Should the Death Penalty Exist? 

By Tara Thompson

An age-old question, should the death penalty exist? The way I see it is that the death penalty is a form of revenge, they kill someone in your family or someone you know and you get angry, you want them to feel the same pain you or the person they killed did. Revenge is embedded in our brains, it makes sense right? An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but does it really solve anything? 

It doesn’t make the pain go away, it just gets another person killed. No one deserves to die, if you don’t want to die how could you sentence someone else to die? Even mass murderers don’t deserve to die, they might have a mental illness, they might’ve had a bad childhood; I’m not saying it excuses their behavior but it can make it more understandable. 

These people don’t need to die, they need help, even if that’s being locked away in a mental institution where they can’t hurt anyone. Yes, some murderers don’t have a mental disorder but regardless they don’t deserve to die. Just be satisfied that they’re in jail for the majority, if not their whole life. Their actions do have consequences, but they don’t have to include execution, that’s just inhumane.  

A well-known case in Virginia a couple of years ago about a man named William Morva who was 35, was sentenced to die after killing a hospital security guard and a sheriff’s deputy. After Morva’s trial, a psychiatrist diagnosed him with a delusional disorder, a more severe mental illness similar to schizophrenia which made him believe that a former presidential administration was conspiring against him and trying to imprison him. He was executed on July 6th, 2017 due to a lethal injection of midazolam and potassium chloride. 

The governor of Virginia (Terry McAuliffe) said “I personally oppose the death penalty; however, I took an oath to uphold the laws of this Commonwealth regardless of my personal views of those laws, as long as they are being fairly and justly applied.” But it doesn’t end there, according to Mental Health America, an estimated five to ten percent of all death row inmates suffer from a severe mental illness. These people should be getting help, not discarded from society. The death penalty is outdated and unjust, revenge is not the answer. Killing does not prevent killing.

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