The Death Penalty Hits Close to Home

Students React to Death Penalty


On the map above, states in red still use the death penalty. States in blue have abolished the death penalty. The yellow number indicates how many ‘no death penalty!’ armbands are in each state, a cyber campaign to educate the public about how, why, and to whom executions happen in this country and to abolish state-sponsored killings. Photo courtesy of

Cody Shuster, Sports Editor

In the United States, there are many different punishments for many different crimes. One of the most controversial punishments in today’s government is the death penalty.

“I’m against the death penalty because in my opinion, it’s not really a punishment. It doesn’t hurt, so they aren’t suffering at all,” said junior Shelby Hunter.

Other students agree with the death penalty.

“I support the death penalty,” said senior Alexis Sallee. “I feel like if you murder someone then you have lost your right to live since you took another person’s life.”

Through the death penalty, there are five different methods of execution. Lethal injection is the most commonly used form of execution, currently being used in 35 states where the death penalty is legal. A new method of lethal injection has come to a few states now. Instead of using the three-drug protocol to kill the criminal, the government invented a one-drug protocol process.

“I think lethal injection is ethical,” said Sallee. “They don’t go through as much pain during the process.”

Some think the new one-drug lethal injection in unethical.

“I don’t think lethal injection is ethical. The new version seems to be making inmates suffocate rather than going through a painless death,” said freshman Hannah Zimmer.

In the United States, the death penalty has been abolished in 17 states, including Washington D.C. Throughout the world, 141 countries have gotten rid of it.

“I don’t think they [the United States] should get rid of the death penalty,” said senior Allison Ward. “We have had it for so long. If we get rid of the death penalty, the people who want to kill someone could do it and then just have to sit in jail for the rest of their life where they get food, shelter, education, and other amenities that some people may not have outside those walls.”

However, some students feel that the United States does not need the death penalty.

“I think we should get rid of the death penalty. It doesn’t make sense to kill a man because he killed a man. Just let him suffer in prison and think about what he did everyday,”  said sophomore Ross Woods.

Another argument made is that a man should not be sentenced to death for killing a man.

“I don’t think a man should be sentenced to death for killing another man,” said Zimmer. “They should suffer in prison. That would make them think about what they did each and every day about what they have done. That’s more suffering than any form of execution.”

Some students think the death sentence is appropriate based on the crime.

“It sort of makes sense to kill that man. If a human kills another human, then that criminal should be killed for killing another person. If America really does revolve around equality, then that would be the only logical solution,”  said sophomore Alex Olinger.

In light of the recent events, the death penalty has certainly become a topic amongst Northmont students.