The death penalty is humane

-Emily Mowery, Environment Editor

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, the saying goes, which prompts the discussion of whether it is wrong to say a ‘Life for a life’? How wrong could it be if 31 states and countries allow it.

As of January 2017, the death penalty is legal in 31 states in America such as Alabama, California and Oregon, according to CNN, as well as over 60 countries such as Greece, Malta, France and Australia, according to Info Please. These countries enact the penalty by hanging, lethal injection, firing squad, gas chamber, and electrocution, in consonance with the DPIC, but only lethal injection is used in the U.S.

Mike Silvera, junior

The death penalty is completely humane because it only takes the worse. The process is thorough to make sure the right criminal is taken in and to determine if they really deserve death. Even when the inmate is sentenced to death, the lethal injection is made to be a peaceful sleep. When an inmate is executed, the IV is infused with the lethal injection-typically barbiturate, paralytic, and potassium solution-, entering the inmate’s system. The day before their death, a person on death row is treated with a large meal of whatever they would like, and when the time comes, their family-if the person has any-is with the inmate and voice their opinions on the person while a lethal injection is given to the prisoner. It is made to be painless. Some would say it shouldn’t be.

I think if you did the crime, and if it’s a bad enough crime–you should die for it,” junior Mike Silvera said. “I think if it’s a really bad crime, then the lethal injection is too humane.”

It is true that to try a person for the death penalty costs 48 percent more than a standard trial according to DPIC; however, it is only because the authoritative figures want to be sure they have the correct person. The investigative process is very thorough to avoid condemning an innocent person, which is why the death penalty is for the worse of the worse.

Raven Lopez, senior

“The death penalty should only be used as a last resort,” senior Raven Lopez said. However, the death penalty is a last resort.

Roughly one in every 15,000 Americans are murdered each year, according to Encyclopedia.com. Most murderers will get either life in prison with possibility of parole or death sentence if the crime was co
mmitted horrendously or if it was not the first time according to DPIC.

“It’s okay, as long as the crime was really bad,” Freshman Sarah Chung said, “No one is bad when they come into the world, so as long as it’s really bad, then the death penalty is okay.”

The jury and judge who are chosen to oversee a death penalty case go through many mental tests to make sure they will not discriminate against the prisoner to ensure a fair trial.

When an inmate has the possibility of ending up on death row, they go through a thorough process, starting with direct appeal. Direct appeal is what anyone being sentenced to death is given-which is mandatory in most states-so the convict might not get executed. Usually, the prosecutor and the defense file briefs and oral disputes are held before a panel of judges. After reviewing, the judges can assert the conviction and sentence, reverse the conviction, or reverse the death sentence, which is held in federal court.

Sarah Chung, freshman

Afterwards, the losing side of the argument can try to writ of certiorari- which is a request for the Supreme court to take a look at it if the case is particularly messy. After that comes the final stage, comes habeas corpus. Habeas corpus allows inmates to bring up issues outside the case to give reason why they should live. Then the judges review all the evidence and take whatever the inmate has to say into account and decide if the prisoner should be executed. If the the court denies relief, then the only option left is writ of certiorari-which is the rare.

Writ of certiorari is when the case is re-examined. Executive Clemency can be used to postpone the execution date or give more time for the case to be reviewed and given a lesser sentence stated Capital Punishment in Context.

“I think it is definitely okay if you’re a rapist or something,” freshman Daniel Hill said.

The prisoners that get on death row spend at least a decade going through trials for judges to determine if the convict is guilty and/or they deserve to actually be executed. And if the prisoner is determined guilty and his/her punishment is death, the form of death is painless.

Human rights still apply to convicted felons

-Kayla Terry, Reporter

The death penalty is inhumane,and no human should have the right to choose the life and death for another person. If the death penalty was allowed to enforce a death sentence in states it is currently illegal,  2,905 inmates on death row will be executed. “Over 2,900 deaths of convicts would occur if the death penalty was enforced”. Also, make sure to cite where you got the source for that number… And last thing… Is the death penalty in effect now? Because if it is, then you want to include that this is happening, but if not, then it should be clarified.  

California inmates on death row are graced with the ability to remain in charge of their own bodies because they still hold their basic human rights.The purpose of the 14th amendment is to limit such acts as these by applying “equal protection to all citizens”, meaning despite a criminal’s  choices in the past, they should not be stripped of their basic rights.More importantly  “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” ,which the death penalty is in direct violation of.

The flaws in the justice system, such as prejudice and juror bias, still exist. Therefore,it is hard to fully rely on the court ruling to decide someone’s fate.  

“…in recent decades party politics [have] infiltrated the marble halls of the Supreme Court” states  Adam Liptak from the New York Times.  Many other sources agree with this conclusion . A recent study found “The system permits judges to be secretive” at Washington University of St.Louis with their indirect methods are required to make sense of their behavior”.

Judges are granted to much power for one individual.It’s only natural for the power to eventually overpower their better judgement.

In the highly publicized case, a college student named Brock Turner raped an unresponsive female and was reported to have taken pictures of the victim. However, the app groupme allowed the pictures to be deleted by a third party group.Two witnesses found Turner dominant over her and took action, holding him till police arrived. There was Substantial evidence against Brock Turner, but the ultimate ruling was six months jail sentence which left. Way below the standard 3 to 8 years for convicted rapist.This extreme lack of justice left the media in an uproar and questioning how the judge was left unscaffled.  

“The U.S. death penalty system has also failed to protect the innocent—from 1973 through December 2014, 150 innocent people were exonerated from death row” according to the American Civil Liberties Union. The system is simply too inaccurate to be in charge of deciding such a permanent sentences.

It is not all black and white and people should not attempt to reason murder because circumstances vary for every conviction. Some are mentally ill and have not been properly diagnosed or medicated; counseled from tragic life experiences or placed in a mental hospitals to get proper care.  

Another factor to take into consideration is the economical standpoint. The death penalty spends more money ”prior to and during the trial”, also known as amnesty international,  than the average trial. When Tennessee has a trial for a death penalty it costs 48 percent more than a standard trial,according to the Tennessee comptroller and treasury office and research.

Life is not to be squandered no matter how insignificant one views it. By the state taking their life they take away the chance for enlightenment,to truly understand the error of their actions .Most horrifically ruining their chance for repentance and give closure to the victims loved ones.It’s simply unlawful and immoral as human beings.

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