We have the death penalty for those who are convicted of first-degree murder across the United States. People justify the death penalty as a suitable punishment because the criminal is convicted of the same crime. However, I do not believe that the death penalty is a useful punishment for a list of reasons:
1. Some people convicted of the crime can be innocent
This is rare, but some people are wrongfully convicted of a crime. Usually, people are only convicted when there is enough evidence for them to be convicted. Therefore, I do not believe that the death penalty is good because it forever silences a person.
2. It isn't always considered as a threat
Not everyone is scared of the death penalty. Although it would seem as if some people should be scared to die, they are not. Some people may even think that the death penalty is peaceful because the lethal injection is painless unless they are electrocuted in an electric chair. However, the lethal injection requires the criminal first being put to sleep. It's pain-free.
3. The death penalty is not a real punishment
To be killed is to be forced into an inactive state. The criminal cannot feel the punishment because it ends all feeling and thinking. A real punishment would be forced to lose a privilege or a required amount of work in order to compensate for the crime. Punishment is supposed to bring about a feeling of loss and remorse. Death is not a real punishment because the criminal cannot undergo any consequences. There are no consequences, feelings, or thinking of death. It's a permanent ending.
4. The Death Penalty is unproductive
A criminal who is guilty of first-degree murder certainly does not deserve special privileges in society. That criminal ended someone's life. Therefore, that criminal should have to pay for this crime by using his/her life to give back to society when he/she cannot give back to himself/herself. A criminal convicted of murder is much more useful doing the work nobody else wants to do than they are dead to society. If they are dead to society, someone alive has to do the work that nobody else wants to do.
5. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that
Regarding Martin Luther King Jr.'s quote, constantly giving death because of someone else's death does not always help our cause for peace. Think of tough love: sometimes the only way to love someone else in society is to keep them away from everyone else because they are dangerous. If the criminal is alive, they will have to handle the pain and regret of their crimes for the rest of their lives. Emotional suffering can be prolonged even if the prisoner is not physically suffering. The criminal may never deserve to leave prison and must serve a life sentence, but that may feature more suffering than the death penalty. There are other ways to punish people besides the death penalty. Constantly threatening each other with death will perpetuate violence that society does not need.