New Media Academy at Hollywood High School

My message: End the death penalty

Dear future president,

Someone just got murdered, so what now? With all of your anger and love you will bring them back by killing yet another person for what’s already been done? People every day die, but others are murdered by someone else who decided they had the power to end a person’s life.

Our ideas of right and wrong then get mixed up because trying to punish someone telling them that what they did is wrong, shouldn’t be shown by doing the exact same thing they did in the first place. For every murder there is, you want to add another death to it. The death penalty should not be even a slight consideration of a way to show justice upon any human being.

The methods used to follow along the death penalty aren’t as quick and effective as they are said to be. When using the lethal injection, the inmate falls into a heavily sedated state where they are still very conscious about what is going on around them but they have no control over their mobility or speaking. While their skin is boiling on the inside and tearing them apart, they can’t move nor scream or do anything and everyone else around them is there thinking that they’ve already died.

When an inmate is electrocuted, they have to go through several minutes, if not hours, of pain before they are dead as well. Their whole body slowing burns up from the electric shocks and as they continue the process, smoke comes out from the inmate’s body and the smell of burnt dead skin fills up the whole room.

The Eighth Amendment of the constitution clearly states that there shouldn’t be any “unusual punishments” given to anyone, but yet the death penalty has been happening for decades. It’s 2016 and yet with all the new materials that have been brought up that can be used to punish people, it seems as if we are living during the medieval times and things just go straight to one conclusion, “Off with their heads!”

“Cases without the death penalty cost $740,00, while cases where the death penalty is sought cost $1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year than a prisoner in general population. There are 714 inmates on California’s death row (DPIC 2,3).” The death penalty not only affects the inmates and our community but it also the economy. These taxes that could be used on other things that actually benefit us like public schools or fixing streets.

If someone has committed the crime of killing another person, they should be punished by having their lives taken away from them in a sensible manner. To be locked up in jail for life without seeing the outside world, without being with friends, without family, without the simple things they enjoy like the food and clothe. That is the way to take life away from someone as a right punishment, making them miserable and always remembering that they’re there because of the life they took from an innocent.

Future president, if you want to make justice upon someone, the death penalty isn’t the answer. Out of so many sentences that could be given to them, no matter how cruel and wrong it is the crime that they committed, they can justly pay for what they did by spending the rest of their lives in jail; away from our community and with the rest of the soulless criminals.


Katherine Villatoro

New Media Academy at Hollywood High School

Los Angeles, Calif.