December 12, 1984, the first jolt failed to kill Alpha Otis Stephens, he struggled for eight minutes before a second jolt finished the job. The first jolt took two minutes, and then there was a six-minute pause. During this six-minute pause body could cool before physicians could examine him and declare that another jolt was needed. Stephens took 23 breaths, during that six-minute interval. Such incidents prove that the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and should be replaced by life in prison. The following reasons prove that the death penalty harms rather than helps any quest for a just, humane society.
The Bible requires the death penalty for a wide variety of crimes, including sex before marriage, adultery, and homosexual behavior, doing work on Saturday and murder.Somehow people became more tolerant; they eliminated the death penalty for several sins. Sins such as the following:
- Pre-marital sex
- Practicing a different religion
People might as well eliminate the death penalty for murder as well. In fact, according to the Bible an individual who dies without being "saved" (during an execution) will go to Hell for eternal punishment. By killing the person, we are eliminating some individuals' chance for salvation. Human life has intrinsic value, even if a person has murdered another. Nobody should ever be killed, even by the state.
Moreover, human beings such as the poor, males, and racial minorities are over-represented among those executed. A study of over 2 dozen convicted criminals on death row found that all had been so seriously abused during childhood that they probably all suffered from brain damage. To further this subject, women convicted of murder are almost never executed. For instance, in March 1998 Judy Beenano aged 54 in Florida, was called the "Black Widow" for poisoning her husband, drowning her son and trying to blow up her fiancé. ...