Is death the justification of a murder or are we merely subduing ourselves by performing the same heinous act? This argument had been debated for many decades and although some feel that death is the answer to a murder, there are others that find it completely barbaric. Through a careful analysis between Edward Koch’s “Death and Justice” and David Bruck’s “The Death Penalty”, I believe Koch had the better argument in claiming that death is the justification of a murder. I feel that if someone were to kill another person, we have all rights to sentence them to a death penalty to guarantee such a horrific crime would not happen again.
If someone had the courage to take the life of another then he/she should have the courage to face the consequences. Although many believed that the death penalty is barbaric, I believe if it is not done, it would hinder America’s goal in working toward a country that possesses the least crime rates. In Koch’s essay he compared cancer with the death penalty. “Today we are faced with the choice of letting the cancer spread with…methods that considered barbaric…But to give up…would certainly delay the discovery of an eventual cure.” (Koch, paragraph 6) What Koch tried to convey to us is that certain methods of reducing cancer symptoms may be found barbaric but it is because of these methods we will find an eventual cure. This applies to the death penalty as well. Although someone may believe the death penalty is barbaric, they can still support it because if we create a society that does not tolerate the injustice of murder, incidents of murder will decrease.
In Bruck’s argument he attacked back by stating that the death penalty was applied in a discriminatory manner through a man by the name of “Ernest Knighton”. “Knighton had killed a gas station owner during a robbery…Why was Knighton electrocuted when almost everyone else who committed the same offense was not? Was it because he was black? Was it because his victim and all 12 members of the jury…were right?” (Bruck, paragraph 10) He’s stating the jury was racist to Knighton because he was black and the death penalty does not serve justice.
I believe that his isn’t so because the appeals for each murderer are long and accurate. Our courts are made so that each case is handled effectively and thoroughly to bring forth justice in the case. Koch stated “It is not justice to exclude everyone from the penalty of the law if a few are found to be so favored. Justice requires that the law be applied equally to all.” (Koch, paragraph 11). It is not a racial matter because the appeals process is long and elaborate for every individual and a person will not be given any less attention due to their race.
The death penalty served justice to people who had abused it. It will ensure a safer society because potential murderers would be afraid to kill because if they did, they would be executed as well. If we do not continue to practice this then murder rates would steadily increase. It is also not a racial issue because each case is observed with the full extent of the law. I believe the death penalty should continue to be instated because it will provide for a quicker progression to a murder-free America.
Courtney from Study Moose
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