Throughout history the death penalty has been used as severe punishment, for severe crimes. It is hard to think about the taking of a human life, no matter how deserving that person seems to be. When looking at the crimes of a serial killer, the general public might be in agreement that the killer should be put to death. Some of these crimes are so horrific that they tend to cloud the normal thinking of most that come in contact with the information.
I used to think that the death penalty was the correct thing to do but try as I might, I can’t get past the fact that two wrongs don’t make a right. When we as a society decide to take a human life, does that make everything better? Does that bring the victims back? Does that bring real closure for the families?
Does it make society stronger, as a whole? All of these questions need to be dealt with to justify taking a human life. Obviously, any person that can kill another without reason or remorse, has some kind of mental imbalance. Having said that, I don’t think the insanity plea should ever be used. Most of us can agree that a killer is or was insane at the time of the crime.
That leaves society with the question of what to do with the murderer. Do we treat him with the same lack of respect and sympathy that he treated his victims, or should we rise above that? Considering that the criminal mind is different, perhaps through no fault of his own except for being dealt a bad hand from birth. We definitely cannot release a killer like this on society to kill again but we could lock him up for life where he can’t hurt anyone else.
On the question of the death penalty, yes or no, my choice would be an absolute, “No.” Not only because two wrongs don’t make a right and society can be more comfortable with this route, but because innocent people do get convicted sometimes, too. How do we remedy a wrongful conviction after the death penalty has been carried out? This outcome is just too final and can never be set right.