The Death Penalty

We are going to work on the controversial issue of the Death penalty or Capital Punishment.  In no way my intention is to gag your ideas thus you will be given photocopies and shown videos either in favour or against.  However, I cannot deny I am against this brutal act, a physical and psychological form of torture that has not worked as a deterrent against heinous crimes and that infringes human rights and brutalizes the core of humanity, that is respecting the dignity of a human being. What you will be asked to do is to make a video (either a commercial against Death Penalty, or a video debating the reasons for or the reasons against Capital Punishment) individually or in pairs or in groups.  Then I would like you to come up with a piece of creative writing which somehow recaps our “path of investigation”.  You may write an acrostic poem, or a poem of your own choice (shape poem, for example, that is a poem written in the shape of an electric chair, or a shouting face, or a tear, or a hanging rope symbolizing the gallows), or the entry of the diary of a person on death row (s/he has just been announced that tomorrow it’s the FINAL day), or the letter of a victim written to the newspaper taking a stand against capital punishment.

Which of the following images do you find the most striking to represent the Death Penalty? Why? What would you draw if you were asked to depict Capital Punishment?

death-penalty2 death-penalty_1 death-penalty-chair

I would love to start with some quotations.  Which one do you like most? (why?)

“Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders.” -Albert Camus, French philosopher

“To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.” -Desmond Tutu

“What says the law? You will not kill. How does it say it? By killing!”  -Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables

“It can be argued that rapists deserve to be raped, that mutilators deserve to be mutilated. Most societies, however, refrain from responding in this way because the punishment is not only degrading to those on whom it is imposed, but it is also degrading to the society that engages in the same behavior as the criminals.” -Stephen Bright, human rights attorney

In literature we read a passage from In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, next year we will analyze the wonderful ballad by O. Wilde “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” which throws into the reader’s face the hypocrisy of our society and questions the way human beings punish a crime.  Killing a man with a sword is it worse than killing a man with words, with indifference, with negation?

Now watch the following videos.  The first one is in favour of the Death Penalty.  See the way it is “constructed”, it will help you with your own “creation”. What technique does the student use to make her point?

The one that follows, instead, is a video that harshly opposes Capital Punishment.  How does the actor lead us into his train of thoughts? How does he make is point pass through? What is the true meaning of Capital Punishment? (a sort of play on words)

Here are some poems I selected.  Read the first one. What makes you understand that the writer is truly against the Death Penalty?

A Poem About The Death Penalty

When a man performs a murderous act

Stealing the life of a man well-known

We wish to condemn him the same favor,

And break his neck bone.

Then we think it’s justified

That he had to die,

That the hearts ripped by the death of his victim,

Will somehow be satisfied.

That all that same loathing,

And all that same bitterness

Will make it all tranquil,

In spite of all carelessness

But I, I think this ridiculous,

I think that no man should die,

No matter his sins,

No matter the yearn to justify.

The next poem openly attacks…. Whom? Why? Who is the “speaking I”? Are there any points that make you understand that the poems  are somehow autobiographical?

[Michael Perry: I’ve written all these poems while sitting on death row.  Since I spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement, poetry is one of the only ways I can express how I feel.  I hope you like them. Sincerely, Michael Perry #999444]

A Few Lines

The state wants to prove crime doesn’t pay.

They won’t let injustice stand in their way.

The have to convict someone of the crime.

They really care not if it’s your life or mine.

They do not worry if there is no evidence.

They just ask the “judge” for the trial to commence.

They cannot afford to take any chances.

And around the court, the “D.A.” prances.

The trial is not fair, everything is rigged.

The whole “justice” system, truly is jigged.

The judge reads the verdict, in just one breath.

I am found guilty and sentenced to death.

The State of Texas is being frill.

They’ve found out they have the “right” to kill.

I now sit and wait, here on death row.

I know late some night, my life could go.

I don’t want the needle stuck in my arm.

I could never ever cause anyone harm.

Throughout the courts I put up a fight.

Cause I want to avoid that dreadful night.

Regardless of innocence,

I’m to be killed with vengeance.

So before I go

Down this dreadful road

I leave with you these few lines

For now, I have run out of time.

How does the writer of the following poem develops his argument against the death penalty?

