Opinion: Execute the death penalty

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy

The death penalty is an institution that has always been part of society from the oldest legal code of Hammurabi to the United States today. Most Americans support its existence, but I feel this is more acceptance because there is a lack of truly examining what it is.

Conservatives are far more supportive of this punishment than liberals, which contradicts their stated values in several areas. First and foremost, conservatives typically push the idea that we are a “Christian” nation. If this is true, then why is it that they support the institution that killed Jesus Christ himself? They call themselves “pro-life,” but gave a standing ovation to Rick Perry at a 2012 Presidential Primary debate where the moderator acknowledged that he had subjected 234 individuals to the capital punishment, some of which on outdated or questionable evidence. What is important to acknowledge here, which tragically hasn’t been, is that these people being executed are, in fact, people.

Does the government have the authority to choose when a citizen’s life is to expire? This seems to be the most intrusive action a government could take, which makes it ironic for it to be supported by “limited government activists” in the Republican Party. 

It goes even further. Before you are sold on the argument that it would cost too much money to keep death row inmates incarcerated, and that the death penalty is more cost efficient, first know that that is completely heartless, as well as factually untrue. With legal fees accounted for, it is significantly more expensive to go through the execution process than it is to keep an inmate confined. Even more disturbing, however, is the tragic statistic that 4% of executed convicts are later exonerated due to the fact that they were convicted on unreliable evidence.

This means that during Rick Perry’s tenure as governor of Texas, he statistically allowed nine innocent people to die. But the same people applauding Perry for this are outraged because President Obama was possibly somewhat indirectly responsible for the State Department possibly being somewhat responsible for four Americans being killed two years ago on Sept. 11. Since then, they have spent millions investigating this event to try to place responsibility on the president, and continue to fail to implicate Obama on any sort of wrongdoing.

Bottom line, not only does the institution of capital punishment kill people, but also in some cases it kills innocent people. We can never be 100 percent certain of someone’s guilt, so regardless of the moral implications of the process, we must acknowledge that people are executed for murdering innocent people, which is exactly what the death penalty has and will continue to do. 

Contact Ryan McCarthy at [email protected].