Should Serial Murderers Face the Death Penalty?

Should Serial Murderers Face the Death Penalty?

After killing multiple people, why does their life mean more than their victims?

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I recently had to write a paper on this topic for my Psych of Criminal Behavior class and it really intrigued me. The death penalty is such a controversial topic; some people don't believe in it while others think it's an acceptable punishment. There is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to sentencing someone to death, such as the severity of the crime.

Recently, I have been binge watching "Criminal Minds" and most of the cases implicate some kind of serial murderer. The crime scenes often show violent, heinous crimes that often involve a form of torture, rape or mutilation. More often than not, they either die in a cop shootout or end up in prison. I believe they should be put to death.

Here's why…

People who kill multiple people do not deserve to be alive; therefore, they should be killed. Serial killers usually enjoy killing, feel the need to keep killing, or can't stop killing for some other reason. Since they have taken more than one life without really caring about the people they have murdered or the families they have destroyed, they shouldn't be afforded the opportunity to live. Being alive is a privilege that serial murderers do not deserve, even in the confines of jail. Plus, prisons provide food, recreational time, healthcare, and a place to sleep. All of which is more than the people they have killed have.

Giving serial murderers the death penalty keeps them out of the prison system. Overall, it may not cost less because of the required judicial reviews, but why should taxpayers be paying for these people to stay alive? Instead, they can pay for them to die. Rather than using expensive execution techniques, serial murderers can be forced to suffer through the cheap version.

Even though prison is for rehabilitation and some serial murderers have psychological issues, I don't believe that they should be sent to a mental institution or be given the time, or resources, to try to change from their past actions. Whether or not they have a mental illness doesn't change the fact that they killed someone. It might change the circumstances of the murders but not the murder itself.

In terms of whether or not the death penalty is enacted, I think that the family of the victims should have a say in what happens to the murderer. If they want the murderer to be sentenced to death, then death should be given. If they want them to rot in prison, so be it. Even if they want the murderer to be tortured for their crimes, it should happen.

Even though the death penalty is one option, I do see the other side as well. The death penalty represents the code of 'an eye for an eye' and that is not always a reasonable code to follow; thus, the death penalty is unreasonable.

Since serial murderers committed such atrocious crimes, they deserve worse than death; they deserve to suffer. Death can be seen as the easy way out and suffering can prevent them from achieving bliss and ending their pain. Saying this, I don't think that being put in a normal prison is enough. Not to mention, prison hierarchies that allow certain prisoners to gain a higher status and get what they want. If these murderers are going to suffer, they need to be put in conditions that are going to provide an adequate amount of suffering. That may include infinite solitude or even torture. Given the 8thAmendment, worse circumstances might not be constitutional.

Innocent people are wrongly convicted for crimes that they haven't committed which means they end up dead for no reason. Therefore, if they had been in prison rather than sentenced to death, they would still be alive. To correct this, I feel like there has to be DNA evidence linking a murderer to the crimes they are accused of because there have been more and more DNA findings that prove convicted prisoners are in fact, innocent.

All in all, the death penalty is a tricky subject that requires a lot of attention. I can definitely understand why people are against the death penalty because there are many factors that play a part but when it comes to serial murderers, putting them to death seems like a reasonable option.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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A Florida House Committee Is Undermining Your Vote On Amendment 4

Before felons can regain their right to vote, they must pay court fines, fees, and take care of any other "financial obligations." Essentially, this is a poll tax.

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Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, was added to the Constitution of Florida after being passed this last midterm election on November 6, 2018.

Amendment 4 restored the voting rights of Floridians with prior felony convictions after all terms of their sentence have been met, including parole and probation. This amendment only applies to felons who have not been convicted of murder or sexual offenses.

On January 8, 2019, an estimated 1.4 million ex-felons regained their right to vote. This is monumental. Prior to this amendment, Florida was one of four states that used felony disenfranchisement. Amendment 4 gives voice, and rightfully so, to felons who have served their time. Amendment 4 is also putting to rest, finally, years and years of disenfranchisement and suppression.

Now, only two months after its passage, the House Criminal Justice Committee is trying to water down this piece of legislation. This is a direct violation of the will of the 64% of Floridians who voted for the legislation as is. This amendment was not to be "clarified," as Governor DeSantis put it, but rather to be self-implementing.

However, the House Criminal Justice Committee proposed a bill that would tack on some extra qualifiers in order for felons to be enfranchised. The bill will require court fines, fees, and other "financial obligations" (in addition to fees administered in a judge's sentence) to be paid in full before a felon's voting rights are restored. This seems awfully similar to a poll tax to me. Obviously, this is going to affect people without a lot of resources rather than white-collar criminals who can afford a $500,000 bond.

This new qualifier will prevent felons from voting based on the money that can be coughed up as if they don't have to worry about their finances long after they leave prison.

Some may argue that these felons shouldn't have committed a crime in the first place. However, I would argue that holding a felon's vote hostage on the basis of money is unconstitutional.

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