The Death Penalty Is Murder

You go to your house of worship to your God to pray

But that your Government execute people with you is okay

When you tell me that all bad people deserve to die

Are you trying to say Moses Fifth Commandment is a lie?

You tell me you live in a democracy

But it does not seem too democratic to me

All murder is wrong that you do not deny

But in the laws of your Government a life for a life does apply

And since with so called lawful executions you wholeheartedly agree

You are guilty like many of hypocrisy,

The blessings of a God I do not ask to receive

But the death penalty is murder that’s what I believe

And those who believe every murderer should be made to die

Without saying so are saying Moses Fifth Commandment is a lie.

Francis Duggan

Reflect upon the following questions:

Does a person’s race affect the likelihood of him/her receiving the deathpenalty?

Does a person’s income level affect the likelihood of him/her receiving the death penalty?

Should a death penalty moratorium be implemented?

Should victims’ opinions matter when condiering the death penalty?

Should the death penalty be allowed?

1,188 people were executed in the US from 1977 through 2009, primarily by means of lethal injection. Most death penalty cases involve the execution of murderers although capital punishment can also be applied for treason, espionage, and other crimes.

Proponents of the death penalty say it is an important tool for preserving law and order, deters crime, and costs less than life imprisonment. They argue that retribution or “an eye for an eye” honors the victim, helps console grieving families, and ensures that the perpetrators of heinous crimes never have an opportunity to cause future tragedy.

Opponents of capital punishment say it has no deterrent effect on crime, wrongly gives governments the power to take human life, and perpetuates social injustices by disproportionately targeting people of color (racist) and people who cannot afford good attorneys (classist). They say lifetime jail sentences are a more severe and less expensive punishment than death.

Should the death penalty be allowed?  I found this interesting webpage which we will be using for our debate in class.  You will be divided in two groups, regardless of your personal beliefs, and you will be asked to fight PRO or AGAINST capital punishment.  Look at the website.  On the left-hand margin you find a menu.  Please read “Top 10 pros and cons”.  These are the ones you will be using in class.  You will know whether you are in the PRO or AGAINST group the very day we perform the public debate.  As you can see there are other tags that can be of interests to you, such us “did you know” or “should the death penalty be allowed” or “glossary”, etc.  Browse the website at your own wish, but the “top 10 pros and cons” is mandatory for the class activity we are going to have.  You can listen to the whole pages, there is the symbol of a loudspeaker.  Mind you, however, that the voice does not follow the natural rhythm of a mother tongue speaker, so resort to it when you have doubts as to the pronunciation of some words.  You just need to click on the word and then on the loudspeaker.

First they came…” is a famous statement attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen targets, group after group.

Who is this poem addressed to?  What does it fight?  It would be nice if you could add a stanza of your own, a stanza that is contextualized in your own space and time.  Have a go.  This is mine: “When they came for women, I did not speak out; I was a man and my rights were safeguarded” (to me this is strongly linked to today’s news: the rate of women being killed by their male partners is not decreasing in our country).

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn’t a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

If you were asked to draw an image or write a slogan against the death penalty to be turned into badges to wear on your clothes or to pin on your rucksack/pencil case, what would it be like?  Think of a slogan and of an image.  Do you find the following ones effective? Why (not)?

death-penalty-poster1 justice and death penalty Death-Penalty po_death_penalty_big against death penalty


Artists and intellectuals fought and fight against the death penalty.   You listened to Jeremy Irons’ speech and you saw that some writers opposed it.  What about singers?  Do you know any song against capital punishment?

These are the ones I found with an anti-death penalty message, however, I am sure you can do better than me 😉

Dead Man Walkin’ by Bruce Springsteen

There’s a pale horse coming

And I’m gonna ride him

I’ll rise in the mornin’

My fate decided

I’m a dead man walkin’

I’m a dead man walkin’

In St James’ Parish I was born and christened

I’ve got my story Mister

Ain’t no need for you to listen

It’s just a dead man talkin’

Once I had a job I had a girl

Between our dreams and actions lies this world

In the deep forest their blood and tears rushed over me

All I could feel was the drugs and the shotgun

And my fear up inside of me

Like a dead man talkin’

‘Neath the summer sky my eyes went black

Sister I won’t ask for forgiveness

My sins are all I have

Tonight the clouds above my prison

They move slowly across the sky

There’s a new day

dawnin’ and my dreams are full to-night

This is the trailer of the film Dead Man Walking we will be watching in class.

