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Culture

Capital Punishment: Execute Speedily

The American crime system suffers from numerous problems that swifter action would fix.

Willie Richardson · Sep. 18, 2019

Do you believe our penitentiary system is a failure? Do you think mass incarceration is disproportionate in America? Did you know that since 1984 the incarceration rate has increased 400%? If you answered yes to the majority of these questions, we are on the same page. However, this is where we might differ. I believe in capital punishment. Not just in theory, but based on the Bible.

“Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” —Ecclesiastes 8:11 KJV

When a man’s heart is “fully set in them to do evil,” a 20-year sentence with a hot and a cot will not work. That person needs to feel the judgement of capital punishment. Prospective criminals will get the memo that crime does not pay. The penitentiary has not proven effective in lowering crime rates.

A year after the 2016 election, President Donald Trump tweeted, “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” about one criminal suspect. He also recently called for the execution of anyone who kills a police officer: “NYC terrorist was happy as he asked to hang ISIS flag in his hospital room. He killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”

Trump’s first year saw a slight rise in death sentences and executions, but those are the product of the states. Support for capital punishment in the U.S. is at about 55%, its lowest point in more than four decades. Is the modern day penitentiary system deterring criminals, as would capital punishment?

The word penitentiary comes from the root word “penitent,” which comes from the word “repentant.” In the late 1700s, the Quaker pacifists from Europe thought it was a good idea to set up a prison system in which criminals would become “penitent” after incarceration. They were wrong! The “penitentiary system” itself cannot change the hearts of criminals. Nonetheless, when punishment is “executed speedily” it can and will curb violent crime. The current criminal-justice policy is shortsighted and designed for massive incarceration. The system is perfectly designed to get the results it yields.

In America, we have the highest per capita number of inmates in the Western world, coupled with the highest crime rate. Forty-one percent of American juveniles and adults have been arrested by the time they turn 23. According to 2017 FBI Crime Statistics:

  • In 2017, there were an estimated 1,247,321 violent crimes in America.

  • Aggravated assaults accounted for 65% of violent crimes reported to law enforcement in 2017.

  • Robbery offenses accounted for 25.6% of violent crime offenses; rape (legacy definition) accounted for 8%; and murder accounted for 1.4%.

  • Information collected regarding types of weapons used in violent crime showed that firearms were used in 72.6% of the nation’s murders, 40.6% of robberies, and 26.3% of aggravated assaults.

Before I go any further, let me mention that not one gun has ever killed a human being. People kill people with inanimate objects i.e. (guns, knives, bats, pipes, bricks, etc.).

The reason there is massive incarceration is that the system refuses to authorize capital punishment to deter violent crime. From 1976 to 2015, only 1,392 executions occurred in the United States. Despite millions of violent crimes occurring every year, our criminal-justice system has perfected a way to make prison seem like Disneyland on Ice. Violent criminals know they can get off in less than a decade and be back on the streets.

The incarceration project is a $75 billion failed experiment. The penitentiary system to date actually makes crime worse. Inmates gather intel on how to become better criminals to beat the system. They learn “how not to get caught.” Besides, rape, homosexuality, gang violence, race wars, and brutal fighting is encouraged within those concrete walls built for “repentance.”

2010 was the first year in nearly 40 years that the number of incarcerated individuals in America did not increase. Imagine how many less rapes, murders, and armed robberies would occur if the long arm of the law enforced capital punishment.

With swift action taken against evil crimes, the hearts of American men and women could be deterred from doing evil.

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