Tag Archives: Death Penalty

The Death Penalty

Over spring break, a lot of articles surfaced concerning the trial of Nikolas Cruz, the mass shooter of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. One particular article featured in The New York Times caught my eye. The article was titled Florida Will Seek Execution of Nikolas Cruz in Parkland Shooting Trial.” Court cases that aim for the death penalty continue to surprise me for a reason that may seem very morbid and inhumane; death is an escape from an eternal surrender of freedom. Furthermore, on a more economical note,  it costs more to execute someone than it does to give them life in jail without the possibility of parole. The main point of the art

-icle was to inform the public of the prosecutors’ overall goal in regard to Cruz vs. The State of Florida. This is a very controversial topic because we, as a society, are not in a position to play God, yet we still take                the decision upon ourselves to do so. Besides the obvious and logical fact that our nation is in dire need of stricter gun control, the discussion of how to deal with those who commit such atrocities rarely surfaces.  Our justice system will sentence the death penalty, when deemed justifiable, but is capital punishment ever justifiable?

In the article, the prosecutor stated that this, “certainly is the type of case the death penalty was designed for.” In all honestly, I have no idea what that means. When were we granted the right to play God? There is nothing to gain from the execution of a wretched individual. The only major benefit is the quality of life for the prisoner being executed, since they will not have to spend the rest of their life rotting in prison.

In the simplest of terms, death is the easy way out. When considering the options that are on the table for Nikolas Cruz, they are either life in prison without parole or the death penalty. Nikolas Cruz stole the lives of seventeen innocent people and, consequently, affected hundreds of others, so why put him to death? Time is a gift, but it can also be a punishment. Locking an individual in a small space, thereby stripping them of their freedom, has been shown to have detrimental and degradative psychological effects, not to mention, imprisonment will save taxpayer money.


Our nation is obsessed with taxes. When major elections approach, one of the first topics to emanate is taxes. In the majority of states, capital punishment, meaning lethal injection, costs more than it does to imprison someone. According to The Death Penalty Information Center, Florida would save about 51 million dollars a year if they instead sentenced prisoners on death row to life without the possibility of parole. There are currently 347 people on death rowin Florida and it costs an estimated 3.2 million dollars for each individual executed. There are a multitude of other things that money could be allocated to, such as better funding to schools, lowering rates of homelessness, or literally anything besides than killing more people.







Amazing Grace Last Words

         The Kelly Gissendaner case has been in the media for almost two years now. I remember about a year ago signing a petition to not have her executed. On Wednesday the 30, Gissendaner was finally executed: the first female prisoner executed in Georgia in the last 70 years. This case was incredibly similar to the Terry Shaivo case because two sides were fighting over the life of a woman, and even the Pope got involved.

        Gissendaner was convicted of murder in 1997 for persuading her lover to kill her husband, though she did not commit the actual murder. The Pope, Kelly’s children, and many liberals around the country pleaded to not have Kelly given the death penalty while the family of her late husband prayed that the legal system would come through and put her to death. Much of the controversy around the case expounded from the fact that Kelly, throughout her many years in prison, Kelly converted to christianity and became very strong in her faith. She prevented women from committing suicide in prison, encouraged other women to turn their lives around, and created a theology study for other prisoners (helped some by Emory). Sadly, none of these people could help Kelly in the end and the Georgia government sentenced her to death anyway.

          While I could spend an extended amount of time discussing the ethics and effectiveness of the death penalty in America, (which I do not agree with) something even more interesting comes in to play when looking at the Gissendaner case. When Kelly was finally executed, not only did she sing Amazing Grace, but her final worlds were incredibly meaningful and representative of why people were fighting for her life. In a fit of tears, she exclaimed “and I love you Sally. And I love you Susan. You let my kids know I went out singing Amazing Grace. And tell the Gissendaner family I am so sorry. That amazing man lost his life because of me and if i could take it back, if this would change it, I would have done it a long time ago. But it’s not. And I just hope they ding peace. And I hope they find some happiness. God Bless you.”

There are many important parts of this speech. The idea of final last words is strong and here I think Kelly attempts to find some reception before she dies, and she also addresses the fact that her dying doesn’t change anything about the murder that was done, however she clearly very much wishes she could change the fact that the murder happened. It means a lot that in the moments before she was about to die, Kelly is hoping for the lives of the people that are putting her to death.