Billy Moore got desperate for money and planned a robbery. He got the money, but killed a man and was sentenced to die. Thirteen execution dates later, his future changed dramatically. The video (click here: the video is divided into two parts, the second part will appear on the right-hand margin of Youtube) is broadcast by a Christian Channel and since I DO want to RESPECT believers and non-believers, I am not going to post the videos, but you can click above if you want to watch them.  The videos are a personal account of Billy Moore experience, which shows how we could all fall into the trap of committing an irrevocable mistake if we were driven by desperation.  The first-account witness reveals that poverty makes a difference and that black people in the USA are more likely to end up in the death row than white people.  The video also shows the power of forgiveness (the victim’s family fights for Billy Moore’s lift of the death penalty).

Inside the Texas Death Row

Now read the lyrics of Johnny Cash’s song “25 minutes to go”, what do you expect its tune to be like? What does the song reveal?  What criticism is raised towards the individual embodying justice (the mayor, the police officer)?

Well they’re building a gallows outside my cell I’ve got 25 minutes to go

And the whole town’s waitin’ just to hear me yell I’ve got 24 minutes to go

Well they gave me some beans for my last meal I’ve got 23 minutes to go

But nobody asked me how I feel I’ve got 22 minutes to go

Well I sent for the governor and the whole dern bunch with 21 minutes to go

And I sent for the mayor but he’s out to lunch I’ve got 20 more minutes to go

Then the sheriff said boy I gonna watch you die got 19 minutes to go

So I laughed in his face and I spit in his eye got 18 minutes to go

Now hear comes the preacher for to save my soul with 13 minutes to go

And he’s talking bout’ burnin’ but I’m so cold I’ve 12 more minutes to go

Now they’re testin’ the trap and it chills my spine 11 more minutes to go

And the trap and the rope aw they work just fine got 10 more minutes to go

Well I’m waitin’ on the pardon that’ll set me free with 9 more minutes to go

But this is for real so forget about me got 8 more minutes to go

With my feet on the trap and my head on the noose got 5 more minutes to go

Won’t somebody come and cut me loose with 4 more minutes to go

I can see the mountains I can see the skies with 3 more minutes to go

And it’s to dern pretty for a man that don’t wanna die 2 more minutes to go

I can see the buzzards I can hear the crows 1 more minute to go

And now I’m swingin’ and here I go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!

Now listen to it.  Is it what you expected? Why do you think the singer chose this tune/rhythm?

I am attaching the extraordinary “shape poem” that Elena Ghersetti created (4F).

Elena Ghersetti

Another expression of creativity is the one by Valerio Zaina (4F).

Valerio Zaina 4F

The following powerpoint presentations were made by my students of 4H and 4F.  They were asked to watch some films dealing with the issue of the Death Penalty and select/analyse pivotal scenes.  The results are just jaw-dropping.  I am amazed at the capabilities that some young students have.  Kudos!

What follows is the powerpoint presentation created by Anna Giulia Nadin (she did a super job, she will shortly become my personal tutor in creating effective power point presentations!).  Del Pup Elisa, Marini Sara, Mullahi Xheni and Anna Giulia analysed the film “The Life of David Gale”.


Xheni, to make her point against the Death Penalty, found these interesting videos on youtube.  Then she created her own video, amazing!


Bortolotto Laura, Fabbro Arianna, Lupascu Maria, Semenyuk Irina, Zongaro Silvia


The Green Mile

Corsunov Julia, De Piero Lara, Pavan Sara, Pignat Marta

Nicastro Sara, Rossetti Elisabetta, Busato Lucrezia, Bertacco Giulia, Blasut Giada

These are the video snapshot selected by the students to exemplify some of the issues dealt with in the film.


Cozzarin Michele, Gerometta Mattias, Coletto Lisa


There are different reasons why we are against the Death Penalty.  Some people are not persuaded by the inhumane treatment of the victimizers (= the ones found “guilty” of the crime): many people on the death row were found innocent; the average time convicts on a death row have to wait in the state of California is 30 years.  Some of them die before their execution is enacted: they die of disease or they commit suicide.  For some people the money factor is more persuasive a motivation to put an end to the Death Penalty.  The expenses met for the killing of the convicts on the death row are massive. To our mind there are better ways of investing the money: PREVENTION.  Preventing crimes, investing money in social programmes to help disadvantaged kids or people.  This would still make people feel safe and protected by their government.

