A wrong deed that was done cannot be corrected by another wrong deed.
This context may often be heard in many religious teachings. A man commits a most brutal act of murder and the state gives him the death penalty. The state did not give justice for reaping another bad deed. This is a common argument raised by pro-life activists. However, the death penalty actually promotes criminal minds instead of being a deterrent to crime.
This may seem to be hard to believe but there are many documented cases wherein the death penalty is the main driving force that urged criminals to commit a heinous crime.The death penalty is a subject of much debate. It has been implemented for some time and then it was completely banned because of a Supreme Court ruling that it is unconstitutional. The practice has again resumed in 1976 and it was not long before someone was executed. In 1977, Gary Gilmore was executed for murdering complete strangers.
Upon examination of the life of Gilmore, he was described as having characteristics of “self-hatred and utter self-contempt of a man apparently bent on his own destruction”.Richard Strafer, a criminologist, stated that Gilmore organized his “own dramatic end”. After receiving his parole, he went to Utah, a state where there exists a death penalty. He was fighting for the right to be killed with his attorney.
He then proceeded killing people so that he would be executed. Sure enough, he got his wish but more notably, the death penalty instead of preventing crime actually attract it (Van Wormer). This is no isolated case as there are numerous similar events wherein people did brutal crimes with a desire to get the death penalty.In 1959, an examination of a man who was about to be executed in California confessed to psychiatrist Bernard Diamond that he raped three women and killed them afterwards to get the death penalty. The convict even noted that attempted a fourth one. Suicide was the goal of the convict.
Asked if what would he have done if California did not have a death penalty, he simply replied that he “would have gone to a state where there was a capital punishment and do it there”.From the examination, Diamond concluded with “confirmation from other forensic psychiatrists that the threat of the death penalty can act as an instigation to crime, rather than a deterrent” (Van Wormer). According to Diamond, “capital punishment, with its dramatic rituals and ceremonies (even today, when executions no longer are public), is the perfect fantasized death, a glorified crucifixion, for certain sick minds” (Van Wormer). Psychiatrist Louis J.
West said that the death penalty provides a means for a violent suicide and it is a most attractive ways to do so.West even mentioned of an incident wherein a person confessed of a crime he did not commit to get the death penalty. “West further speculated that death penalty states have higher homicide rates than non-death penalty states because of the attractiveness of the prospect of execution to certain sick minds” (Van Wormer). In a similar case in 1958, James French was found guilty of killing a motorist and testified at court that he wanted to be executed but his call not heard. In prison, he strangled his cell mate and this time, he got the death penalty that he wanted.
He was executed in 1966. The convict admitted that he had “chickened out” on some attempts at suicide (Van Wormer). A small minority of sick and suicidal individuals find the prospect of highly publicized punishment intriguing. Such people are sufficiently irrational to wreak havoc upon themselves and others, yet rational enough to plot out this destructive course to its bitter and gruesome end.
(Van Wormer). It may be noted that young, white males that have experienced failed suicides have a higher tendency to commit heinous crimes to be convicted and sentenced to death.Being unable to kill themselves, they kill others or do similarly grave crimes so that the state will do the killing for them (Van Wormer). Another aspect of capital punishment is that it becomes a channel that forces innocent people to confess a crime that they did not commit.
Plea bargaining may be described as getting a lighter sentence by saving the state the costs associated with a trial or more bluntly, getting a heavier sentence by “asserting your constitutional rights to a trial” trying to protect yourself from wrongful accusers.By agreeing to a plea bargain, you trade the risk of “20-years-to-life for the certainty of five-seven years in prison” (Kinsley). More notably, facing the pressure of probably being sentenced to death penalty, a suspect may agree with a plea bargain to get a probable death sentence down to a life sentence. Through a plea agreement, the justice system becomes unreliable. A death sentence may also put an innocent man's life in jeopardy.
In a probable situation, a man was wrongfully accused of a crime that he did not commit but the court still found him guilty and sentenced him to death. The man received his sentence but after a few years, evidence was discovered which proved that the man really was innocent of the crime (Policy Debate: Is the death penalty). These incidents may be distinct and special cases but the existence of the death penalty does not provide a sense of justice. Justice is better served than spending a lifetime in prison.
It is also a disturbing fact that a death penalty is irreversible and when someone has been hanged or electrocuted to death, it is impossible to bring him back from the dead to reverse any false results of a trial. Plea agreements also get more people into prison to escape the possibility of being sentenced to death. The death penalty does not really bring any good into this world. It is only an act of reaping hatred over someone accused of committing a brutal crime in a similarly brutal way. To put it short, death penalty should be entirely abolished.