By: Nicole Castillo, Julia Marlin, Brian Moreno, Mira Soto-Nelson
The death penalty is the punishment of execution, administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime. The Death Penalty has been a big issue in the United States; many people want to abolish it, while many people want it to remain in the US. According to an article, “The Death Penalty in the United States,” on April 1, 2008, the Death Penalty was authorized by 37 states, the Federal Government, and the U.S. Military. Both sides have strong arguments, but argue their point in a different way. People who support the death penalty use pathos appeals, telling emotion-provoking stories to evoke a need for revenge in the listener. On the other hand, people who oppose the death penalty use facts, logics, and statistics to argue their side. These people argue that killing people is inhumane and use statistics such as the cost benefits of abolishing the death penalty as well as the positive effect doing so would have on crimes rates.
Recently, there have been new developments in the death penalty debate such as the introduction of DNA testing into criminal investigations as well as a series of recent botched executions which have been at the forefront of arguments that the death penalty is cruel. The increase of DNA testing to help confirm the innocence or guilt or a convict in capital cases has lead to the exoneration of over a dozen death row inmates. Unfortunately, there have been a few cases where DNA testing has proven the innocence of someone who has already been executed.
Viewpoints of the death penalty range from complete support to the belief that it should be completely abolished. Arguments for the death penalty include bringing closure to victim’s families and matching punishments for the severity of crimes. In other words the argument is, if someone takes the life of another, they deserve death themselves. Arguments against the death penalty include the economic aspects as well as moral side, a.k.a. killing is always wrong. Additionally many abolitionists believe that the government’s use of the death penalty is hypocritical; they say that murder is wrong and in order to enforce this ideal they kill more of their own citizens.