Of the many major social issues in today’s world, one of the biggest issues is the death penalty. I feel strongly about this issue, and I would argue that the death penalty needs to be abolished. The death penalty’s use is mostly due to an “eye for an eye” desire for revenge. To me, it isn’t fair that governments have passed laws that ban killing of people, but those same governments can legally kill through the use of the death penalty.
According to CNN, the death penalty’s use in America is flawed for several reasons. First, life in prison without parole is actually a worse punishment than death, because death puts a person out of their misery. Second, the court proceedings for a death penalty trial cost a lot more than for non-death-penalty cases. CNN explains that “the average length of the initial prosecution for a death penalty case — not including lengthy appeals — means more than a thousand extra days of courtroom resources are being used” as compared to a case where prosecutors want life without parole. Third, the court proceedings in death penalty cases are harder on the families of victims. Fourth, the death penalty is not evenly applied, as only some states allow it, and even within those states there is lots of variation in whether prosecutors pursue the death penalty. Finally, sometimes innocent people are convicted and killed for something they didn’t do.
The International Commission Against the Death Penalty argues some slightly different points. They focus on the risk of executing innocent people, as well as the arbitrary use of the penalty especially against the poor and minorities. In addition to the CNN article, they argue that the death penalty is incompatible with human rights and human dignity, saying that “The death penalty violates the right to life which happens to be the most basic of all human rights.” Finally, they argue that the death penalty does not actually deter crime.