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The Death Penalty-A Perspective

Updated on September 27, 2009


The Death Penalty



          The right of the State to exercise power to execute a person for committing a crime that stipulates such punishment is justified.  Crime and punishment has taken hundreds of years to develop into the system we have today.  Is the death penalty a justifiable punishment for certain crimes?

          The death penalty has been around since the beginning of time.  Through history, kings, emperors, presidents and dictators have used the punishment of death for a multitude of crimes.  For a period of time, in American history you could be hung from the neck until you were dead for stealing another man’s horse. 

          Some groups would say that the death penalty violates our Constitution in regards to cruel and unusual punishment, while others would content the contrary.  Does the death of a person or persons justify the death of another?  Is punishment just that—punishment or is to correct a flaw in a person’s behavior?  Religion would have to play a part in our societal thinking as to the justification for such a sentence.  The Bible clearly states, in the Ten Commandments, “thou shall not kill”, but does include those who kill or is all acts of killing apply?  Should the Old Testament of “an eye for an eye” be the rule of the land? 

          In the State of Texas, we execute more convicted criminals annually than any other state in the union.  On the other hand, thirteen states and the District of Columbia do not have the penalty of death as a form of punishment.  States which have the death penalty have various methods for carrying out this verdict such as: gas chamber, electric chair, hanging, and the firing squad. 

          The decision to have someone put to death is a difficult one.  As a society, we should consider the fact that we find it necessary to have such a penalty.  What does this say about us as a civilization as a whole?  Should we entertain the idea of intervening in a person’s life to correct perceived bad behavior before a murderous act is committed and how? Should we just turn and follow the majority and execute criminals for their crimes?  Our personal viewpoints on the death penalty will probably change back and forth, depending on our age or maybe personal experiences, but there seems to be too many questions either way that still need to be answered.             







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