Capital Punishment: the Right Way to Go


The Death Penalty is also known as capital punishment. It can be given for many crimes however, the most common is first-degree murder. First-degree murder is any murder that is premeditated and willful. What can cause a person to commit such an atrocious crime? I argue that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for heinous crimes committed.

Ame Deal was a ten-year-old girl who was murdered by her cousins Sammantha Allen and John Allen. Shirley Deal, Ame’s mother, left Ame with her father David Deal after his family abused Shirley. Shirley was forced out of the house without her children. Ame was left in the care of her Aunt Cynthia Stolltzmann. Cynthia would abuse Ame for years. Ame was forced to eat dog feces, crush aluminum cans with her bare feet, drink hot sauce, get beaten with a wooden paddle, and many other acts of abuse. Ame’s last day was spent inside a fourteen by twelve inch box. Her cousin, John Allen put her inside the box for taking a Popsicle while Sammantha watched. The couple then went to sleep and found her dead seven hours later when they went to release her from the box. During the questioning by the police Sammantha and John blamed Ame’s death on a game of hide and seek gone bad. Sammantha was convicted of first-degree murder, four counts of child abuse, and put on death row.

Child abuse is no way a child should be raised. Ame deserves to have her death avenged. The way she died is so cruel. The death penalty is a way for families to receive closure for a loved one that was killed. Ame’s mother believes capital punishment is too nice of a punishment for Sammantha. “The death penalty is too good and too easy for you. I want you to suffer till death, just like you did to my sweet little Amy.” Shirley cannot bring her daughter back. There is no way for her to see, hear, smell, or hold her baby girl again because Sammantha took that away from her. The death penalty is one way that can bring peace to Shirley.

The death penalty is also a decision a jury cannot determine for every criminal. Prisoners are not chosen randomly to be placed on death row. Accoring to Edward Fesser a Philosophy professor, the death penalty “is for the worst of the worst.” Simply put, in some cases incarnation is not enough punishment for the crimes committed. Ame Deal’s murder is one of the crimes where jail time is not good enough for the amount of suffering she had to deal with. Sammantha showed no mercy for Ame’s life. Why should she be given the chance to live? The punishment fits the crime in this case.

Sammantha was not the one who put Ame in the box and locked it, but she did watch and let it happen. She would frequently put Ame in the storage box as punishment. While Sammantha didn’t mean to kill Ame, it was a willful act to put her in the storage bin and leave her in there for hours without food, water, or air. The death penalty is a good deferment for others to commit a crime. According to a study in the 1960s, there was a seven percent crime increase when capital punishment was not in effect. The death penalty can be a deterrent to other criminals to not commit such heinous crimes. It also ensures that Sammantha will not abuse the other eleven children living in the house anymore.

Allen was given the death penalty after much consideration of the judge and jury. The jury finally came to the decision that she should be killed for her crimes. One main determining factor was Sammantha’s lack of empathy. Juror Anne Schaad said, “Lack of remorse was the biggest thing that played into it for us, that we didn’t see that from Sammantha throughout the whole process.” The lack of empathy shows that she did not care about Ame or what she did to her. Allen was constantly rationalizing her actions towards Ame. According to the jury, the “horror of the crime” outweighed all exceptions to a life sentence. She did not care what happened to Ame. It was all about what was going to happen to her.

In contrast, others argue Sammantha should not be on death row or given the death penalty. The costs of an inmate on death row outnumber the costs of a regular inmate in prison. According to Arizona Indicators, an inmate in an Arizona prison costs $23,826 per year. An inmate on death row however, “costs $580,000, and those prisoners that ended with a death sentence cost $1 million.” Sammantha being on death row does cost more money, but that does not mean she does not deserve the death penalty. Why should her excuses of harming other children be a good reason for her life to be spared?

Some view the death penalty as a form of revenge. Which is deemed as unconstitutional. Ivan Simonovic believes, in order to punish a monster, you must not become one yourself. However, I don’t believe seeking the death penalty on Sammantha Allen is considered a monstrous act. Revenge has no bounds, where retribution is “limited, proportional and appropriately directed.” Every parent who has lost a child in a murder case will want vengeance. Capital punishment ensures that parents of victims will not go after their attacker in an attempt to get their own vengeance. Capital punishment is for the worst of the worst. Sammantha Allen is one of those people who did one of the worse things you can do to a child. She abused Ame until she died. She deemed Ame as having a normal childhood.

Sammantha herself was abused as a child by her parents. She was fortunate enough to live through her abuse unlike her cousin. The defense argued, Sammantha is only twenty-nine and had no previous criminal record. Does this justify the crimes she made against Ame? No, an innocent child died because of Allen’s negligence towards her cousin. I would imagine Sammantha, a previously abused child herself, would show some empathy towards Ame. Why would you put someone else through the same torture that you yourself endured. I know if I were abused I would not want to abuse my children I would want to raise them the opposite of how I was raised.

The debate about if capital punishment is constitutional and moral has been going on for centuries. This debate recently came to surface when Sammantha Allen was convicted of first-degree murder and put on death row. Based on the crimes Sammantha Allen has committed to Ame and other children she should be shown no mercy and thus given the death penalty. Capital punishment is the right choice for such a heinous crime as Ame Deal’s murder. Sammantha showed no mercy for Ame’s life. Should mercy now be shown for hers?. Capital punishment is a good way to ensure she harms no other children. I can only hope her husband and anyone else involved in Ame’s murder is given the same punishment.








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