The Death Penalty | Teen Ink

The Death Penalty

March 28, 2009
By Mark Bronson BRONZE, Centralia, Washington
Mark Bronson BRONZE, Centralia, Washington
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Is the threat of execution a useful deterrent against murder? This question stirs up a lot of controversy. The abolitionists believe that the death penalty encourages crime, which is why the death penalty needs to be abolished.

The eighth amendment of the U.S. Constitution, “no cruel or unusual punishment”, is the first reason why execution should not be legal. Electrocution would fall into this category because you do not die instantly; you have to go through torture before you get to leave this world. In a firing squad, they have expert sharpshooters who shoot at your heart but that does not mean you die instantly or die without horrific amounts of pain. Hanging is almost the same; if you do not break your neck when you fall you will be slowly die of asphyxiation.

The death penalty has a racial bias. In 2007, there were 18 prisoners on death row. Of those 16 were African-American, Hispanic or Asian (, 2009). In addition, the Criminal Justice system is dominated and controlled by Caucasians.

Convicted criminals are treated differently because of gender. Only 10 women have been executed since 1962, but 870 men have been executed since 1976. In addition, there were only 48 women on death row in 2003, which made up 1.5 % of the total death row population (Woolf, 30). Also, women that are new mothers are generally not executed.

“Capital Punishment is immoral,” said the American Civil Liberties Union in the section titled “The Death Penalty: Questions and Answers.” (, 2009). In addition, the section says, “The penalty for rape cannot be rape, or for arson, the burning down the arsonist’s house. We should not, therefore, punish the murderer with death…”

Therefore, the death penalty needs to be abrogated. Now you know the death penalty morally wrong. Right now, it is essential for you to shun it from our lives and the lives of the prisoners on death row.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Apr. 13 2009 at 5:35 pm
Babyblue1212 BRONZE, Centralia, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Mark, your story was very good.

HI -Molly:)