Students and Faculty Examine the Morality of the Death Penalty

STUDENTS AND FACULTY EXAMINE THE MORALITY OF THE DEATH PENALTY -- Many people guilty of one of the most immoral crimes, murder, end up receiving a death sentence. The practice of execution has been debated for centuries.

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STUDENTS AND FACULTY EXAMINE THE MORALITY OF THE DEATH PENALTY -- Many people guilty of one of the most immoral crimes, murder, end up receiving a death sentence. The practice of execution has been debated for centuries.

Marshall Sims, Staff Writer

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The majority of serial killers in the United States have been sentenced with the death penalty to some degree. From Ted Bundy and his execution in the electric chair in 1989, to John Wayne Gacey’s death by lethal injection in 1994, execution has been a popular punishment for mass murderers throughout history. Both of the aforementioned killers were horrid people, but some people have questioned whether or not the death penalty is humane and ethical.

“I don’t actually agree with the death penalty for a few reasons,” revealed Sally White, Central’s tenth grade English teacher. “Of course, there are many documented instances of wrongful convictions that ended in the tragic execution of innocent people.”

Her point highlights the belief that no government should be in control of pushing the boundaries of someone else’s life. Some individuals may disagree, though, since execution would seem like a fair trade off for people who have taken the lives of others. One point the opposition may fail to consider is the fact that some criminals see death as a way to escape the life-long hatred that they are bound to receive from the rest of the world.

“I don’t think the government should be in the business of death. If I had done something like that, I might be relieved to die for it rather than live with my guilt,” continued White.

“A guilty person shouldn’t be put to death. [It depends] on the crime,” declared Sophomore Shawn Hudgens.

Aileen Wuornos, for example, killed seven men that she claimed had tried to rape her. Her excuse of self-defense did not hold up well in court because she later admitted to killing some of the men without a reason. Her guilty plea led to her execution by lethal injection.

“Although we may never know the true story of Aileen Wuornos, it isn’t necessary to put her to death; there could’ve been truth to that story,” said Hudgens.

On the other hand, Hudgens also believes that in some cases the death penalty is necessary, because people have been stripped of their lives and families. Sometimes, the idea of a guilty murderer being allowed to roam the streets, or live a relatively calm life in solitude imprisonment, does not sit well with a victim’s family.

Regardless of one’s stance on the matter, most people would agree that the current legislation and law enforcement ramifications do need to be reformed. In some cases, people are wrongfully detained, while others may serve lengthy terms for small crimes. Either way, the human rights and morals of all people should be considered at all times, even the ones who break the law.

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