put to death without being found innocent in time. Not only would they be gone for no
reason, but they would be known for something so horrible. No one wants that.
Another problem with capital punishment is what it shows todays youth. People want
children to stay away from violence, and that there are better ways of handling things. How can
parents teach their kids this when the government goes around killing people as a punishment?
Many people now a days are changing their minds about how to punish children. You can no
longer hit your child. It teaches violence, and that is what we want to keep our children away
from. Say a boy hits his brother, and the brother starts hitting him back. Most parents would
punish both of thy boys, because just because one did it first does not give the other child a
reason to do it back. Parents say there are better ways of handling things. That is the way the
world is looking at things now a day. How can people claim to be against violence and teaching
violence when our counties kills people as a punishment? People cannot expect their children to
see that two wrongs do not make a right if that is the way the government is doing it. It is
showing that violence is okay. There are other ways of dealing with the crimes as well as there
being better ways of handling a fight with your brother.
Many people have different opinions on this part. Some think everyone has it in them to
become something truly horrible. It just takes the right stressor. Some people think that people
become killers, because they are flat out crazy or cruel. Others think it has more to do with a bad

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childhood. No one knows for sure. It could be that many people are just born that way. A lot of
people agree that many different things can cause someone to become this way. People react to
different events in different ways. The big question is; can people change from something
horrible to a normal person? I believe that a single event can turn someone bad, but I also think
that a single event can turn someone good. Theres no reason to kill a human being who could
have hope. Once we give up on the idea that people can be rehabilitated what else do we have to
give us hope for humanity? Humans cant just give up. They have to stick together. If people
arent able to believe in them than they have no reason to work on their selves in the first place.
Most people would think that knowing the death penalty is allowed would make someone
think twice when it comes to doing a crime that could end with capital punishment if caught.
Oddly enough this is not the case though. There have been many scientific studies done that
have not been able to prove that crime rate is down in places the death penalty is in action verses
places where someone can only be given life in prison. The South is where more than 80% of US
executions. Yet, they still have the highest regional murder rate. There is no reason to spend all
that money when it is not doing anything that keeping a criminal incarcerated for life can do.
(DPD, 2015)
In all honestly there are no good reasons to keep capital punishment. It is nothing, but a
waste of money that could be used for something much more important. It is completing wrong,
and teaches violence. It is done at random, and mostly to people who have killed white people.
Which is totally unfair, not that the death penalty is fair anyways. It can ruin an innocent persons
life; not to menschen the loved opens of an innocent person. It does not help with crime rates. It
does not give people a chance to change their ways if possible. It shows that our government flat
out does not care, and is willing to just give up on people. It needs to be done away with.

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Reference
Baumgartner, F. R., De Boef, S., & Boydstun, A. E. (2008). The Decline of the Death Penalty
and the Discovery of Innocence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Death Penalty Information Center. (2014). Costs of the Death Penalty. Death penalty info.
Retrieved January 4, 2015, from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/costs-death-penalty
Death Penalty Focus. (2014). Facts. Death Penalty. Retrieved January 4, 2015, from
http://www.deathpenalty.org/section.php?id=13
Seminarian Zachary, S. (n.d). Why the death penalty is wrong. Post-Courier (Papua New
Guinea),