POLL: Death Penalty/Capital Punishment?

Im writing a paper for my English class about the Death Penalty. I wanted to take a poll/survey to use as one of my sources...

Do you think that the Death Penalty should be outlawed?

ALSO, if you can state if your a male or female that would be great too, (you dont have to though)

11 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Male. The death penalty needs to go.

    I live in Texas (THE death penalty state), and I supported capital punishment for a long time, but the more I learned about it, the more I came to oppose it. In the end, several factors changed my mind:

    1. By far the most compelling is this: Sometimes the legal system gets it wrong. In the last 30 years in the U.S., over 100 people have been released from death row because they were exonerated by DNA evidence. These are ALL people who were found guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Unfortunately, DNA evidence is not available in most cases. So, as long as the death penalty is in place, you are pretty much GUARANTEED to occasionally execute an innocent person.

    Really, that should be reason enough for most people to oppose it. If you need more, read on:

    2. Because of higher pre-trial expenses, longer trials, jury sequestration, extra expenses associated with prosecuting & defending a DP case, and the appeals process (which is necessary - see reason #1), it costs taxpayers MUCH more to execute prisoners than to imprison them for life.

    3. The deterrent effect is questionable at best. Violent crime rates are actually HIGHER in death penalty jurisdictions. This may seem counterintuitive, and there are many theories about why this is (Ted Bundy saw it as a challenge, so he chose Florida – the most active execution state at the time – to carry out his final murder spree). It is probably due, at least in part, to the high cost (see #2), which drains resources from police departments, drug treatment programs, education, and other government services that help prevent crime. Personally, I think it also has to do with the hypocrisy of taking a stand against murder…by killing people. The government fosters a culture of violence by saying, ‘do as I say, not as I do.’

    4. There’s also an argument to be made that death is too good for the worst criminals. Let them wake up and go to bed every day of their lives in a prison cell, and think about the freedom they DON’T have, until they rot of old age. When Ted Bundy was finally arrested in 1978, he told the police officer, “I wish you had killed me.” Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (the architect of the 9/11 attacks) would love nothing better than to be put to death. In his words, "I have been looking to be a martyr [for a] long time."

    5. Most governments are supposed to be secular, but for those who invoke Christian law in this debate, you can find arguments both for AND against the death penalty in the Bible. The New Testament (starring Jesus) is primarily ANTI-death penalty. For example, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus praises mercy (Matthew 5:7) and rejects “an eye for an eye” (Matthew 5:38-39). James 4:12 says that GOD is the only one who can take a life in the name of justice. In John 8:7, Jesus himself says, "let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

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  • 1 decade ago

    I am a man and I have been wronged many times. I've even had good friends killed, but I still oppose killing for vengeance. I'm against the death penalty because if it's used for vengeance, as it almost always is it defeats its own purpose. Putting someone to death ends all chances of vengeance because once dead there is nothing further you can do to them. Killing is killing. When we kill someone we lower ourselves to the initial killers level and the cycle continues. Everyone dies. You only speed up the process and now killing for vengeance is painless and quick. You see justice in that? Hardly. They'll die sooner or later and if you want vengeance let them rot for 50 years in the penal system, the worse, violent, nasty place on the planet to be stuck.

    Incarceration is among the worse things you can do to anyone. Personally to me I would prefer death to being left to rot in prison and many inmates would too. Death lets them off the hook then and there. You can't punish anyone after you kill them. Once dead their troubles are over, but yours just begin.

    On the same hand to many people have been put to death when it was later found out they were completely innocent and once the deed is done it can't be undone. Sometimes it takes decades to learn someone was innocent.

    Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth was from the old testament, and the old testament by its own words is arcane and outdated. If you wish to be like the same savior you all claim to love then killing goes against everything Jesus taught. You will go to hell for killing under any circumstances. That cannot be undone either if you buy into the whole Bible thing..

