7 Reasons Our Generation Should Abolish The Death Penalty
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

7 Reasons Our Generation Should Abolish The Death Penalty

Eighteen states to date have abolished the death penalty, and this is why the rest should follow suit.

7 Reasons Our Generation Should Abolish The Death Penalty

Growing up in a rural, conservative area, I was taught that the death penalty is the right thing for some criminals - that when someone does something "worthy of death," they deserve to be condemned to that ultimate punishment. That idea never sat well with me, even, if not especially, as a young, impressionable child. As I've grown up, I've come to realize that I still stand by my intuition. I believe that our generation needs to be the one to abolish the death penalty once and for all. And I'll tell you why:

1. It costs the government more in the long run.

In order to be sentenced to execution, even more trials have to be carried out. Trials are expensive, plain and simple, and they're spaced out over long periods of time. This means more money is going into it. Add it all up and the multi-millions of dollars put into getting a criminal to execution (which isn't even a sure outcome) would be more wisely spent by locking them up for life without the chance of parole.

2. It does not lower murder rates or deter criminals.

The death penalty has been a thing forever, but even with the huge rise in its use (in the United States) in the 1900s, murder rates didn't drop. When looking at the numbers, murder rates correlated in the 1900s with world events like the Great Depression or Vietnam War, not with usage of the death penalty. Murderers aren't thinking about the consequences. They don't care about the threat of being sentenced to death.

3. It promotes poor coping methods for victims' families over professional help.

It baffles me how many people support the death penalty by saying things like, "If someone hurt my loved one, I would want to see them die." What happens if someone hurts your loved one and they aren't sentenced to death? Wanting someone to die because they hurt a loved one isn't effective in solving the root of the problem: grief. Capital punishment creates the false idea that someone's death will benefit another. Time and money would be better spent offering professional services to families of victims.

4. People sometimes are found innocent - either before their execution or after it's too late.

There have been hundreds on death row who were acquitted of their charges. They spent life in jail for crimes they did not commit and almost lost their lives as well. Some weren't so lucky, and that honestly breaks my heart. It should break yours too. Innocent people were strapped into an electric chair, injected with poison, or fired at for crimes they did not commit.

5. The system is racially biased.

There have been studies proving that jurors in some states are more likely to convict a black criminal to the death penalty over a white one. In addition, criminals who killed a white victim were far more likely to get the death penalty than those who killed a black victim. Why would anyone want to support something so serious that is so easily swayed by racism? Something that determines one life matters more than another? How is that justice?

6. Mentally ill people are put to death.

Ten percent of those sentenced to death are mentally ill, according to Amnesty International and the National Association on Mental Illness. Someone who is mentally ill, such as one who has PTSD and other mental illnesses from serving overseas, is not fit to defend themselves or be put to death for something that they may not even have understood.

7. We should not be the ones who get to decide life and death.

As people who obviously make mistakes, are swayed by biases, and don't possess perfect knowledge, something as permanent as death should not be placed in our hands.

I understand that in many situations putting someone to death for their crimes is seen as "justified." I understand the grief and the anger from those left behind. However, if we take a step back and examine all of the facts we can see that the death penalty isn't the foolproof solution to the problem. It isn't the best option on any level, whether that be monetarily, emotionally, or morally.

For more information on the fight to abolish the death penalty, visit: http://www.ncadp.org/

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

That Feeling of Opening Day

What it means and What Happened

That Feeling of Opening Day

Baseball's Opening Day has inspired countless writers, fans, and players throughout the years. Some notable quotes we remember about this special day are:

Keep Reading... Show less

To The 'Best Friend' I Decided I Couldn't Be Friends With Anymore

Most of all, thank you for being the person who finally pushed me to choose myself.

The CW / YouTube

Dear Old Friend,

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Tips For Traveling

Don't miss any of these ideas to make your trip complete!

7 Tips For Traveling

Whether it's a day trip, an out-of-state journey, or an experience leaving the country, here are some tried and true traveling tips.

Before any trip, we all think about what to pack and what to bring. We may have a strict itinerary, or we may have looser guidelines for what to do when. But we should also consider the following - make them goals:

Keep Reading... Show less

Writer of the Month: Hunter Johnstone

As an aspiring author, Hunter knew writing for Odyssey would be a great fit for her.

Writer of the Month: Hunter Johnstone

Response writers are what make the world go round at Odyssey! Using our response button feature, they carry on our mission of sparking positive, productive conversations in a polarized world.

Keep Reading... Show less
Allison Fishman

1. Why is Wilson Hall so complicated to navigate? Even as a senior, I still get lost in Wilson. As a freshman, I was warned about the unnecessary complexity of the building, was laughed at by upperclassman for my confused looks on the first day of school and walked and rewalked the whole hall before finding my classroom. #annoying.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments