North Texas Daily

This & That: Pro Death Penalty

This & That: Pro Death Penalty

This & That: Pro Death Penalty
March 05
09:00 2020

Capital punishment is a legal penalty currently used in 29 states in the U.S., including Texas. Admittedly, there is weight behind the word. The mere term makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up because it involves the most devastating consequence a person can face should they find themselves on the opposite side of the law. However, I think there is an unfair stigmatization of the term, so much so that it has divided the American public for quite some time. Both sides of the fence believe they are in the right, but I fully support the death penalty.

For one, it provides closure to the family. Imagine a scenario where a young person is shot and killed by another person. In that single moment, two lives are lost and two families are torn apart. One person is dead while the other has to live with the legal consequence of their decision and two families are left to deal with the aftermath. I feel no one suffers more than the victim’s family. They have to make funeral arrangements, hear the details of the murder during trial and come face-to-face with the person who killed their loved one.

The death penalty is not a system that is meant to be “eye-for-an-eye,” it is instead set up to punish unjust actions. I can see how it can be perceived as cruel, but the perpetrator’s life has ended already. Life in prison is not living much at all, especially when the prison system is as flawed as it is. Those who oppose the death penalty want it removed for the sake of the inmate staying alive but neglect to improve the quality of life of the inmate.

I feel the family should be able to be given justice so they can close that chapter of their lives and move on. I’m not proposing the life of the perpetrator is worth less than the victim because of the crime they committed, but society must place the needs of the victim’s family ahead of the perpetrator when it pertains to the case.

As I said earlier, capital punishment is seen as a cruel and unusual punishment by some, but the justice system has come a long way to humanize methods of execution. Lethal injection is the primary method of execution in all 29 states, with Texas being the first to incorporate it in 1982. Since 1976, 1,336 death row inmates have been executed by lethal injection. There are states that have secondary methods of execution such as electrocution, gas chamber, hanging as well as firing squad, however these methods aren’t used nearly as often as injection is. There have only been 163 electrocutions since 1976 while 11 death row inmates were executed by the gas chamber. Since 1976, three death row inmates have been executed by both hanging and firing squad respectively, according to deathpenatlyinfo.org.

As a supporter of the death penalty, I can admit it has its ups and downs. It serves as a deterrent from crime, but it doesn’t mean that it always prevents criminals from committing crimes, but neither does the consequence of a life sentence. The death penalty should only be used for crimes that are deemed severe enough to warrant an execution. There have to be checks and balances to maintain law and order within society and I feel the death penalty succeeds in its mission far more than the total abolishment of the death penalty ever could.

Featured Illustration: Miranda Thomas

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Adrian Maldonado

Adrian Maldonado

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