Summary Of A Death In Texas By Steve Earle

2229 Words9 Pages
Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, and the debate about its abolition is the largest point of the essay written by Steve Earle, titled "A Death in Texas”. This form of punishment should be abolished for 3 reasons; First, It does not seem to have a direct effect on deterring murder rates, It has negative effects on society, and is inconsistent with American ideals. To begin, the death penalty is unnecessary since it is ineffective at deterring rates of murder. In fact, 88% of the country's top criminologists do not believe the death penalty acts as a deterrent to homicide, according to the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. In opposition, supporters may argue that it may indeed help to deter murder rates as they have…show more content…
Obviously, the death penalty always ends in the loss of life, but these lives are sometimes innocent and sometimes have the potential for rehabilitation. The jury system rarely convicts people wrongly, so it is said. But, it happens often that criminals claim innocence; how many are telling the truth? The number of discovered false executions does not necessarily mean those are the only ones. Supporters may argue it is worth it, but isn't the loss of innocent life what we are all against? Some victims of violent crimes were in the hands of mentally ill or handicapped people. These mentally ill people that kill, do not usually kill out of a lack of moral grounding or "evil". These people typically either do not understand right from wrong or are unable to comprehend the possible outcomes the murder may have on themselves or others around them. Although most mentally ill people do not end up on death row, receiving instead long sentencing or treatment, the number of people who have been executed that were unknowingly mentally ill or had similar faulty thinking, and a potential for rehabilitation cannot be known. Also, capital punishment may normalize or rationalize murder. The death penalty sends a message to citizens; a message that says murder is not outrageous, unless the state is doing it as a sanction. This message helps to justify civilian killings of people believed to be deserving of death and may possibly even cause an uprise in vigilante style murders. This message also leaves an almost open air on what is wrong and provides no consistent moral ground for society to base their beliefs on. This does not mean that people will suddenly think murder is a favorable deed, but it may cause some to not realize how terrible it is. Joseph Summer wrote this in an article titled “Some Adverse Effects of the Death Penalty in History”: “…people learned 3 lessons from the government’s violent example: to use
Open Document