Unfortunately, a lot of people have committed some horrendous acts throughout the nation recently.  This is not a new problem.  This should not be a surprise to anyone.  

Now, I cannot speak for others, but I know that throughout my upbringing there were consequences for my actions.  When I did something good I was rewarded and the reverse happened when I did something bad.  

I am not trying to say that it was a perfect system, but when we really think about it, is there such a thing as a perfect system?  I would venture to say “no.”  

So, what’s the point?  I believe that there has to be a bigger deterrent when it comes to crime.  While prison is not fun I do not think it truly rehabilitates criminals.  

What can we do about this?  It seems we may be stuck between a rock and a hard place, however, there is another option.  The death penalty.   

Sure, it is harsh yet, according to the “Death Penalty Poll Results found on isidewith.com” many Americans agree with me.  

Can you imagine what the impact would be on criminals if they knew that if they were convicted of a violent crime that they would be put to death?  

That does raise the question, “what qualifies as a violent crime?”  If the justice system went through the list of violent crimes, such as murder, and rape, as well as others, and determined what constitutes the death penalty there would be no way criminals could say that they were being treated a certain way due to their race, creed, culture, or anything like that with validity.  

It would also be advantageous to design the whole system to say that the death penalty can only be applied when there is sufficient indisputable evidence to warrant that the convicted truly did do the crime. 

I believe that the death penalty could be highly effective in the fight against crime.  I am not saying it is good to kill people.  In fact, it would better if everyone developed their own opinion of the death penalty by looking at a site such as “Death Penalty ProCon.org” or a similar website.  

Ideally, no one would need to be killed.  However, sometimes it may be better to end one life to protect others.  

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November 2, 2016 2:08 am

Hey Rylan!

Like Karen, I was also struck by your comment “While prison is not fun I do not think it truly rehabilitates.” I also agree that Prisons are not rehabilitating the offenders that are in the system.

In my opinion our Criminal Justice system is broken. It is based off of a retributive justice system which is punitive, impersonal, and state centered. Underlying issues that may have led to the crimes in the first place are not addressed, and because offenders are given punishment rather than treatment, the cycle of crime will continue. In the US alone, Inmates released from state prisons have a five-year recidivism rate of 76.6%.

Karen mentioned that the death penalty will not reduce crime but improvements in rehabilitation, education, economic opportunities, and social justice will. I completely agree. I believe a Criminal Justice reform would be more beneficial. We need to move towards more of a restorative justice system. In Alaska, the recidivism rate for peer court cases that implement restorative justice is 6%, compared with a 23% recidivism rate for cases handled by the traditional juvenile justice system.

October 21, 2016 8:28 pm

Thanks for writing this, Rylan. I am particularly struck by your comment “I believe that there has to be a bigger deterrent when it comes to crime. While prison is not fun I do not think it truly rehabilitates criminals.”

I agree that our prisons are not rehabilitating people, and that this should be the goal. Prisons often seem to turn people into even more hardened criminals, and the rates of people committing more crimes after they are released from prison (“recividism”) is very high. If we focused more on rehabilitation in prison, I think crime rates would go down significantly.

Regarding the death penalty, I agree with your statement that it is not ok to kill people — neither for criminals nor for us as a society.

I believe there is considerable research that shows that deterrents like the death penalty don’t really reduce crime (http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/study-88-criminologists-do-not-believe-death-penalty-effective-deterrent), but fortunately, there are many other ways that we can decrease crime, including improvements in rehabilitation, education, economic opportunities, and social justice.

October 18, 2016 3:18 am

I stand firm in the belief that everyone is better off with guns. And when you say “horrendous acts”, I assume you mean various attacks such as the recent marathon bombing, the Orlando shooting, or the fresh Republican HQ bombing in North Carolina. To be clear, the death penalty will not stop attacks or petty crime. It’s long been proven that the infamous “three-strikes” incarceration program has been a complete failure. Negative incentives in general do not work. The only thing that does work is fear of immediate reprisal a la hot lead. That’s why we never hear anything about mass attacks or “horrendous attacks” in places like Sweden or Texas. The people there are armed.

October 17, 2016 5:01 pm

Hello Rylan!

I can totally get where you are coming from. Horrible people deserve to pay for their actions. I don’t believe that getting the death penalty will stop murderers from murdering. The only place where it will possibly prevent people from doing their dirty deeds would be if this was extended to different crimes, such as rape. But this is where the waters get murky. People are constantly accused wrongly. I have also heard about how much more expensive it is to have people get the death penalty. The criminals are not worth the money.
Great post!

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