When those who carry out the most evil of crimes against society, it is the duty of its citizens to carry out justice and retribution. The death penalty preserves society’s freedom. It shows that society has the resolve and the will to carry out the ultimate form of punishment. Without the death penalty, the justice system itself loses credibility and ultimately fails its citizens. The death penalty is the protector of society’s liberty.
The death penalty carries society’s retribution to the most evil in society. Retribution is a response of society allowing it to discharge emotions. H.L. Mencken calls the death penalty a “Katharsis,” which means a “salubrious discharge of emotions, a healthy letting off of steam” (Mencken ed. Muller 127). It is a way to bring closure for society and the victims of the most evil of crimes. Mencken points out that the death penalty should not be issued for “ordinary crimes, (or) even for ordinary homicides” (Mencken ed. Muller 127). Society as a whole needs to see the appropriate response for the most heinous of crimes. Mencken argues that any lesser penalty will make citizens feel “the criminals (have) gotten the better part of society” (Mencken ed. Muller 127). Mencken’s words echo deeply in my mind as we remember the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Those who are against the death penalty, argues that taking life is immoral and does not deter crime. Life imprisonment is offered as an alternative to the death penalty.
In her argument Coretta Scott King states that the Death Penalty becomes irrevocable if the system makes a mistake. Mrs. King believes that some wrongdoers can be rehabilitated and become contributing members of society again. Mrs. King also calls the death penalty inherently raciest. She cites that between “…1930 through 1698, 53.5 percent of those executed were black Americans…” (King ed. Muller 130). Another example of American history’s racist misuse of the death penalty is the...