An eye for an eye?

Hazel McCallion Senior Public School
Mississauga, Ontario

By Erica B. (Grade 8)

Death row. It makes me think of a dream I once had. I am walking down a long spooky hallway. It twists and turns around dozens of spider-infested corners, cluttered with old shoes and a broken skeleton. The sounds of the other inmates laughing and screaming haunt me. I await my doom ... "the chamber of death."

Is capital punishment meant to scare people just enough so they won't commit a crime? Maybe, but unfortunately, we don't have capital punishment in Canada, and people like Paul Bernardo crowd the jail cells all over Canada. Bernardo isn't suffering. He's got his own cell along with other items of convenience, like a television. The only way he'll suffer is if he were executed. Death is forever, jail is temporary. Who knows, the offender might, and probably will (if statistics are to be believed), commit more offenses after he is released!

Death as a form of punishment should be used everywhere. If it were, there would be fewer people in jail, which means taxes wouldn't be spent on their cable television and meals. If a person is evil enough to take another person's life, then they should face reality and be given the ultimate punishment. An eye for an eye, it's only fair. The victim didn't ask to be killed and, without the death penalty, the victim and their family are the only ones to suffer. The murderer, too, should suffer. Knowing that they are going to be killed, is the ultimate punishment.

In jail, the criminals are given things, like television and food, things that many people who are homeless don't have. In jail, all they have to do is take a tray and line up. They don't suffer at all. Most have probably seen worse places. Compared to the streets, they live like kings. In jail, there is no rent to pay, no groceries to buy and, most of all, they don't have to work ... no financial worries. If we had the death penalty in Canada, then the offenders would really pay for what they did.

The justice system and the supporters of a "humane" punishment might think that jail leaves a permanent effect on people but no one can read the offenders' minds. They might even like it in jail. Offenders might have friends in jail, they have no responsibilities, and some may not have any family on the outside. When they get out, they could kill again. The killer's death can prevent them from killing again. Why not prevent and correct the problem before it happens, instead of hoping it won't happen to us?

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