The death penalty is “execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction by a court of law of a criminal offense.” Right now, the death penalty is currently legal in 31 states and illegal in 19 states. Executions come in the form of lethal injection, electric chair, firing squad, and even gas chamber. The biggest argument for why it should be legalized is retribution, according to the Sacramento District Attorney. Claims state that the death penalty, which is most given after homicides, provides justice for a victims families. It is also said that the death penalty is a deterrent. That is, the possibility of having death as a punishment may encourage people to not commit a crime that would maybe be punished by death.  

On the other hand, many people believe that no one deserves death. Pope Francis says, “It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person.” He says, as a human, to decide the outcome of another human life would be playing God. Another argument against the death penalty is that it is only an industry that benefits attorneys and criminals meanwhile taking taxpayers dollars. In the state of California, taxpayers have paid to house about 750 criminals on death row at the cost of 5 billion dollars.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Should the Death Penalty be Legal? by Clara is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

10 Comments
  1. Makayla Watson 5 months ago

    I agree with the author when she talks about how the death penalty shouldn’t be legal why I agree with her is because 150 people were innocent and got taken of the death penalty.Another reason I agree is because a 14 year old boy was executed and years later he was found not guilty .

  2. Sanath 10 months ago

    I like the way you introduced the meaning of the death penalty and why it is a concern in todays day and age. I am one of the people that believe that the death penalty should be illegal because it is expensive and no person deserves death. As prison break has shown conviction is not solid. Proof will always be around and there is no 100% guilty person. Death may be better than living in captivity for your whole life, but in my opinion the death penalty should be the prisoners choice if they are serving a long sentence.

  3. Eric 10 months ago

    Hey Clara, I enjoy the way you started with a strong opening statement by offering the proper definition of the “death penalty”, and thus, starting the discussion. Although I do appreciate the showcasing of both perspectives of the story, I do believe you should dive deeper into one side of the story, or if you are commiting to touch both sides, at least provide more evidence for the pro death penalty side like you did for the ones opposing the death penalty. Overall, this passage was well-written.

  4. Sam 10 months ago

    I enjoyed how you incorporated the opposing views of the death penalty. I appreciate that you brought up this topic but I would disagree and say that some criminals would commit a crime due to the death penalty. The death penalty would mean minimal jail time and you could also argue that its better then rotting away in a jail cell for the rest of your life.

  5. Yulisa 10 months ago

    Clara, I think you provide really valid reasons as to why people think the death penalty should be either legal, or illegal. The quote from Pope Francis was very interesting to read and taught me how the Catholic Church views this issue, which I didn’t know before. However, I have read other sources that talk about how much more money is spent by housing criminals than by sentencing them to the death penalty, so I would like to know which is more accurate. If you find out more about the money spent, I would love to hear more about it.

  6. Katelynn 10 months ago

    This is a really interesting piece, Clara. I enjoyed how you presented both sides of the argument and gave them equal weight. I especially liked when you said “… it is only an industry that benefits attorneys and criminals meanwhile taking taxpayers dollars.” The thought of the death penalty benefiting lawyers and taking taxpayers’ money is something I had never thought about. I only wish the piece was a little longer and had more detail. I look forward to seeing more of your writing because it’s very concise and straightforward.

  7. Ari 10 months ago

    I like how you illustrate two different sides of the issue in detail. It’s reflective of how to issue is currently being debated and the common opinions on it.

  8. James 10 months ago

    You addressed the issue in a quick and concise manner that shows a plethora of valid points. However the opposing ideals of the death penalty are not presented.

  9. Abby 10 months ago

    I really like how you presented your idea but perhaps add more detail.

  10. Skye 10 months ago

    Your introduction to an opposing opinion is really good. I like the contrast of ideas.

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