Abolishing the Death Penalty Essay

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Abolishing the Death Penalty

When taking a human life in response to a crime, a state is acting on behalf of all of its citizens. Capital punishment is an expensive procedure with permanent ramifications. It is therefore very important that the matter of capital punishment be seriously reconsidered. In order to protect all of America's citizens, I recommend that congress approve a constitutional amendment that reads:

The states and the federal government shall not under any circumstances execute anyone. All prisoners currently under sentence of death shall have the right to a new trial.
The reasons for such an amendment include the inherent immorality of capital punishment, its inconsistent application and its unjustified costs.
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The same rationale that prevents us from using torture or corporal punishment should apply to the death penalty as well. Amnesty International argues, "If today's penal systems do not sanction the burning of an arsonist's home, the rape of a rapist or the torture of a torturer, it is not because they tolerate the crimes" (Amnesty International 7). Reasoning that a murderer is deserving of death simply mirrors the criminal's behavior. Amnesty International says, "If administering 100 volts of electricity to the most sensitive parts of a man's body evokes disgust, what is the appropriate reaction to the administration of 2,000 volts to his body in order to kill him?" (Amnesty International 2). William J. Bowers observes, "Executions demonstrate that it is correct and appropriate to kill those who have gravely offended us" (274). In addition, it is impossible for a judge to administer justice to murderers of varying extremity in a just manner. How can we sentence a one-time homicide convict to death at the same time as a mass-murderer?

Another reason that the death penalty is immoral is that the various methods of administering the death penalty are inhumane. The gas chamber, which involves strapping the prisoner to a wooden chair and pumping a sealed room full of cyanide gas, is excruciatingly painful. "The person is unquestionably experiencing pain and extreme anxiety...The sensation is similar to the pain felt by a person during a heart attack, where essentially the
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