The Death Penalty
Professor Mellissa McKenna
November 4, 2014
What do you think about the death penalty? Is there anything you would change about the process of it? Do you think there is a better way to deal with murders and rapists? These are the questions that I asked not only myself, but many people while writing this paper. It is my opinion most people will be for the death penalty. To support my thesis I need to start with the history of the death penalty.
The Death Penalty is something we all think of when we hear of horrific crimes such as, child molestation and murder. The definition is when the law sentences the criminal who took the life of ...view middle of the document...
In more recent times my state, Tennessee, the history is dissimilar. In the 1972 until 1978 there were no criminal’s sentenced to death in Tennessee. That means that the death row was empty because the U.S Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional! Once the death penalty became legal again in 1978, most of all the offenders had their sentenced commuted to life. Once I realized we had some form of a death penalty for most of recorded history, I decided to look into what current people thought about it. I began with the Supreme Court and how the Justices felt about the death penalty. I read an interview of that the court Justice Breyer and he explained could not rule on the death penalty itself and only the legislature can abolish the death penalty. Justice Breyer is against the death penalty. He says, “"Europe is against the death penalty now, in 1980, 2/3 of the French electorate supported the death penalty. Still Mitterand, in a television interview, came out against the death penalty. He immediately went up in the polls because he took a position of conscience. The same thing could happen here." But, Justice Breyer doubts that the death penalty will ever be abolished. He ended his interview by saying “Judges are terrible politicians.”
Another Supreme Justice also supports the idea of abolishing the death penalty. Justice Ruth Ginsberg states, “If I had my way there would be no death penalty.” Justice Ginsberg goes on to say that she would like not to participate in death penalty cases. She says she feels the same conflict as the person on death row when she participates in cases like that.
Though some people, like the Justices, believe that the death penalty should be abolished, others think it shouldn’t. Some believe that the death penalty honors God. James L. Melton wrote that the death penalty was first instituted by God Himself. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6. Melton wrote, “Man didn't invent the death penalty, so man has no right to abandon it. We live in an age when everyone is far too concerned with "human rights", and God has been practically ignored, as if He had no rights at all.” Come to think of it, God did say, "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death." Exodus 21:12.
Melton goes into depth about how God said that the world is polluted by those who go free when they have killed. "So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel." (Numbers .33-34). Searching for what people on the web thought about the death penalty was interesting, but what about how the general public feels about it? I had the pleasure of interview a few people through Facebook, e-mail, and in...