    You can't have your cake and eat it too. You either oppose killing or you don't. You can't oppose killing yet still condone it at the same time and anything different is simply making up the rules as you go along.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Female. The death penalty should be abolished.

    You don't have to sympathize with criminals or want them to avoid harsh punishments for their crimes to ask if the death penalty prevents or even reduces crime, to look at alternatives and costs and to think about the risks of executing innocent people.

    130 people wrongfully convicted people were sentenced to death and were lucky to be exonerated and released, eventually. DNA, available in less than 10% of all homicides, can’t guarantee we won’t execute innocent people. If someone is convicted and later found innocent you can release him from prison, but not from the grave.

    The death penalty doesn't prevent others from committing murder. No reliable study shows the death penalty deters others. Homicide rates are higher in states and regions that have it than in those that don’t.

    Life without parole, on the books in 48 states, also prevents reoffending. It means what it says, and spending 23 of 24 hours a day locked in a tiny cell is not a picnic. Life without parole costs less than the death penalty.

    The death penalty is much more expensive than life in prison, mostly because of the upfront costs of legal process which is supposed to prevent executions of innocent people. (upfront = pre trial and trial level)

    The death penalty isn't reserved for the worst crimes, but for defendants with the worst lawyers. It doesn't apply to people with money. When is the last time a wealthy person was on death row, let alone executed?

    Families of murder victims are not unanimous about the death penalty. However, even families who have supported the death penalty in principal have testified that the drawn-out death penalty process is painful for them and that life without parole is an appropriate alternative.

    Problems with speeding up the process. Over 50 of the innocent people released from death row had already served over a decade. Speed up the process and we will execute innocent people.

    Sources:

    Death Penalty Information Center, www.deathpenaltyinfo.org, for stats on executions, reports on costs, deterrence studies, links to FBI crime stats and links to testimony (at state legislatures) of victims' family members.

    FBI http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius2006/data/table_04.html

    The Innocence Project, www.innocenceproject.org

    http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/COcosttestimony.pd... page 3 and 4 on why the death penalty is so expensive

    http://www.njadp.org/forms/signon-survivor.html,

    www.mvfhr.org and

    www.mvfr.org for statements of victims’ families

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  • 1 decade ago

    Female.

    I think that the Death Penalty should be changed. I mean if a killer is there because he killed we aren't much better by killing him. Yes, I understand that the person who is being killed probably/definetly did something that is wrong but it's not our right to decide wether that person should be killed.

    Although I don't know what should be done to change the death penalty I think that there are other ways to deal with criminals.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Female. Just imagine you are sitting on dearth row 1 hour before your execution and yo know you are innocent. Enough said.

    EDIT; Miss Jenna if you are a fiscal conservative then you should be opposed. Do the research and you will see that with all the mandatory appeals it cost less of your tax dollars to keep them in prison for 100 years then it does for the average 10-13 years spent on death row.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Until the U.S. injustice system can get it's act together, no. OJ left his house intent on killing his ex wife, killed two instead. Executions are only for the poor, uneducated, or ill who don't have a decent defense. If you are in a car, and your friend goes in a store and robs it, the guy has a heart attack, you (in the car) will be charged with felony murder. Look up felony murder, and see how often they stretch it's definition. I'm a 49 year old educator in Toronto, Canada.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Nope! I think the death penalty is just. An eye for an eye!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No. If someone's taken a life (or more) then its only right to sentence them to death! Female

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  • 1 decade ago

    Female and no. I would love to say yes but if someone murdered one of my kids I'd want them dead. That may make me a bad person but I am being honest. You get a star for this question.

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  • 1 decade ago

    no, i believe in the death penalty. i am female. u didnt ask why, but i believe in it because i am a fiscal conservative. do i think they should execute all people? lol no! but i dont wanna foot the bill for a convicted murderer to be fed and use electricity, and pay for his/her guards. kill em and save my tax money.

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