“I‘m not in favor of the death penalty. But I‘m in favor of locking these people away in maximum security units where they can never get out. They can never escape. They can never be paroled. Lock the bad ones away. But you gotta rethink everybody else.”–John Grisham.
Taking away one’s life as a way of justice is still killing a person and is no different than one killed out of rage. Many are unsure of how the death penalty came to be and most do not know about the cost of ending a life and how this act is performed.
When one commits a serious crime they may be faced with the option of the death penalty, or punishment by death. Not many know where the idea came from but, “The idea of killing as a form of retribution for one’s crimes dates back to centuries before when but was imported to America by British settlers during the colonial era”(Brayton). In order to reprimand serious crimes in the olden days, authorities would end one’s life as punishment. Throughout the ages this mindset has not only been kept alive but has also evolved into more efficient ways. “The United States last public execution was in 1936”(Brayton). Instead of punishing people in the open the death penalty is not carried out in prisons with strict procedures. The method to the
killings is much more efficient and to the point now.
The cost of the death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is a serious problem. Death row, the part of the prison that inmates who are awaiting the death sentence live in, is extremely expensive and costs Americans a great deal of money. “The costs of the death penalty in California has totaled over $4 billion since 1978”(Alarcon and Mitchell). Just in California billions of dollars have been spent on inmates on death row. Death row is costly and most people who are sentenced to execution are on death row for an average of ten years. Although some may say that a life in prison without parole is more expensive and provides more justice for the survivors or murder, it is not fair to have Californians pay for others revenge. Some of the downfalls to the death penalty are the mishaps that can happen. “Because of collapsed veins it took nearly an hour to complete the execution”(Radelet). This is just one of the many complication that occur when trying to execute a person. The main aspect that people want to see during an execution is that it is painless for the victims. “During the electrocution, six-inch flames erupted from Tafero’s head”(Radelet). This is one of the more recent botched executions that have happened. In this case, like many others, it was not painless and these men died slow and in agony. In order to prevent this from happening again, they have done studies and adjusted the criteria of the electrocutions. Is killing a person out of justice the same thing as murdering one out of spite? Most people will have different answers, but all will agree that the death penalty is an extremely controversial subject. Whether it the origin, cost, or mishaps of it the death penalty is always going to be talked about and looked upon from many different angles. After researching this topic, I had the students of Villa Park High School read this document above, then I set out to get their opinions.
Question: What is your opinion on the Death penalty?
“I think capital punishment is okay to a certain extent,like if a person killed a large group of people then I think they deserve the death penalty, but then again it can have a downside because some people can be executed for petty crimes.” – Sophia Mahamde(freshman)
“I believe that the death penalty shouldn’t be a thing. When you are dead there isn’t a punishment anymore but if you are just in jail and you don’t get to be a part of the world happening around you, and without your family, it is more of a punishment than being dead.” Caitlin Jelensky (sophomore)
“I agree with the death penalty, but i think it should occur more often than rarely.If someone were to kill anyone of my family members, I think I would want vengeance for their cruel actions. Also, the death penalty is cheaper than housing a criminal for the rest of their lives.” Blaise Slattery (freshman)
“I’m fine with the death penalty as long as it is taken seriously and put under careful consideration.” Isabella Ferrentino (freshman)
“I think a criminal shouldn’t be killed because being locked in a prison without being able to vote or see your family or eat good meals or be clean and watch the world evolve around you is worse than being dead. With being dead, it’s already over and you don’t suffer as much for your crimes.” Casey Paul (sophomore)
“I think people should not be killed but just sent to a maximum security prison. Although, if they killed a whole family, or several people, I would probably reconsider.” Henry Aquino (freshman)http://www.liberalamerica.org/2015/03/17/charged-with-nothing-man-in-oregon-is-still-in-jail-after-900-days/