Keep Death Penalty Alive


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Some consider the death penalty just for horrific crimes.

By Anna Kronthal, Staff Writer

Mass murderers. Kidnappers. Serial killers. Do these criminals deserve a life while our taxpayer dollars put shelter over their heads and food in their stomachs?

With the recent school shootings and lack of gun reform laws, high schoolers around the world are being forced to worry about their own safety within the walls of their schools. The media has followed these heinous crimes as a way to promote gun legislation. However, the debate of what’s to come after tragedies such as the Parkland school shooting does not end once the murderer is behind bars.
The death penalty is currently legal in 31 states, and illegal in 19 states. But what if it happened to you? What if your mother was killed? What if your father, your younger sibling or your best friend was murdered in cold blood? And what if the state in which you resided was one of the 19? What if the killer got to live, while your innocent loved one did not?

Many people preach of the inhumanity of the death penalty. But let’s not forget about the inhumanity of killing an innocent person. There is no reason that someone who chose to show no humanity to others deserve to have humanity bestowed upon them. The saying “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind” is ironically blind to the fact that those who are willing to kill will kill again.

The criminals who are on death row did not steal food from the grocery store. Rather, they’ve been proved guilty of murder, of genocide, of shootings and of airplane hijacking. So if you believe that it is wrong to execute this type of criminal, do you believe that it was wrong to kill Osama Bin Laden after he masterminded the killing of thousands of Americans? Or Hitler, who killed millions? If one thinks that the punishments of those criminals was justifiable, but the executions of the criminals on death row is not, it’s implied that the lives of the people who were killed by less famous evils are less important than those slaughtered in infamous attacks. But they are not. Every murder of an innocent person is equally as wrong.

Punishments are meant to stop people. Life in prison is simply not punishment enough. A person can get life imprisonment for the conspiracy of murder. Murder and the conspiracy of murder are not equal. Their consequences should not be either. Not to mention the fear of being executed could deter future murderers from killing. So if executing a murderer could mean saving innocent lives, if it could give a person an 80-year life when they could have been killed at 20, then the death penalty is worth it.
As students across the nation participate in school walkouts in the fight for an end to gun violence, the shooters that caused this trauma will be sitting in an air-conditioned jail cell. A jail cell like the one where just days after the Parkland tragedy, shooter Nikolas Cruz was reported by jail officials with the Broward County Sheriff’s office to be “giggling and laughing” in.

Or these killers could be paying for the life that they have stolen from innocent people with their own. Your call.