Capital Punishment: something present in American culture but not really talked about. I am curious to see what you all think about capital punishment/ the death penalty. Now I know this is a long post but I think it is important for people to understand what the death penalty is. Your patience in reading this is greatly appreciated. I personally find that the death penalty is excessively flawed to be used. Facts and statistics have shown a real problem in how we execute people. For reference here is a list of things that I found: > The Cornell law school states that the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) has ruled that punishment must fit crime. The only offense punishable by death is murder. Rape by itself is not a death sentence. SCOTUS has also ruled that the death penalty must be decided on by a unanimous jury vote. > There have been many Supreme Court cases involving the Death penalty. As shown in a [UR=Death Penalty Fast Facts - CNN] CNN article. [/URL] > The most recent challenge comes in the fact that many pharmaceutical companies block the use of their drugs. > This has led to states finding alternative methods of execution drugs. One drug in particular, according to the New York Times is Midazolam, a powerful sedative. > The use of this drug, according that CNN timeline and The Death Penalty Information Center(DPIC) , has resulted in botched executions in Ohio, Oklahoma, Arizona and Arkansas. > There have been a total of 1,459 executions in the US since 1977. Before 1977 there was a ten year moratorium on the death penalty. > DPIC fact sheet reports that in North Carolina it costs $2.16 million more to execute someone rather than impose a natural life sentence. In Texas, it costs three times as much. In Florida $51 million is spent every year to execute someone. > There have been 161 exonerations of inmates on death row. The pro-death penalty arguments consist of one of the following. > It’s a deterrent > It saves money/resources > It’s justice All three of these have serious flaws. To start, it is not a deterrent. According to DPIC the South accounts for 80% of executions in the US. The region that executes the second most amount of people is the Midwest, followed by the West, and lastly the Northeast. DPIC shows from FBI’s 2016 Uniform Crime Report that the South has the highest homicide rate, followed by the Midwest, West, and the Northeast brings up the end. It is also argued that killing people saves money. However, the stats shown above shows that capital punishment is far more expensive than putting someone in prision for the rest of their life. The last argument is that it is justice. While there is an argument here, I still disagree with it. The idea of “a life for a life” is very barbaric. Capital punishment is the only time we see this retaliatory type of punishment too. Grand Theft Auto is not punished by someone stealing the defendants car, arson is not punished by burning their house down. I find that capital punishment is less about justice, and more about vengeance. You also have to consider that there have been many people exonerated from death row. A quick YouTube search for “Death row exonerations” will show many instances of innocent people almost being killed for a crime they never committed. Even if someone is guilty, there have been many instances of botched executions. DPIC states that lethal injection, the method primarily used today, has the highest percentage of error. Even as recent as February of this year, Doyle Hamm was not executed by Alabama due to the fact the state could not find a vein to use in the injection. Hamm states that the failed attempt was very painful. That same issue was brought up to the courts before his attempted execution. Some people will argue that it does not matter if they feel pain. They still did something horrific and we should not have any sympathy for them. While many of the crimes that land people on death row are indeed horrific, it does not mean they can be tortured to death. The eight-amendment specifically forbids the use cruel and unusual punishment. This is extended to the retaliatory type of punishment being described here. Given all of this, I think the death penalty is excessively flawed and too broken to be used in the way it is. The only real argument for is that is vengeance, but even that is flawed and barbaric. However I also try to see the other side of the story. Playing devil’s advocate for moment here are some things to consider: > What if a prisoner volunteers to be executed? > What if a prisoner is sent to prison for murder and then kills someone while incarcerated? > What if there is irrefutable evidence, such as video tape or something else that makes otherwise it impossible to refute that a certain individual killed someone. > What about extreme cases like the Oklahoma city bomber(who was executed), the Charleston shooter, the Parkland shooter or the Boston bomber? > Some states are bringing in nitrogen hypoxia, a technique that is used often in euthanasia and is painless. As you can see there are questions or scenarios that are even a gray area to me. That is why I am curious to see what everyone's thoughts are on this.