The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments state: "no person may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." The Eighth Amendment states:"..nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted." The opposition to Capital Punishment resides in the latter of these two quotations while proponents use the former to justify the validity of it. Opponents argue that it is cruel and unusual and it does not have any effect as a deterrant for other criminals. Proponents say that it is allowable according to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and is just in that the criminal deserves such a hard punishment. As of this time, it is legal in many States. However, most of them, like New York, have not recently executed a criminal.
Jon's Opinion I personally don't see why people who have committed horrible crimes, have been repeat offenders, and have shown no remorse should live. They don't contribute positively to society; in fact, they detract from America as a whole. My idea is: do whatever costs the least money. If the convict is going to appealing his conviction for the next 42 years, then stick him in prison for life. The legal expenses will be less. However, if he has committed heinous crimes but he won't appeal it, then I think capital punishment is necessary. The more megawatts the better.
Alan's Opinion Capital Punishment is one of the worst things produced by our government. It takes the mechanism used to punish criminals and makes it no better than the criminals themselves. It has been proven that the deterrant value of capital punishment is highly overrated among other things. So why does our government persist in taking more and more lives? A life is a precious thing and not something to be carelessly taken. In fact, it should never be threatened by our government. For if our government becomes a killer, then who shall protect us, the citizens, from it? To take a human life is so absolute that it should never willfully be undertaken. Furthermore, it sets a bad example for the community and only incites more violence and bloodshed. Why do we kill people who kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?
Copyright © 1997 Jonathan Chin & Alan Stern