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The Controversial Death Penalty

By:Triston Huntsmin

There are few topics as controversial among the American government and general population as the death penalty. Few topics spark such heated debates and few issues have people so clearly on one side of the argument or the other. The death penalty is definitely famous for having thinkers on both sides of the fence with few people riding the gray area in the middle.

Many Americans are for the death penalty. In essence they believe that there are certain crimes so heinous that the criminals deserve nothing but death. People who choose to take the life of another through murder, for example, are criminals for whom the death penalty should be in effect. A drug dealer whose dealing leads to the death of people could also be considered a prime criminal to undergo the death penalty. Americans that are pro-death penalty believe that those who take the life of another should not be able to keep their own lives. There are, of course, exceptions for deaths that occur because of war, self-defense, or the killing of say a person who abuses children. These are justifiable deaths that do not require the death penalty.

On the other side of the death penalty debate are Americans who do not believe that the death penalty should exist for many reasons. In general, these Americans believe that it is inhumane to kill even a killer. They believe that even a killer has rights that need to be protected by the law. A huge caution that many people site about the death penalty is surrounding our justice system. Many Americans wonder how to ensure that the death penalty happens to only those people deserving its punishment and they say that because there is no real way to make the punishement infallible, the punishment should not exist.

Because of the injustices of our nation's justice system, many Americans believe that the death penalty should cease to exist. They raise questions such as where should the line be drawn for what crimes deserve the death penalty and what crimes do not? Who is to say what crimes should be punishable onto death and what crimes should allow the criminal to keep their life? Since there are no clear answers to these questions, many say that the death penalty cannot rightfully exist. Or, for example, what if the justice system is wrong in their judgment of a suspected criminal and condemns an innocent person to suffer the death penalty while the real criminal goes free? We can never be fully sure of the justice of our justice system, they say.

Another injustice of the death penalty system that many Americans note is that often criminals without sufficient means to defend themselves are left to die while other criminals with money and power are able to flee the punishment of the death penalty simply because they have the means to beat the system. How just is the punishment if not all criminals are given equal opportunity to present their case?

There are endless questions that plague people on both sides of the death penalty debate. The only for sure thing about the issue is that it is highly debatable and complicated for our nation to agree upon.

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Triston Huntsmin is the author of articles on various controversial topics. His goal as a writer is to get people to think about issues from more than one perspective. Learn more about the death penalty at

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