Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Capital Punishment

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Capital Punishment

When the discussion on capital punishment arises I am completely for it. I honestly believe that if you take someone else’s life then that person who committed the crime should suffer the same fate. I know it seems harsh when you make a statement as such, but when you consider the facts that one human being took the life of another as if it had no meaning, then that person should be put to death.

A firm believer of the death penalty is Ronnie Earle, a veteran Texas prosecutor. In the late 80’s Earle started telling people that he was worried that capital punishment had become “a coarsening factor in the culture” (Cloud). I think what the prosecutor was trying to say is that during that time of his life he was almost to the point where he could change his way of thinking on the death penalty. Maybe as to saying that the death penalty was unethical and cruel punishment, but then came Kenneth McDuff. Kenneth McDuff had been convicted of murder decades earlier before Ronnie Earle came in association with McDuff. McDuff and a friend had been convicted in the summer of 166 for the abduction and murder of three teenagers--two boys and a girl. McDuff and his friend robbed the teenagers and then shot the two boys several times in the head and then raped the girl repeatedly before killing her. They were both sentenced to die, but in 1997 the Supreme Court ruled the death penalty system unconstitutional, which along with other death row inmates they were sentenced to serve a life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. Because overcrowding in the prisons in Texas, McDuff along with other long time inmates were released on parole. McDuff had relocated to Waco, Texas, and it was not long before young women in the area started to come up missing.  Earle’s office prosecuted McDuff of killing a 8 year old accountant from Austin, Texas. Again McDuff was sentenced to die in 1994 and four years later it was carried out.

“Earle says anyone who opposes capital punishment must grapple with the lessons of McDuff’s case. He was a clear and present danger, says Earle. I guess a true [death penalty] abolitionist would say, ’put this guy in jail for life,’ but he had already gotten that punishment, and he got out. Also, murderers can kill again in prison. It happens all the time. The death penalty is a necessity in these cases” (Cloud). Ronnie Earle has come to prefer the metaphor, I am the gatekeeper,” he says. “I don’t care ask my boss, the public, to sit in judgment of somebody that I don’t think deserves to die. That’s why they elect me, to exercise that judgment and not bother them” (Cloud). Mr. Earle believes that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and if an individual commits a heinous crime that is inhumane to society and that individual presents a clear and present danger, then that individual should be subject to capital punishment.

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“The perpetrators of the April 1995 Oklahoma City bombing deserve the death penalty, because of the extreme cruelty of the crime. Catholics should not try to undermine the morality of capital punishment with religious arguments, but should accept the notion of retributive punishment” (Baumann). I think that all people involved with this crime should be put to death. You have to think of the countless number of people that died that day and for what, so the McVeigh’s movement or group can be heard. I have no remorse for these types of individuals who take peoples lives in vain and that they do not care what type of impact it has on the victim’s families. Even though the two main players in this conspiracy have been caught and one already put to death and one still pending, I think the government should concentrate in catching the rest of the group and instilling the same fate as McVeigh. “If justice means anything, it means that the willful, premeditated murder of the innocent cannot be seen to be tolerated” (Baumann).

When you talk about the death penalty there is always going to be someone bringing up the fact about innocent people being convicted and sentenced to death? The Death Penalty Information Center is the leading source of antideath penalty material in the United States. “The DPC claims that 0 cases out of 7,000 sentenced to death were released from death row with evidence of innocence since 1997. It appears that the death penalty may well be this country’s most accurate criminal sanction, when taking into account the percentage of actual innocent convicted (0.4 percent) and the thoroughness of preventing those allegedly innocent from being executed” (Sharp).

I have expressed my views on the death penalty and the views of others and the fact is that the death penalty is necessary. The fact is that executed murders do not harm or murder again. Murders with life sentences tend to get out and do the same, murder.


Cloud, J. Guarding Death’s Door. Time, v16, i, p46

Baumann, P. An editorial dissent. (Death penalty favored for Oklahoma City bombers). Commonweal.

Sharp, D. (00). Still Necessary. (death penalty). World and I.

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