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on February 13, 2018

For centuries capital punishment has been around; however, it now only exists in forms of lethal injection and execution. In past times, public punishments were another form of punishment, but no longer are used. The death penalty began in seven hundred B.C. and is now a common form of punishment for those who have committed severe crimes such as: murder, rape, etc. The grieving families of victims are able to receive relief from the death penalty of those who committed acts of a crime. People say that prisoners do not deserve to die; however, as a citizen of the United States criminals that perform heinous acts should be put to death rather than allowed to live their life in a jail cell. The decision comes down to whether or not lethal injection or execution is the way to perform capital punishment.

Lethal injection has been around for forty-one years. In nineteen seventy seven, Oklahoma was the first state to perform lethal injection. Although, thirty six states now have adopted lethal injection as the primary form of execution. From 1977 to 2009, eighty six percent of people have been executed by lethal injection in the United States. Lethal injection is made up of a combination of three drugs to perform an overdose. The three drugs included in the mixture are sodium thiopental,  pancuronium bromide, and potassium chloride. Sodium thiopental cause an unconscious state to begin the process. Pancuronium bromide then paralyzes the body while disabling the breathing. To end the process, potassium chloride is used to interfere with the contractions of the heart and causes the criminal to go into cardiac arrest. Lethal injection is a process in which is not painful for the prisoner.

Compared to lethal injection, the electric chair is a more severe punishment. Although, the difference in time of death takes a big part in the decision process. The time of death produced by an electric chair can take anywhere from two to fifteen minutes, whereas a lethal injection will take from five minutes up to two hours causing a slow death. The process of the electric chair could include the tying down of a prisoner, shaving, as well as possibility of the body catching fire. From nineteen seventy-seven to two thousand nine, thirteen percent of people receiving a capital punishment were put to death by the electric chair. Schindler writes, “[In] 1889, William Kemmler… was sentenced to die… in Auburn Prison’s electric chair, the first in the country. It took eight agonizing minutes to kill him but it did the job, and electrocution soon became the most widely used method of legal execution in the United States.” Once the electric chair was introduced, twenty-six states had changed their form of punishment from a public hanging to the electric chair. However, in today’s system, nine states provide the electric chair as the sole method of punishment due to the severity of the crime.

The death penalty was put into place, because of crime rates. However, many states that have imposed the death penalty are citing that their crime rates have lowered. Once the death penalty is put into place, criminals think twice about the crimes they are about to act on due to the consequences. The death penalty is used as a punishment and a life lesson to those who commit crimes. “It also cited capital punishment’s effectiveness as a crime deterrent and appropriate punishment for the very worst of criminal offenders“. Once the death penalty is decided, prisoners then begin to think about their decisions before they go. Those who commit horrendous crimes such as murder and rape deserve to be treated the way they treat others. Those that have committed heinous crimes need to be put down, and it should be painful. The prisoners receiving the death penalty are receiving it, because they deserve it. Therefore, the electric chair should be the sole form of execution for the prisoners to get what they deserve.

In the United States, many have opposed the death penalty, because they state it is a way of racism. However, in all forms of executions from nineteen seventy-seven to two thousand nine, more Caucasians are put to death than African Americans. “Opponents also argue that capital punishment is an example of institutionalized racism.” Racism is a very serious topic; although, people in today’s societies are using racism as an excuse to blame others. Prisoners who have done wrong deserve to be put down due to their crimes, not their race. Race had nothing to do with the decision to kill someone, only facts do.

People believe that if someone is convicted of committing a crime, they receive the best punishment in a prison cell for life. However, your worst day in prison is always going to be better than taking your last breath in an electric chair. The death penalty allows for others to feel as though the criminal gets what they deserve. Troy Davis states, “Whether you believe in an afterlife or not, the death penalty is the greatest equalizer for justice for society’s greatest monsters. If you believe this world is all there is, that when you die you’re done, then a bad day in prison is better than not existing at all.” Those that lost their loved ones because of a prisoner will receive justice and closure.

The electric chair and a lethal injection are the most popular forms of execution. Those that are wanting relief are not going to get the relief they are wanting by a lethal injection which does not cause any form of pain. Prisoners that have murdered, raped, and even abused victims don’t deserve to take their last breath easily. They need to suffer just like the victims they left behind. The electric chair is a form in which will allow family members of victims to perform the steps of grievance and closure as well as for criminals to pay the price of their crimes.

Works Cited: 

Death Penalty | Encyclopedia of Law and Society – Credo Reference,

“Forms of Execution in the United States, 1977 – 2009 – Death Penalty –” Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?, “Death Penalty” Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed?,

“Capital Punishment: Should Capital Punishment Be Allowed in the United States?” Issues & Controversies, Infobase Learning, 1 Feb. 2016, Accessed 11 Feb. 2018.