There have been many debates on what is right and what is wrong. The death penalty has been a hot button issue for many years. Many people think that it is not moral to kill someone for a crime. Others believe that if you commit a “capital” crime that you deserve “capital” punishment. Who are we to decide what crimes are worse than others? The capital punishment is wrong, no matter what crime you committed. By enacting the death penalty, you are doing exactly what you did not want to happen in the first place. American’s support for the death penalty has changed over time but some people still believe in an eye for an eye or a life for a life. These are the people who think that capital punishment is moral. Even though there are still some firm supporters of the death penalty, its supporters are decreasing. According to a poll taken by ABC News and the Washington Post on June 5, 2014, fiftytwo percent of Americans prefer life without parole over the death penalty. This was the first time that majority agreed against capital punishment.
Back in 1994, seventyfive percent of Democrats supported the death penalty but now only fortynine percent are in favor of it. Even though Republicans still firmly agree with the death penalty, there supporters have decreased from 19942014, from eightyfive to seventysix percent. The United States is one of the remaining countries that enforce the death penalty. Capital punishment does not only affect the person being put on death row but it also impacts their family and the victim’s family. Most families believe that it will give them comfort when it is over. They feel like it does not help them grieve. Gail Rice, whose brother Bruce VanderJagt was murdered in 1997, said, “The death penalty means victim’s families are putting their lives on hold for years, sometimes decades, as they attend new hearings and appeals and relive the murder.” Nobody wants to wake up every morning knowing that they have to relive the death of loved one in order to kill someone else.
The death penalty does not provide surviving families with the help that they need. According to the Equal Justice USA’s website, the death penalty’s complex process removes millions of dollars and attention from much needed services for homicide survivors, including grief counseling, financial assistance, and ongoing support. There are so many unsolved murder cases. Gail LaSuer’s daughter, Monique, was never found. Many families in the same predicament as Gail launched a campaign to end the death penalty and use the savings to fund a cold case unit to find the people who killed their loved ones. Gail has said, “I would rather have a larger number of people caught than have a few executed.”
Continuing with the impact on families. The death penalty has even torn families apart when they need to stick together the most if they have different views.