NOTE:This node has been reposted from the death penalty node at the suggestion of a few fellow noders.
First of all, I would like to say that I am a U.S. citizen. Second of all, I would like to say that I am for the death penalty. Third of all, I would like to say that I am against the use of the death penalty in the United States. Why? because the United simply misues the whole principle of the death penalty, and the way the court systems and juries convict people is very rushed, racist, and people are often times innocent. Until we as a country can become more responsible, I will remain against the death penalty.
Why is the death penalty logical?
In order to answer this, one must first take a look at the whole reason for establishing prisons. Back in the middle ages and even up to more recent times people used to inflict all sorts of cruel and unusual punishment upon others. What they found is that this simply wasn't an effective deterrent of crimes and generally didn't help the crime rate at all. What's more, people who had, say ears, cut off were generally views as subhuman, again morally flawed. So the world established an incaration system, which serves a twofold purpose: One, to isolate those who are a danger to society and themselves. Two, to correct those individuals who have transgressed against society so that they may be released back into society and once again become productive. You disagree? Then why are prisons called correctional facilities? This was generally found to work much better than cruel and unusual punishment.
So, how does the death penalty work its way into this picture? Consider this: what happens when a person is a threat to both society and himself, yet is impossible to "correct"? Does society truly have a need for this person? What point is there to incarcarating this person for the rest of his life? When, the answer is no to all of these questions, then, and only then is it logical to kill a person. Otherwise they would simply be a drain on the rest of us, serving no purpose whatsoever, and, on the whole, be a hindrance. So, the death penalty does still have a place? The answer is yes, but only in extreme and unfortunate cases.
Why should the U.S. not use the death penalty?
For three main reasons: because the way the United States employs it is immoral, it is racist, and not accurate, meaning innocent people get killed.
It is immoral
Let's examine the reasons why the U.S. invokes the death penalty. In pretty much every single case where a person has gotten the death penalty, that person probably could have been deemed "correctable." What's more a large percentage of those convicted probably repented what they did and would never commit a capital offense again. However, we continue to kill people. Why? Because the theme here is revenge, not correction. The simple train of reasoning here is "He killed my son, so we should kill him!" And once it gets to point where the theme of execution is revenge, you become no better than the killer. Look at it this way: Someone kills someone else. Someone else's brother kills someone. In every other case except if it were the United States as someone else's brother, someone else's brother would have been in big trouble. As his been stated above, Gandhi once said "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and we would be blind and toothless." This holds true for killing out of revenge, and is one of the many reasons why the U.S. is not responsible enough to inflict the death penalty.
Here in the United States, the death penalty is subject to extreme bias. According to the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union), you are more than three times as likely to be sentenced to death for a homicide if you are black as opposed to white. Furthermore, the numbers increase significantly higher when a black person has killed a white person, and they decrease when a white person has killed a black person. This indicates racism in our criminal justice system, and when you find racism in a part of society that is supposed to be the most fair, a lot of things must be taken into perspective. By no means should such a society be trusted with the death penalty. It's simply not responsible enough to use it fairly, and those statistics cleary demonstrate that. Simply put, we must first get over our racism before we can even consider the death penalty.
Innocent People Die
Other studies have suggested that as many as one in seven people on death row may be innocent, with many more let off each year because they are in fact proven innocent. This means that we kill innocent people, a horrible and unacceptable trend. No one innocent should be put on death row, much less 1 in 7 you actually convict that are innocent people. This alone should cause for immediate abandonment of the death penalty. As people have stated before, the price of a human life is infinite. Why, then does our government seem to put such little value on them? It suggests that if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time with no alibi, then you could be dead. Obviously, people are misusing the phrase "guilty beyong a shadow of a doubt." Perhaps with the advent of DNA testing this will change, but until then this argument remains valid.
In summation, while one can see that the death penalty may be moral, the United States, or any country for that matter, has a long way to go before we are developed and responsible enough to use such a power properly. Perhaps someday we will get to that point. But for now, we are a world stricken with many problems must solve before even considering that road. Most of the world has realized this (or something similar), and abolished the death penalty. Now it is the U.S.'s turn, at least for now. Thank you for your time.