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Fifth, It Does Not Dissuade. If the foreknowledge of any punishment is meant to dissuade thecriminal from committing the crime, why do people still murder others? The US had a 2012 murder rateof 4.8 victims per 100,000—meaning that nearly 15,000 people were victims of homicide that year.Capital punishment does not appear to be doing its job; it doesn’t seem to be changing every criminal’smind about killing innocent people. If it does not dissuade, then it serves no purpose. The warning oflife in prison without parole must equally dissuade criminals.Sixth, It Is Hypocritical. It is strange that a nation would denounce the practice of murder bycommitting the very same act. By doing so, we’re essentially championing the right to life by taking itfrom others. True—as a whole, we are not murderers, and understandably refuse to be placed in thesame category as someone like Ted Bundy. But to many opponents of the death penalty, even Ted Bundyshould have been given life without parole. The fact that he murdered at least thirty people—for themere reason that he enjoyed doing it—has no bearing on the hypocrisy, the flagrant dishonesty, of thedeclaration that such a person deserves to be killed because he had no right to kill. If the goal of any punishment, as stated above, is to teach us those things we should not do, then thejustice system should more adequately teach the criminality of killing by refusing to partake in it.Seventh, It Is Always Cruel. In the end, though, death is always at least a little painful. Perhapsthe only truly peaceful way to go is while asleep—but no one has ever come back to say that this didn’thurt. If your heart stops while you sleep, it is certainly possible that your brain will recognize a problemand wake you up at the very moment when it is too late. So what we cannot help but let Nature oughtwe not to force on others for any reason. If we do so, it might be fair to say that we law-abiding people,who embody the justice system, are guilty of equal cruelty towards criminals who commit murder. The
United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, for one, dictates that “no one shall be subjectedto torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”In the US, there are five legalmethods of execution: lethal injection, electrocution, firing squad, hanging, and gassing. These are allintended to be as painless as possible, but they all run the risk of accidents. John Wayne Gacy, who wasnot afraid of death, was executed via lethal injection—the most efficient, risk-free method. Yet his deathdid not go as planned.The sodium thiopental entered his bloodstream successfully and put him to sleep.