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					                                                                                   Christian Ortiz

                                                                                   1A English III

                                                                               September 7, 2011
                                       Capital Punishment

The Death Penalty is a just and fair form of punishment and should be legal in every state.

Fairness:
   - Our justice system shows more sympathy for criminals than it does victims.
   - The death penalty gives the victim’s family closure.
   - J. Edgar Hoover, late director of Federal Bureau of Investigations, asks the following
      questions: “Have you ever thought about how many criminals escape punishment, and
      yet, the victims never have a chance to do that? Are crime victims in the United States
      today the forgotten people of our time? Do they receive full measure of justice?
   - “Our system of criminal law is to minimize human suffering by works or order primarily
      to forestall violence or aggression. In the question of the death penalty, we must ask
      ourselves which action will serve the true humanitarian purpose of criminal law. We
      should weigh the death of the convicted murders against the loss of life of his victims and
      the possibility of potential victims to murder.”
   - Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and allows society to show
      convincingly that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished in kind. Any
      lesser punishment would undermine the value society places on protecting lives.
   - Robert Macy, District Attorney of Oklahoma City, described his concept of the need for
      retribution in one case: "In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to
      watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer
      should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits
      and endless appeals. For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die."

Human Error DNA is Obsolete:
  - Many people believe that the death penalty is wrong because innocent men and women
     are killed, but with today’s technology, few innocent people are executed.

Every Case is Unique (not racist):
   - Just because one race happens to commit more crimes, doesn’t mean the justice system is
      racist. (There will always be some racism, but their argument is that it is very racist)
   - No one expects the prosecutor to pursue every possible offense or punishment, nor do we
      expect the same sentence to be imposed just because two crimes appear similar. Each
      crime is unique, both because the circumstances of each victim are different and because
      each defendant is different. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a mandatory death
      penalty which applied to everyone convicted of first degree murder would be
      unconstitutional.
    Kill an officer on duty.
    Kill someone younger than eight years of age.
    Multiple murders (murders in the same crime scenes)
Cost:
   - A common, even credible argument amidst anti-death penalty proponents regards the
      financial implications of executing a prisoner, which is far more expensive than simply
      imprisoning them for life. Statistically, this is true. Deathpenaltyinfo.org reports that in
      the state of Maryland, it can cost up to $37 million to execute a death row inmate rather
      than keeping them alive and imprisoned annually at around $1 million per year.
      However, while the execution figures factor in costs of an inmate’s numerous appeals,
      the figures representing the cost to keep a prisoner alive per year do not. “Lifers” are
      equally likely to pursue the same avenues as death row inmates to overturn their fate,
      which can be equally expensive. Given that those sentenced to life without parole have an
      indefinite period of time to appeal, unlike a death row inmate, in the long run the
      financial cost of housing a lifer will easily surpass the cost of housing a death row
      inmate. - Each death penalty case in Texas costs taxpayers about $2.3 million per appeal.

Religion:
   - If the Bible and Torah are any indication, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”
       (Exodus 21:23-25)

Not Cruel:
   - A criminal sentenced to life without parole will never again see daylight, and will have to
      consider the consequences of their crime until the day they die. From an emotional
      standpoint, ending this elongated, intense level of suffering for a prisoner could be
      considered a mercy.
Examples:
   - John McRae got a life sentence for murder and rape, was paroled in 1971. He was
      convicted of murdering another boy.
   - John Miller killed an infant 1957, was paroled in 1975. He murdered his own parents.

Capital punishment dates back to ancient times, but recently it has become a controversial issue.
If the death penalty becomes illegal it will prove that our justice system shows more sympathy
for criminals than it does victims. Only the taking of the murderer's life restores the balance and
allows society to show, convincingly, that murder is an intolerable crime which will be punished
in kind. Any lesser punishment would undermine the value society places on protecting lives.
     J. Edgar Hoover, late director of Federal Bureau of Investigations, asks the following
questions: “Have you ever thought about how many criminals escape punishment, and yet, the
victims never have a chance to do that? Are crime victims in the United States today the
forgotten people of our time? Do they receive full measure of justice?”
     Who are we to deny the victim’s family’s peace? Robert Macy, District Attorney of
Oklahoma City, said: "In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her
baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some
prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals. For
justice to prevail, some killers just need to die."
     The prosecution will attempt to convince you that the capital punishment isn’t cost-efficient,
but this isn’t accurate. It is true that it can cost up to $37 million to execute a death row inmate
rather than keeping them alive, which costs around $1 million per year. However, while the
execution figures factor in costs of an inmate’s numerous appeals, the figures representing the
cost to keep a prisoner alive per year do not. “Lifers” are equally likely to apply for appeals, at
23 million apiece. Given that those sentenced to life without parole have an indefinite period of
time to appeal, unlike a death row inmate, in the long run the financial cost of housing a lifer will
easily surpass the cost of housing an inmate charged with capital punishment.
    The prosecution will also argue that capital punishment is racist, but each case is reviewed
individually. Just because one race happens to commit more crimes, doesn’t mean the justice
system is racist. Each crime is unique, both because the circumstances of each victim are
different and because each defendant is different. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a
mandatory death penalty which applied to everyone convicted of first degree murder would be
unconstitutional.
    Lastly, they will argue that DNA error will kill innocent people. This is very unlikely with
today’s technology. Yes, inmates charged with capital punishment are being released today, but
new prisoners are not being charged unjustly.




Peer Review Comments:
-The correct MLA heading is needed (last name and page number in upper right hand corner).
-Thesis: “The Death Penalty is a just and fair form of punishment and should be legal in every
state.” His thesis is argumentive and valid, because it explains briefly why he stands on the
position that he does. (:
-Examples: Death penalty brings closure to the family, and proves that the court will bring
justice to a case. These examples do provide support to the argument, because everyone wants
justice and a price for a criminal to pay for their crimes in order to repay the family affected by
their actions.
-Greatest Strength: I like the wording.
-Greatest Weakness: It needs to be put together to tell the points like we’re reading it and not
researching the topic ourselves.
-Organization: The same points are made all over the place. Put is in paragraph form instead of
bullet points.
-Word Choice: It’s easy to understand, and the topic is formally addressed. He expressed his
opinion in a clear and creative way.
-Fluency: The author’s sentences are consistent throughout.

				
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