State's Death Penalty

The death penalty has been a controversial topic for a very long time in New Mexico, and in the United States. However, considering the value of human life, the death penalty is a severe punishment, which fails to uphold and respect human life, and, therefore, should be replaced with a lesser sentence deemed as an equivalent. Quoting Bill Richardson, the Governor of New Mexico, “faced with the reality that our judicial system can never be perfect, I suggest we replace the death penalty with a solution that still keeps the society safe: life without the possibility of parole.” Bill Richardson’s argument inclines towards the possible replacement of the severe death penalty for a punishment with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. As an American citizen, it is my firm belief that there is no need for capital punishment in our states.

The court implements the State Laws and convicts persons for their wrongs on behalf of the state. Inflicting capital punishment on any citizen is inappropriate regardless of the wrong committed. The impact of the death penalty may not be directly quantifiable and has no equivalent, since it is capital punishment. However, everyone has the right to life, and no one should deny the same of another person. For instance, a person found guilty of murder may be put on death row by the state, but looking on the other side of the coin, doesn’t this make the state a murderer too? Thus, the death penalty should be reduced considerably to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

Capital punishment is expensive for any given states. The cost of facilities used is very high, whose sole aim is to cause death of fellow human-being. Convicting a criminal to life in prison will save immense budget costs, out of which such funds could be used for such things as homeless shelters, medical and cancer research centers, job development and others.

In his statement, Bill asserts that once the death penalty has been executed, it cannot be reversed. This is true because it involves taking the life of another person. His statement also raises concerns about the possible execution of innocent persons. For instance, using an example from Amnesty International, Arizona’s Ray Krone spent ten years in prison in Arizona, a part of which he was in the death row. He was released in 2002, when DNA test results had proved his innocence. He was wrongly convicted for a murder he had never committed. Had the court carried out lethal injection on him, he would be a case of injustice; and he would have died for the wrong he had never committed. According to Bill Richardson, it is also true that, “for some criminals, the death penalty may be a deterrent; however, it’s not, and never will be, for many, many others.” This implies that the death penalty may act as a warning to others, but it will never act as a warning to a criminal.

The death penalty violates the 8th amendment of the U.S. Constitution which aims at preventing "cruel and unusual punishment." By enforcing the capital punishment on an individual, the death penalty nullifies the credibility of our constitution. The main purpose is protecting the rights, including the right to life, of all citizens. Usually, life imprisonment without parole is a worse punishment and is a more effective deterrent. It does not limit life and therefore could be preferred to capital punishment. This form of punishment is fair and does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Capital punishment hurts our state’s financial well-being. There have been numerous petitions to our government regarding its removal, but unfortunately there has been no feedback or response to the public. The general populace believes that the death penalty can bring safety to the nation but there are other options that could be an answer to a court case or sentence. Bill Richardson is against death penalties and believes that the society that values human life and liberty could still be better with other options, without enforcing the death penalty. Sentencing a criminal to prison not only helps him or her escape death as a fatal punishment, but it also helps the state financially. The costs of equipment used for the execution of capital punishment, for instance, lethal injection, are extremely high. Taxes paid by loyal hardworking citizens are used to fund such programs. Such money should be used in a rehabilitation program of these criminals and help to change them into productive members of the society. Death is a onetime occurrence and irreversible, it denies a person the right to life and the freedom of happiness.

The main intent for capital punishment is to deter or discourage crime. However, a criminal is motivated by other factors to commit crime and always does things according to his/her plans. It does not discourage a crime from being committed, and in the worst case, it may lead to more crimes to avenge the loss of, for instance, a family member or active member of a gang. Since the society supports and upholds human life as precious and valuable, it ought to be against capital punishment and advocate for other methods, such as imprisonment with no parole, or with parole after an indefinite period of time.

The death penalty is an unnecessary tool used for law enforcement. Sending inmates to federal prisons insures the public that a criminal is secured and cannot harm them. According to Jeanne Woodfords article, “taking one life in order to prove how much we value another life does not strength our society”. Anyone can say or point a finger at anybody and accuse him or her of committing a crime. This could be mistaken identity, or not. But considering that the society values human life, it is not worth taking it away from another, regardless of how bad a person is. Isolation is the only best way to protect citizens from criminals and uphold human dignity by preserving life. Death penalty also sends the wrong message to the society, that is, why would you have to kill a person who commits murder to show that killing is wrong

Therefore, the government should realize that the death penalty is not a solution to any problems regardless of what a criminal has done. Capital punishment is unnecessary and should be excluded from our governmental system and forgotten. I am against this vice as a means for punishment, and it should be banned in the United States and its allies.

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