"The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It is irrevocable and can be inflicted on the innocent and has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments." Quoted from Amnesty International Website. Since the beginning of this century, 23 innocent people have been executed in the United States alone. These 23 people were wrongly tried, convicted, and executed. .
II. Need .
A. There are several reasons why we should look to alternative solutions to the problem of capital crimes. .
1. Cruel and Inhumane Punishment/Loss of Human Rights .
a. The death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment. In the United States, cruel and unusual punishment is outlawed by the eighth amendment. Lethal injection is often cited as the most humane method of execution, but even this method involves violent loss of control, and gasping for breath during the process. The death penalty takes away the most basic of all human rights, the right to life. .
2. Does not Deter Crime .
a. The deterrence of crime has always been one of the strongest supporting arguments for the death penalty. There have been many studies done, and there is no evidence that the death penalty can be linked to a decrease in violent crimes, such as murder. This graph from the Death Penalty Information Center shows that there is very little connection between the number of people executed and crimes such as murder.
3. Justice .
a. Another strong supporting argument for the death penalty is that it provides justice for the victims of the crime. Justice is defined by Webster's Third New International Dictionary as "the maintenance or administration of what is just," and the word just is defined as "acting or being in conformity with what is morally right or good." From these definitions we can then say that justice is upholding what is morally right and good. Killing another person in the name of vengeance for a crime cannot be considered morally right or good.