Defending the Death Penalty
Aquilina Pucurimay

           In today’s world, horrible crimes are committed daily. Many Americans actively express their opposition to the death penalty  for  these kinds of crime. However, other people believe that criminals who intentionally murder another human being deserve to receive death. Today, the  death penalty is one of the most controversial topics among Americans. My own personal beliefs support legal execution. The death penalty shouldn’t be abolished for criminals such as gang members who kill for fun or out of hatred, for criminals who kidnap for ransom and assassinate their victims, or for cases of  rape-murder. I am against abolishing the death penalty because it provides retribution, deterrence, and fairness, and it protects American citizens  from potential dangerous serial and habitual psychotic criminals.

            Like many Americans, I agree that the death penalty is necessary for criminals who execute human beings in a malicious manner. For this kind of criminal, the ancient concept of  “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” should be applicable as retribution for the cruelty of their crimes. However, opponents of the death penalty argue that the damage already has been done and can’t be fixed by retribution. I don’t buy their opinion.  For many years, I was against any type of death penalty. I  changed my perspective two decades ago when Miguel Bacigalupo, who is an inmate on death row in San Quentin prison, assassinated my sister’s brothers-in- law. Those people who are against the death penalty don’t know the suffering of the victims' families. For example, my sister’s family were emotionally distraught when they heard in the courtroom the confession of the cold-blooded killer who shot these two prosperous businessmen in the back of the head.  My sister’s brothers-in-law were lovely fathers of five and six little children, all of whom suffered greatly from missing their fathers. As a result, they were never able to have their fathers play with them, help them do their homework, or share with them a Christmas family party.  It is not enough to simply remove criminals from our communities; we need to be more severe with them. I think this kind of criminal feels that they possess the will to take the life of any human being, and they don’t care about the law. Furthermore, they are not able to feel remorse for their crimes. Therefore, our society needs to end these criminals' lives for the common good, and for justice for the victims’ families, who only see human justice done when the killer receives the same fate as those they killed.

    The death penalty is also a deterrent for potential criminals in that it may make them think twice before committing cruel crimes. Although opponents of the death penalty argue that it doesn't deter crime,  I agree with most Americans that the death penalty does deter criminals, and it is the best way to punish cold-blooded killers. Killers’ executions would maximize public safety through justice, and it would serve to scare criminals into not committing murder for fear of being punished by death. Our streets would, therefore, be safer for our children. Even though I understand that some cold-blooded killers wouldn’t be deterred by the death penalty, the fact of the matter is that many others would think twice before committing terrible crimes. Therefore, because I believe that a single innocent life counts, I agree with the death penalty because it would at least deter some criminals from killing another human being,

        Finally, the death penalty shouldn’t be abolished because it is unfair for other criminals who have committed lesser types of crimes to serve the same number of years in prison as those who have committed violent crimes and deserve the death penalty. For instance, the three strikes law in California established that any person who commits three crimes is subject to life in prison. It would be unfair for them to be imprisoned for life and be treated the same as convicted  murderers, many of whom show no remorse for their crimes.  This makes no sense to me. The crime of murder deserves the stiffest possible penalty.

       In conclusion, Americans agree that cold-blooded murders must end, but they do not agree about the method of punishment. Although the death penalty wouldn’t stop some criminals, it gives criminals a warning that if they kill other human beings, they are going to receive the same punishment. Killers would not get away with unfair lesser punishment for the terrible crimes they committed. Currently, the controversy about the death penalty is dividing Americans. Because many of them are forming their opinions based on moral and religious beliefs, they are increasing the social pressure about this topic. However, the death penalty does not amount to cruel and unusual punishment; it is the only measure that brings justice to victims' families and helps protect Americans from cold-blooded killers. The death penalty is the best deterrent to violent crime.