Should Executions of Capital Offenders be Televised?

Essay by badballCollege, UndergraduateA+, August 2005

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Writing an opinion related to Capital Punishment stirred a great many feelings in me. I am not comfortable with capital punishment in the first place, and trying to

imagine it televised to me is incomprehensible and outrageous. I feel that viewing it on television will not be beneficial in any way. Watching an agonizing end of one's life will not prevent a potential criminal from committing a crime. Nor will it convert an already demented mind. It will surely upset at least some people, and it will project a terribly violent act. How can we teach humanity nonviolence? It only can perpetuate

violence. There is more than enough violence and gore in most of today's television programs. Ask any teenager about HBO and Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street.

Studies have shown that most prisoners do not convert to a "dream life." Prison is neither a lesson nor a deterrent.

For some it's a place to live. Others seem to

expand their criminal knowledge there. Only a lucky few come out reformed--and even they have precious few opportunities to start a new life, given our economy, follow-up rehabilitation programs and society's view of past criminal behavior. A potential criminal does not often think of punishment. He thinks rather how to get away with the crime without getting caught. I don't think viewing someone's execution will change his mind.

And what of the potential viewer? Will the head of a household check carefully in the TV Guide for the time of a program, pull out beer and potato chips and settle

comfortably in a big chair with his family gathered around the TV screen to watch the miserable end of someone's life? A life that surely should have ended more peacefully

and naturally? I, for one, do...