Death Penalty Fails to Deter Crime

Death Penalty Fails to Deter Crime

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The death penalty is a contentious subject across our nation. Those against the death penalty make the claim that the intentional killing of another human being is immoral in any situation; and while those who support the death penalty claim that the fear of death by state execution deters crime, that assumption has proven to be false.

Clayton Lockett was executed at the Oklahoma State Prison on April 29th. From the first injection until Lockett finally expired took 43 minutes. The attending physician attempted to attach a second intravenous line into his groin. Blood began to spurt in all directions. The prison warden described it as a ‘bloody mess.’

Although the execution was severely botched, Oklahoma plans to execute four more men on January 15th and 29th, February 19th, and on March 5th.

Scant information was initially revealed about Lockett’s death until a new report was issued Friday.

The attending physician was in and out of the execution chamber. After the first injection, Lockett began to occasionally attempt to raise his body from the bed. Lockett was told to take deep breaths. The blinds were closed; a witness who asked to remain nameless said he was forced to hold Locket down as his efforts to lift himself became more aggressive. An on-duty paramedic attempted to treat the second effort by the doctor to put a line in the groin area. He discovered that an artery had been opened; accounting for all of the blood. He said the doctor appeared somewhat flummoxed. No life-saving efforts were made.

Groups opposed to lethal injections and the death penalty in general, see this case as an opportunity to reopen a serious discussion with the authorities.

Statistics from the state of North Carolina appear to prove that the death penalty is not a deterrent for the commission of violent crime. No one has been executed in North Carolina since 2006. The prosecution has asked for the death penalty in only a handful of cases, and none since 2012.

The North Carolina Department of Justice reports a decrease in the murder rate after the death penalty became a thing of the past. The conclusion was that the death penalty does not deter violent crime.

The majority of inmates on death row were convicted of ‘crimes of passion;’ violent acts while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or because of mental illness which created an unstable person who was unable to understand the consequences of his action.

Murder rates in states which do not have the death penalty are as much as 46 percent lower than those who use the death penalty as a form of punishment.

A 2008 survey of police chiefs across the nation may have been surprising to some. The majority of ranking law enforcement officials placed the death penalty at the bottom of a list which consisted of possible violent crime prevention.

Texas and Oklahoma take pride in the number of executions by their states.Death

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, is proud of his execution record. He has authorized more inmate deaths sentenced to the death penalty than any other governor in history. Under his watch, 234 executions have taken place in 11 years.

Between 1915 and 2014 191 men and three women were executed. 82 were electrocuted; one was hanged; and 111 died by lethal injection.

The United States claims that our nation is the greatest country in the world. Freedom and the sanctity of life top the list of our priorities. It all sounds great, but words often have no value; no meaning.

We have become an uncaring and barbaric nation. Lack of representation for the working class, refusal to pass laws protecting everyone from violent crime, waging endless wars, and the death penalty are proof that America was once a proud and great nation. Even when the evidence exists; when there is no doubt; our government ignores the facts and protects the status quo.

Committing murder is an abhorrent crime, whether it’s committed by an individual or the state.

By James Turnage

Sources:

The Guardian

North Carolina Coalition for Deterrents to the Death Penalty

USA Today

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