Discussions Unit 2

Unit Two- Reflective Annotated Bibliography

Topic- Should the death penalty be abolished in the United States?

I chose this topic, because I find it interesting that capital punishment is still legal in 27 states. I had to do something similar to this topic in high school and I feel like I only touched the tip of the iceberg on this topic and would like to revisit it, there is enough information for both sides of the argument, and I feel like I have a lot to work with on this topic.

Source One: Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? – The New York Times (

In this New York times article, The journalist mentions several times how putting prisoners on death row is a violation of the 8th amendment. That no matter the crime, the government should not have the right to take a persons life away, as it is unfair and unjust. She mentions that thirteen inmates faced capital punishment during the trump administration, the author states “Until July, there had been no federal executions in 17 years. Since then, the Trump administration has executed 13 inmates, more than three times as many as the federal government had put to death in the previous six decades.” -(Nicole Daniels Should the Death Penalty Be Abolished? – The New York Times ( The journalist seems to be more on the side of abolishing the penalty. Which I agree with her on, because the 8th amendment states that the individual who committed the crime should be charged with a fair consequence, however in what terms is it fair to take someone’s life. What I would want to ask her is when and where is it the proper time to use capital punishment against an individual, because even though I agree with her on it being a cruel punishment, what about the prisoners who committed murder themselves, should they get a taste of their own medicine, like an eye for an eye sort of thing?

Source Two: Ashley Nellis Pro-Con: Should the death penalty be abolished? – Opinion – Columbia Daily Tribune – Columbia, MO (

In this article the journalist recurring theme is that prisoners should just receive life in prison without parole. She mentions it serves the same purpose, without actually taking the life of an individual. She also mentions the other side of the argument, and mentions prisoners who committed sexual abuse, child abuse, massacres etc all these terrible things, where the death penalty would seem fair. She mentions how capital punishment is also cheaper, rather than collecting taxpayers money and feeding and sheltering a prisoner for the rest of their life. I agree with her on some things like the individuals who torture children should be punished. I think that would be the proper time to use the penalty, and as sad as it is to say would it be worth spending taxpayers money on that individual, when the money can be spent on other things? What I would ask this author is, what is her definition of the eight amendment. What is considered proper and fair? This document helps my research, because she wasn’t biased towards whether it should, or shouldn’t be abolished, She stated good points for both sides of the argument

Source Three:  Should the Death Penalty Be Allowed? – Death Penalty –

My favorite of the three sources that I used was this, because it is a compilation that the website created, of all politics views on the situation. There’s one statement by Kamala Harris as a senator that mentions how expensive death row actually is. The senator states ” California would save $150 million a year if it replaced the death penalty with a sentence of life without parole. That’s money that could go into schools, health care, or restorative justice programs.” – (U.S Senator of California Kamala Harris 2019)

In conclusion I found that it is not worth it to abolish the death penalty and we would save money if we just leave it as long as the 8th amendment is obeyed


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