Persuasive Essay: Death Penalty vs. Life Sentence
In the short story “The Bet”, the protagonists became entangled in a heated debate about the death penalty, life in prison, and which was more humane; done without inflicting more harm/ pain than is necessary. As stated in the story, “the death penalty is more humane than life in prison” (210).
When a man is dealt the hand of life imprisonment, they are forced to spend their life in a cold, eerie cell until the day they die. “Capital punishment kills a man at once, lifelong imprisonment kills him slowly” (212). The death penalty is done rather quickly and painlessly. Once it’s done, it’s done. However, when a man spends their life in prison, they have years upon years to sit and live with their decision, to subsist with the guilt and agony of their actions, year after year of regret and pain eating away at their well-being. If the question is about which choice is more humane, wouldn’t the side that ends a man’s life quickly be more sufficient than a side that slowly breaks him down emotionally, causing him years of suffering?
In order to be sentenced to the death penalty, a man must commit a severe crime; for example, murder. If a man were to murder another, the rational thing to do would be to take his life away by sentencing them to death. The argument about it being “humane” counterbalances itself. First of all, committing murder is in no way humane, so why should the punishment of the killer be any different? Why should their life be sparred if what they did was completely and utterly inhumane?
Due to the fact that the death penalty kills a man quickly and somewhat painlessly as well as the fact that whatever they’ve done was so inhumane that they don’t deserve a lighter punishment, the death penalty is more humane than life in prison.