The Death Penalty Essay

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The Death Penalty


The Death Penalty seems to haunt the US mindset. While more countries are dropping the procedure as cruel the US still holds on. Eighty percent of Americans are still for the Death Penalty, citing revenge as the main reason, which is why families are allowed to watch the execution . Organizations like Amnesty International condemn the US regularly, as well as most Democratic nations. What I want to address is why the dialogue is ineffective. The proponents of the Death Penalty make arguments aimed at people's deepest emotional fears. They develop an idea of revenge within people's minds by suggesting the death of family members and create sympathy for families' victims. On the other hand groups like Amnesty
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Advocates for the Death Penalty tell stories about people like William Davis and Douglas Gray, who escaped form Stringtown, OK prison on March 16. Both serving life terms for homicide, they stole a vehicle, robbed a woman's house for guns and car-jacked a pick-up with two rifles. When found by the police they held an elderly couple hostage on March 24, but eventually Gray gave up, while Davis committed suicide . Proponents then draw on people's fears by telling them that jailbreaks are frequent for murderers and that states don't report escapes nationally and categorize them differently (Murdock). The main force of this argument is not based on the fact that murderers are escaping punishment, but the cases brought up all involve civilian hostages and horrifying encounters between people and the murderers. The death penalty proponents are playing with people's fear. They want people to see murderers escaping from jail and looking for cars, guns, and hostages. It is the fear of murderers killing even after they are sentenced to life that proponents want to latch onto. The only way to keep people safe, within this mindset, is to kill the murderer swiftly before they have a chance to escape and murder again.

Prison escapes are fairly rare. In all fifty states, from 1995-1999, there were only 36 prison escapes. 33 escapes involved inmates assigned to minimum security or inmates with work-permits for outside the…

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