The Death Penalty: A decision that shouldn’t be chosen

Christopher Alvarenga, Staff Reporter

The idea of the death penalty is to bring punishment for those who have committed a heinous crime against humanity and country. However, the death penalty only brings us back to the bloody past of humanity in which death seemed to be the only appropriate way to solve problems. In the end it only creates new ordeals, causing an emotional stir among our families and communities. Does taking a criminal’s life really bestow justice and closure? No, all it does is reveal the true nature of the inhumane punishment we bestow upon those who harm us.

The death penalty goes against the 6th commandment from the bible, “thou shalt not kill,” and our moral integrity. The death penalty also doesn’t reduce the crime rate. According to, a recent study by Michael Radelet and Traci Lacock of the University of Colorado found that 88 percent of the nation’s leading criminologists do not believe the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime.

The victim’s family will indeed feel sorrow and mourn for the one they lost, and they will also most likely show animosity towards the one who has taken someone from them who can never be returned. If the family were to wish the death penalty upon the perpetrator, it would be an act of revenge, not justice.

Taking the life of someone who already has taken one accomplishes nothing. All we would end up with are two bodies to bury, and the family of the perpetrator will likely mourn their loss as well. This decision will only lead to more pain and sorrow, no justice will be passed, just revenge.

It’s part of our nature to learn to forgive and accept whatever may happen because in the end anger and hate accomplish nothing. No one deserves to die, no matter what they have done; we mustn’t act like the ones who sought to hurt us.

To praise the death of the convicted would be morally wicked and would only show how vile we humans can be. Mercy is the strongest form of restraint and control. To show mercy upon those who have committed foul crimes is an act of justice. A life sentence is more humane than killing them with a simple needle and also cheaper.

We mustn’t forget who we are: human prone to mistakes. Some of these mistakes may be absolutely unforgivable, but let us not give in to the darkness in our hearts. We must learn to forgive and love one another and to maintain our moral integrity to ensure that justice prevails and crime fades away.

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