The Death Penalty To Kill Or

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The Death Penalty To Kill Or Not To Kill Essay, Research Paper Should the death penalty exist in modern day society? As the number of churchgoers continues to climb, many religions have made their stands against the death penalty well known. Although most people may not want to believe it, there have been a number of innocent people killed by the death penalty. And with the public not being able to witness executions, how do we as a society get the message out in hopes of deterring people away from crime? Many churches adamantly oppose the death penalty. To name a few, The American Jewish Committee, Christian Church, Church Women United, and The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), all oppose the death penalty. However, many people who favor the death penalty happen to be

churchgoers. This in interesting, considering the churches these people attend clearly stand against this form of punishment. The Holy Scriptures clearly mandate that we are not to kill, and we are not to seek retribution with vengeance for the evil done to us. (Death Penalty 8). The Christian Church said in a recent resolution opposing the death penalty, “Who are we page 2 to decide when someone should die? It is God who gave us life. Therefore God should then be the only one to take it away.” The Church Women United released a statement saying, “Whereas, Church Women United cannot accept retribution or social vengeance as a reason for taking a life because it violates our deepest belief in God as the creator and the redeemer of mankind.” (Death Penalty 10-11). Is

capital punishment a humane way to punish criminals? According to the Orthodox Church in America in their resolution, ” there is no humane way to execute a human being.” (Death Penalty 23). Obviously, churches do not feel capital punishment is acceptable to God. With public executions are no longer held in the United States, how does the government present society examples of the consequences of committing crimes? The last public hanging was in 1936, in Owensboro, Kentucky, where a black man was hanged before 20,000 onlookers. (Foster 45). Capital punishment is supposed to be an effective deterrent to crimes. Would it be more of a deterrent if the person thinking of committing a crime saw what happened to another criminal? Maybe so, but legislatures feel that the death

penalty is too hideous for the public to witness. Many opponents to this punishment feel that private executions hide the act from the public and make it more acceptable and some have recommended televised executions. (Foster 45). If the public viewed executions, the percentages of death penalty supporters would most likely decline. page 3 Society does not take into consideration that there are innocent inmates on death row. In a most recent case, nine Illinois men were found innocent after totaling 52 years on death row and 36 years in county jails and state prisons. From 1993 to 1997, 17 death row inmates in the United States were found innocent upon further examination. These nine men in Illinois were very close to losing their lives for crimes committed by others. Marshall J.

Hartman, director of the Capital Litigation Division of the Illinois State Appellate Defender’s Office, summed it up best by saying, “If you have a money judgment, you can appeal and it’s reversed and everyone gets their money, and it’s fine. However, when somebody is executed you cannot bring him or her back. What if those nine innocent people had, been executed? That’s a very frightening thought.” (Henderson 3). New York City lawyer, Ronald Tabak stated, “People who commit worse crimes often don’t get the death penalty if they have a better lawyer than people who commit less aggravated crimes.” (Henderson 2). Is the death penalty an inhumane and non-effective punishment for committing crimes? Our religions do not feel it is right. As a nation, we lack the