Death to the Death Penalty

Sophie Newman, Global Affairs Editor

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views of The Prowler.

Clank, clank, clank. That’s the sound of chains dragging as you shuffle your shackled feet down the hallway, escorted by two police officers. After being subjected to a final humiliating strip search, you’re then walked into a room with a single gurney in the middle.

This will be your last memory alive. The main officer tells you to lie on the gurney and you comply; there’s no point in resisting. You stare at the ceiling as your legs, torso, and arms are strapped in. In walks a medical technician who starts the IV. You give your last statement, and the drugs start to flow into your body. The last thing you recall before falling asleep is the calming hand of a pastor on your knee.

If imagining this scenario made your throat feel tight, imagine how the inmates on death row feel, knowing that this will eventually be their reality. Unless, of course, they’ve opted for the gas chamber, in which case they’ll be led into a sealed room and strapped into a chair while cyanide hydrogen gas is pumped into the chamber. You’ll know it’s working when you feel like you’re suffocating and choking all at once. This lasts approximately two minutes, and then you die.

If this sounds horrifying, it should. There’s nothing humane about killing another person, no matter how you do it. Besides, it’s not justice. Killing somebody, no matter the crime, makes no sense. If you truly want to punish the person, let them rot in prison. Don’t give them death as an easy out. Once you’re dead, nothing bad can happen to you. If we view suicide as “a way out,” why do we view the death penalty any differently? It’s nothing but an easy out that enables criminals to avoid prison.

Not to mention, people are often wrongly convicted, and once that person has been to put to death, there’s no rectifying that. You’ve just killed an innocent person — making you the murderer.