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In 1997, my distant cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She was a very fragile, sickly baby. As she aged, she became more and more unhealthy. The couple was too involved with their occupations to take any time away from work, and was forced to hire a full-time nanny to keep Deliah during the day once she was released from the hospital. Deliah was always in agonizing pain, and, as you would expect any baby to react, she cried. Constantly. She never seemed to cease blood curdling screams and rivers of tears. The parents returned home from work one night to find no nanny, and the battered, breathless corpse of their daughter Deliah, tucked neatly into her crib. Immediately, as you might expect, the couple called the police and reported the incident. The evidence showed that the baby had been hurdled against the wall multiple times. All signs pointed towards the nanny—who refused to admit that she had committed such a heinous crime. As time passed, and the trial drug on, the nanny admitted to the crime, with the guidance from her priest, whom she had confessed the felony to many months before. The judge pursued capital punishment, but the family refused the offer. “Killing her will not bring our daughter back,” they said. Was it right for them to decline the most extreme punishment allowed? Should the nanny have been placed on death row for her crime? Capital Punishment is a controversial topic that has been stirred up recently in our society. Whether or not it is not only morally, but also politically correct is a major question that has been brought to the attention of many, and opinions never seem to cease or change. Although many believe differently, I think that capital punishment is unconstitutional and should be outlawed in all fifty states.
“Killing her will not bring our daughter back,” was a brilliant way to state my first position. Giving the nanny lethal injection, Deliah would not have been brought back. Her parents have accepted that she is forever gone. Those who do wrong can neither undo their crimes, nor learn from them by losing their lives. So why would you do so? Is it revenge? By taking someone’s life, will it reimburse those who have lost something by their actions? What will anyone learn if they are dead?
Imagine being a convicted felon. You have committed a crime like no other. Now, imagine being sentenced to death. There is no doubt that your life will soon be ended because of this crime. How would you feel? Are you scared? Are you relieved? I would imagine that I would be comforted. The idea of dying- the idea of having a concoction injected into your blood stream and slowly drifting into a painless, boundless sleep sounds satisfying, compared to years of being held in a penitentiary. What can you learn when you are dead?
They say “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.” This could be reinstated to say “A murder for a murder leaves the whole world unchanging.” The death penalty changes nothing. People know that it is in act- they know that their actions may resort to this consequence, but does this change their minds? Do they think twice about what they are doing? Most do not. It is not moral to kill those who have killed. These people die, yes, some knowing what they have done is wrong, but not having suffered for what they have done. What can they learn if they are dead?
The Bible says “Thou shall not murder.” (Exodus 20:20) Although all killing is not labeled murder, it is not right to take the life of someone who has taken the life of another. Should we steal from a thief? Should we burn arsonists? Attacking someone with their own specialty is not only a psychological thrill to them, but it also never phases them. A sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole is not a short-lived punishment. These people will suffer knowing that what they have done has landed them in a big building, with hundreds of people who have the same feelings they do. They must live with all of these people, who have the same amount of anger and regret building up inside of them. They have to live knowing that what they have done has caused someone else pain, and that they will be reminded of it every single day until God graces them with their last breaths. Besides, what can anyone learn if they are dead?
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