By: Karly Gudykunst/ Junior Guest Writer
There are always repercussions to one’s unlawful actions, but how far should these consequences go? Is the death penalty a worthy punishment? Many believe that the death penalty is really a worthy punishment since it acts as a deterrent to others who might commit the same crime.
It is true that taking the life of a human shouldn’t be tolerated, but the death penalty was to be made as a quick, easy, and painless punishment.
For example, as one commenter, flamehorse, wrote on listverse.com, “When the condemned is fastened into the electric chair, one of the conductors is strapped securely around the head with the bare metal flush against the shaved wet scalp. This permits the electricity to be conducted directly into the brain, shutting it off more quickly than the brain can register pain.”
The most common method of execution is lethal injection. The first chemical puts the condemned to sleep and the last stops the heart, allowing him or her to just fall into an endless sleep. The point is that the death penalty is mainly carried out humanely since even though some convicts are worthy of a death sentence, they are not worthy of being treated cruelly under law.
In addition to being humane, the the death penalty can be a deterrent to others–possibly saving lives. According to writer Dave Anderson, a frequent poster on listland.com, executions can “save five lives.”
Anderson goes on to say that, “the reasoning is simple, if the costs of doing something becomes too high, people will change their behavior to avoid those costs. If the cost reduces, people will indulge in that behavior once more.”
Some may argue that the death penalty doesn’t teach the condemned anything.
A pro-con document from Republic Central Colleges states, “So when a child grows up, breaks into a home, and steals electronics, he gets caught and goes to prison. His time in prison is meant to deprive him of the freedom… to do what he wants when he wants. This is the time punishment, and most people do learn from it. In general, no one wants to go back. But if that child grows up and murders someone for their wallet or just for fun, and they are in turn put to death, they are taught precisely nothing because they are no longer alive to learn from it.”
The author may seem to bring up a good point, but the death penalty is actually the ultimate consequence–a “penalty,” that serves as a lesson for those who have not yet taken a life. In a way, the death penalty is like a warning since it teaches people that taking another’s life can result in being put to death; because murder is a severe crime, the punishment must be severe. The lesson is not for the perpetrator, but for society at large.
Conclusively, most understand that actions have consequences. These consequences, such as the death penalty can potentially bring order to a society. The death penalty is ever so worthy a consequence since it is kept humane, can ultimately save lives and serves as an ultimate warning. Human life is precious to many, this is why we have an obligation to punish those who take it.
Karly Gudykunst is an honor student and a junior at Blue Ridge High School. She participates in both volleyball and softball, and is a member of both SADD and the National Honor Society. She hopes to study occupational therapy at Kueka College after graduation. Interesting trivia about Karly: She is a triplet who has two brothers.