Kirjoittanut: Kasperi Pitkänen - tiimistä Crevio.
What would you do if you woke up one day with the police on the door saying you are guilty of a murder you didn’t do?
After the trial you get the message that you will spend your last years on death row and in x number of years you will get executed. In the US, 4% of the people getting executed are innocent. Although several people are innocent, 31 states still have death penalty. In Europe, Belarus is only country where death penalty is still on use. In Russia they’re paused – whatever that means.
I looked through the execution lists, and since 2015 89 people have gotten executed in USA. 4% of 89 is 3,5 which means that we kill, on average, one innocent person each year. There was a case where a woman named Jennifer Thompson got raped and she was lucky to survive. Afterwards she identified Anthony Ray as her attacker. Nearly 30 years later a new DNA evidence proved that he wasn`t the attacker and he got freed in 2015. According to an article from BBC Jennifer then said she felt “deep grief and shame for contributing to an innocent man going to prison for something he hadn`t done. If there is a chance that someone could be innocent, I can`t be in favour of a punishment that is so final”. Jennifer changed her mind because she almost contributing to killing an innocent person. I believe that people are against or for death penalty depending on their own experiences. (Kesby, 2015)
I have my whole life been very strict about death penalty. In my opinion, if you take out someone’s life for no reason – you don’t deserve to live. Nowadays, there is so good police evidence and investigation that can be done which will help to solve the purposely and not purposely kills from each other. There is lot of talk about that who has the right to take out somebody’s life in death penalty. Is there someone who we can agree with everyone that is eligible to do that? I think not, but do the person have right to live after he/she has took someone’s life without any rights? No, so that’s why we keep running in the same circle all the time. But in the end, I believe in that, if it happens there is bigger reason/meaning why it happened. But it’s understandable that emotions can be a problem.
First of all, it’s hard to draw the line between revenge and justice. And what makes us different from the murder. The people getting executed are getting executed, because they killed someone, so how can it be that we have the right to kill someone? According to Robbie Blecker a professor at New York Law school said in a documentary “We have the responsibility to kill someone when they deserve it (Blecker, 2009)”. Obviously, they deserve a punishment for what they have done, but do they deserve to die? It depends on the crime. Finland and the US have different opinions about death penalty. In Finland most of the people are against death penalty contrary the US where 63% are for death penalty. But the US are executing less people every year. If you look on an execution list from 2000 and from 2017 it would show us that in 2000 84 people got executed, while in 2017 it was only 23. That’s a drastic difference so who knows maybe the death penalty is about to die in the US too. (DPIC, 2023)
For me, the death penalty distant topic, because in Finland it has been denied very long time. It would be interesting to see and experience that would my opinion change in this topic if it would be everyday thing in our country or if it would happen to my relatives or close friends. That’s sure that emotions will change your thinking in this topic, but if you’re able to think only with your mind and not heart, would there be a chance that you still think that your family member, relative or friend has deserved the death sentence? Also, one thing that we can concern is would it been cheaper to stop the death sentences or not.
The conclusion can have a lot of answers, because it’s so many things you must take in consideration. The conclusion of this would be different for every person you would ask, because we all have different opinions and experiences. The death penalty is an interesting topic it has many different sides and I don’t believe we will ever agree on what’s the wrong and right thing to do. In my opinion we are in the right way where we are doing less executions, but we still should keep that option available for radical crimes.
In this essay we only talked about scratch of it, and it would be very interesting topic to discuss with several people.
What is your opinion in this topic? Should they be prohibited or not?
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Blecker, R. 2009. Documentary : Robbie Blecker wants me dead.
Death Penalty Information Center. 2023. Execution list 2000. Read 13.04.2023 https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/executions-us-2000
Kesby, R. 2015. Is the death penalty dying in the USA. BBC world service https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33006105