The Death Penalty: JustifiableBy: Brendan Moriarty 04/28/96-Preface: Let it be noted now that this speech is very opinionated.

I strongly believe that the Death Penalty is a form of punishment to beused when needed. Which opens up the question, when should it be used? That maybe the breaking point in a lot of arguments, deciding when to use the deathpenalty is a very touchy subject. I believe that only murderers deserve thedeath penalty, but I do not believe that all murderers should receive it aspunishment. In cases where someone was killed in self defense, the ‘murderer’should not receive the death penalty. But when someone is killed in cold bloodthen there should be a consideration. Again, not all cold blooded murderersshould receive it. Premeditated and sometimes on the spot murders are alsocandidates, but that depends on how the victim was treated before the murder.Was he/she abused or tormented in a severe way? Or was the victim raped? I wouldalso take into account, the number of people killed by the murderer.

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Those arenot the only things to take into account, but I will stop here.It was August 3, the year was 1986. A man named Esquel Banda had justraped, stabbed and strangled a 74 year old widow by the name of Merle Laird inher own house. Banda then sucked the blood from the woman’s mouth.

Does that describe a kind, gentle man, who is not a threat to society? Aman who values life or a man that deserves life when he seems so eager todestroy it? I certainly wouldn’t think so.Some people believe that the death penalty is wrong, what do you think?Is it OK for a man to commit heinous murders but not OK for our valued legalsystem, who’s outcomes depend on ordinary people like you and me, to decide toterminate that mans life for his crimes to others?The death penalty is just that; a penalty. Its intention is not topresent an example to others, to show them ‘not to commit murders, or this mayhappen to you…’, although it may very well work like that.

If it is, fine, somuch the better. But it is a punishment. You can’t say that the felon doesn’treally receive the punishment because he’s dead because they have quite a fewyears to think about it while on death row. Just sitting around a few years withnothing to look forward to except death, is punishment enough. Infact, it may bebetter than having a life jail term, without parole. Felons in that predicamenthave said so themselves, they would rather die than have to wait the rest ofthere life in jail, which can exceed 60 years. Which brings me around to my nextpoint.

..What happens if we do get rid of the death penalty? We would havehundreds of murderers sitting in jails and mixing with many other people.”Don’t’ put me in a cell with anybody.

I’ll kill them, it won’t bother me tokill somebody.” That’s a quote from a former death row inmate. He brings up avery important point. Our society always says how our prisons are safe andsecure. That may be true in some prisons now, but what happens when they have tohold murderers like that inmate.

If the death penalty isn’t used anymore, thenwhat would stop inmates from killing other inmates and jail guards or repeatedlytrying to escape? Nothing; because if they do kill someone, their term won’tchange, nothing worse can happen to them, except mabey a few days of solitude.Nothing is stopping them from attempting more crimes in jail!Another point I must bring up, is racism in the decision about whoshould die. I will agree that there is some, but it is a simple problem with asimple solution. Diversify our jurys. In most cases, a group of people chosenrandomly will be appointed to decide that fate of an accused murderer. If thereis racism and sexism, then even out the number of minorities and sexes in thejury. But anyway, if we need to bag the death penalty because of racism and such,then we sure can’t have prisons! Don’t tell me there isn’t either of those whenthe jail term is decided, because the truth is, there is a lot of racism is thedecision.

OK, my last point is the argument that the death penalty is just toocruel to use. I’ll agree that mabey hanging and a firing squad should beabolished. But not the gas chamber, lethal injection or the chair. With the gaschamber, the person just smells a strange smell, then there out of it. The onlypain in lethal injection is sticking the needle in the skin. The last one, theelectric chair is the most controversial. There are stories of people survivingthe first shock, in one case the man was sent back to his cell, but later he wasfinally killed. That may be very shocking, but mabey you haven’t heard what someof these people did.

Here’s an example…

A man and a woman were sitting in there car on the bank of a river on adate. Two men approached the car and pointed a gun in. The man and women weretaken, and later, deep in a forest, the male victim was beaten, tied to a treeand shot through the head, all in front of the woman’s eyes.

For the next fewdays, the woman was tortured and raped repeatedly and was almost killed in theend.So, put yourself in those victim’s shoes, imaging the physical andmental pain of the ordeal. Now what do you think? Should the murderers receive alittle bit of pain on their way out? I think it’s justifiable. History