Capital punishment is a statement made by society about crimes with the highest stigma. Some individuals do things that are so bad that they have forfeited many of their basic rights. What would be cruel and unusual to another person is an appropriate punishment for them. There is a sliding scale when it comes to such questions. Removed from the face of the planet, these people can no longer taunt their victim's families (as some choose do when they are left alive). Nor will these people ever have an opportunity to walk the streets freely again.
To some, this is a very old-fashioned and cruel idea, but to others, it shows just how timeless ideas of justice really are. Proponents of the death penalty believe that it is repulsive to see individuals wasting their time and energy to try to stop the executions of horrible killers rather than volunteering to help victims of violent crime. What we need to do as a society is to say we value the lives of the innocent, but do not value the lives of evil individuals.
We need to take a strong stand on this issue. Many supporters of the death penalty argue that this punishment should not be used on young offenders. They say that this is especially cruel and unusual punishment and that it is a powerful argument for the overall abolishment of the death penalty. These people say that there are many fifteen years old being executed by lethal injection across the country. That is just not true, however. Most states have a limit to the age at which the death penalty can be applied.
The opponent tries to use this issue to publicly paint a picture of what they believe is the barbarism of capital punishment. This is an emotional appeal. Critics also suggest that innocent people may be executed and that they won't be alive to see their appeals overturn their convictions in court. Clearly, this is a powerful potential argument. Nevertheless, there is no one case in America where anyone has been able to definitively prove that an innocent individual has been put to death (Bedau, 102).
Absent proof that this happened, this argument is no longer valid.
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