The Death Penalty is Wrong

Capital Punishment, or death penalty, has been a controversial topic since the first criminal was killed. May 5 on Last Week Tonight host John Oliver called the death penalty “a wrong, bad thing the government should not be able to do,” but said that whether you are against the death penalty or not, the evidence graphically demonstrates that lethal injection is a “horrifying” way to carry it out. (

There are many factors that need to be considered before continuing on with a death penalty sentence. Around 4% of people sentenced to death penalty are innocent. There are eyewitness misidentifications, false confessions, and government misconduct.

Oliver brought up another interesting point, based on a study in 2009 by Smart in Crime, they found that lethal injection is quite expensive. Government uses taxpayer money to pay the medical professional, pay for the chemicals to create the injection, and pay for their time in prison while waiting for their penalty.

People often argue that the waiting portion inmates go through is cruel and unusual. The fact of not knowing which day will be your last is a scary feeling. There have been criminals with a death penalty sentence who are still in prison ten, twenty years later.

One of the biggest issues is finding a medical professional to create and administer the lethal injection. Medical professions would be violating their morals and ethics to go through with killing a human being that has other options. Physicians’ jobs are to help the sick, mentally and/or physically, get better. Not kill them when their are other, and better, options.

Personally, I think that convicted criminals need to be tested, as they are, for their mental status. They need to be provided with professional psychiatrists and time outdoors. Putting insane murderers in prison with other inmates is a very dangerous thing to do. Imagine having a cannibal in the same cell with an embezzler. That is quite dangerous, however, on the opposite side of that, criminals deemed insane should not be put in an individual cell.

Studies have shown that all humans need human interaction, fresh air, and new scenery. No human, sane or not, will do well if put in a padded cell and left alone. They eat in the cell, sleep in the cell, spend every second in there.

The death penalty is a cruel way to kill people. I believe that we need to asses these convicted criminals and based on that determine the outcome.