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Death penalty is not an accurate form of justice

Religious Reflection

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 13:09

Every night when the local news is turned on, citizens of New Orleans and the metro area are bombarded with reports of murders that happened on the streets.

Crime is an increasing problem in our city. In Louisiana, when murderers are caught and found guilty, they can receive the death penalty, which in my personal opinion is morally wrong.

Capital Punishment is a long- standing tradition in all societies. Since the beginning of time, people have followed the “eye-for-an-eye” law and have simply gotten rid of the trouble makers in society.

However, now that prisons have
evolved, only the more severe and dangerous murderers are given the death penalty in states that still have Capital Punishment.

The American justice system has three different degrees of murder that define its severity (if there is such a thing as a less- severe murder).

First-degree murder takes planning and thought. In order for a murder to be considered second- degree, the killer must have committed the crime in a moment of passion. Third-degree murder is usually caused by negligence or the intent to cause harm without meaning to kill.

Currently, 33 states have the death penalty, and it seems that laws are being passed all the time to try to reduce murderers’ sentences to life in prison.

Prison is a scary thought, and I personally know of a few people who have been incarcerated.

Growing up, I heard stories of stabbings and drug deals gone wrong behind the prison walls. I know people who have had
unfortunate run-ins in prison because other inmates thought that they looked weak. In prison, the weak do not survive; they are often raped, stabbed or beaten to death.

I believe that the death penalty is the easy way out of life. When a person commits a crime, he/she deserves to be punished.

However, if we consider Capital Punishment a real penalty for murder, than the killer is getting off way too easy. I feel as if there is more suffering in prison than from dying by lethal injection.

Lethal injection is supposed to be humane; yet, I cannot help but feel that these people do not deserve mercy.

If they could kill someone, then why should they be shown any form of mercy?
Another reason I am against the death penalty is because I do not think people have the right to pick and choose who lives or dies. I do not like the idea of playing God and taking away anyone’s life.

Being raised Catholic, I consider
human life to be sanctioned by God alone.

Yet government officials want to take away the lives of murderers because they took the life of another.

Personally, I do not like the idea of my tax money going to feeding prisoners and keeping them alive; however, from the stories I have heard of the Orleans Parish Prison, I do not mind that rapists and murderers are being kept there for life.

Everyone deserves justice; however, taking away life is not justice. It would be just to let them rot away in prison, where they would never know what could happen the next day.

I, honestly, would rather die than have to spend the rest of my life in prison, never knowing freedom again.

Kaitlyn O’Connor is a history sophomore and can be reached at
kfoconno@loyno.edu

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9 comments Log in to Comment

Daniel Quick
Mon Oct 8 2012 15:41
Commenters,

If you're interested in extending your thoughts on any of the subjects in the Maroon, please feel free to send them to dtquick@loyno.edu or letter@loyno.edu. If they are a minimum of 450 words, we'd be happy to publish them at some point in the future.

Best,
Daniel Quick, Op/Ed editor

Anonymous
Sat Oct 6 2012 19:58
I love that people actually have the time to sit here and criticizes what the maroon write.. who gives a shit, move on with your damn lives. Christ.
Anonymous
Mon Oct 1 2012 23:29
I know that I am a little late in commenting on this but I wanted to make a couple of notes. Being the religious section of the Maroon, I wished that you had taken a more, shall I say, compassionate approach to this topic? I do understand the impulse from the author that convicted murders receive some sort of punishment but, this notion is tied in to the comment that:

"Growing up, I heard stories of stabbings and drug deals gone wrong behind the prison walls. I know people who have had unfortunate run-ins in prison because other inmates thought that they looked weak. In prison, the weak do not survive; they are often raped, stabbed or beaten to death."

Therefore, you are implying that you wish for these people to spend the rest of their lives being raped, stabbed, and beaten. Where is the Christian compassion in that?
This statement is followed by the sentiment that:

"Personally, I do not like the idea of my tax money going to feeding prisoners and keeping them alive"

Making that statement is contradicting your professed stance of being against the death penalty. Either you agree with your money feeding prisoners and keeping them alive, or you agree with the death penalty. Our legal system does not offer other options.
Furthermore, I was surprised that the author did not take the opportunity to touch on the Social Justice issues surrounding this topic. After all, we are at a Jesuit University. Why was it not addressed that the death penalty is not enacted consistently and is largely regional? What about the known cases where an innocent person was killed by the death penalty? Or the fact that there is a correlation between race and sentencing (if a white person is killed it is more likely for their murderer to be sentenced to the death penalty than if a black person was killed). There are even issues about the state of representation for those being sentenced.
In this entire article, the only mention of religion made was as follows:

"Another reason I am against the death penalty is because I do not think people have the right to pick and choose who lives or dies. I do not like the idea of playing God and taking away anyone's life.

Being raised Catholic, I consider
human life to be sanctioned by God alone."

The only statement that you made which could be considered an argument from any kind of faith standpoint. My main contention is not about the stance against the death penalty which the author took, it is about the harsh, non-factual standpoint the author attempted to argue.

Anonymous
Mon Sep 24 2012 14:07
I'm pretty sure it is 32 states that have the death penalty.. Maybe you should check your facts before your write a column.. Just saying
Anonymous
Mon Sep 24 2012 14:05
I'm pretty sure it's 32 states that have the death penalty
Liz
Sat Sep 22 2012 17:47
I think this column is writer quite well. Her logic may be flawed but I think she presents her case and makes an argument. I don't think I see how this belongs in a state school paper, maybe you should clarify "Old Alum"
Anonymous
Sat Sep 22 2012 15:36
I think this girl doesn't really know what she's talking about. She might have on witty sentence but she's not making a point.
Anonymous
Sat Sep 22 2012 08:56
Dear Old Alum, calling someone out in a public forum is not the best way to do things. If you have a concern about the content you should write an email to the editor (off line) and not publically embarras someone. I realize that it might involve a little more work but everyone will be better served. Alum-90
Old Alum
Fri Sep 21 2012 20:19
My God this was written so poorly you might think it was a state school newspaper. The Maroon was a lot better in my day. Are editorial standards too much to ask for? No offense to the young Ms. O'Connor, but The Maroon's rankings and national prestige won't remain if we continue to publish writers who just aren't ready.

The Maroon use

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