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Simpson Street Free Press

Editorial: Abolish the Death Penalty

Should we have the death penalty? The death penalty applies to a prisoner who has been sentenced to die, but has not yet been executed. Capital punishment is the execution of an offender sentenced to death after conviction of a serious criminal offense by court of law. People with such a sentence sometimes spend many years in prison waiting to be executed.

People who support the death penalty often think that if someone takes a life, their life should be taken as well. However, that is not the message we should be giving to society. There are many reasons why the execution of people should not happen. If a person kills someone, that person should learn about how wrong their actions were, yet their life should not be taken away. Jail should be a rehabilitation.

The death penalty has been proven to be racist and discriminatory against low-income people who cannot afford an expensive lawyer. George Stinney, an African American teenager, was executed for being accused of killing two white children who were ages seven and 11. There was no proof that Stinney had committed the crime, but he was bullied into a confession and sentenced to death by an all-white jury. He was just 14-years-old; he was too young to die. He could have focused on other matters and lived his life to the fullest. Stinney’s family is still trying to earn him a retrial and clear his name. Nothing will bring him back though.

After 1977, the number of executions in the United States increased. It then peaked in 1998 with nearly 100 executions that year. Since 1998, the executions have steadily decreased to 21 executions in 2019. Two-fifths of states have eliminated the death penalty. Most states are opposed to the death penalty even though their laws have not been changed.

The death penalty is not the best way to teach people that killing is wrong! No one deserves to be executed!

[Sources: kids.britannica.com; Death Penalty Information Center]

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