Dead Man Walking

dmwPitton Elisa, Moisa Elena, Grande Sara, Girardi Giulia

Videos mounted by the students.

Capital Punishment

Sufference- Friendship

Balbinot Giulia, D’Angelo Antonino, Ghersetti Elena, Piol Silvia, Zaina Valerio, Ziyad Nicola

Poem written by Nicola

I’m in jail for no reason

Brought here cos somebody says I hit his son,raped her daughter..

Can I get a glass of water?

The story starts now

Take a seat cos at the end

Y’all gonna be like ” wow

is it really how it went?”

I’m a man who can’t suck up his pride

and I’d rather say a lie

than to remain vulnerable to the eyes

that want me dead;

But now I’m lying on this bed

thinking, is it right for me to

to be sent to death, while my

Fake bro is only gonna get

a beat up from the Lutenant?

I did nothing wrong, the only

mistake maybe was to put

my words into a song.

There she comes, a woman who’s white trying to get a confession out of spite, but I won’t fall.. Maybe.

She’s a damn nice person,

Ugh this makes no sense,

I feel it,she’s coming through.

Is it because she’s a nun?

Doubt it, she could be a bun

And make no difference to me;

But what I want to see is,

Can I trust her?

If I tell her the truth,

can she assure me Gods mercyness?

No one can. What I did was terrible

no one will ever forgive me.

I’m scared,terrified. But she’s here with me while I’m getting ready, all the guards are steady and they waiting to take my shit out the room. Soon they say. I feel redemption, I don’t wanna die as a liar, if so I should die due to fire.

None of this was never meant to be; I am one of God’s children and as so I’m gonna free my soul and fly wherever He wants me to go. Cos at the end, it ain’t no judge who puts me where I belong, but it’s God whom sits in the front row.

Listen to Nicola reading his own  poem.


Sister Helen Prejean’s  interview

“A Life Against Death: the Work of Sister Helen”

A short documentary by Michelle Bagoyo

This is an interview to Sister Helen Prejean, American Advocate for the abolition of Death Penalty.

Here there are a few extracts from the interview, in my opinion the most powerful and the ones that are linked to the movie (Silvia Piol)

Since 1930, over 4.500 people have been executed in the United States.                                   Sister Helen Prejean has been a witness to six of them.

Referring to the young convict Patrick Sonnier,1949-1987, this is what she says: “When I came out of execution chamber, when Patrick Sonnier had been electrocuted to death, I watched this man being killed in front of my eyes and I threw up. I’ve never seen a killing in front of my eyes, in such a cold, calculated, protocol  death.” Something deep inside her, made her say: “Let me write the book Dead Man Walking”. About the purpose of writing the book, she states: ”I got to tell this story to the American people, because they never gonna get close to this”.



Loving your enemy does not mean condoning him, it means saving you from committing a crime.  When you kill a person, you do not free society of a criminal, you create a new one: the person who kills loses himself.

Literature can play an important role in changing people’s conscience for the better, this is what Helen Prejean promoted in the State Penitentiary in Oregon.


‘Inside Looking Out’ tells the story of the national Inside-Out prison exchange program by focusing on the University of Oregon Honors College course taught at the Oregon State Penitentiary. Through the study of classic literature, outside students, learn to understand life inside a prison while inside students learn what it is like to be a student. It is a story of personal transformation through confronting and changing misconceptions people inside and out have about the meaning of education, and incarceration. What can be learned from another human being?

Inside Looking Out from Tiffany Stubbert on Vimeo.

I am very proud to post the first video that four students of mine created.  Girls, you did a superduper job! 🙂

I love the soundtrack you chose.  I did not know this song by Tupac.  This is what a person on the web wrote of the song:

Tupac began rapping about his own life after he was shot in Manhattan. Before that period, he rapped from the perspective of ghetto youth as a whole, and placed himself in the shoes of the people who faced the issues he rapped about. That said, 16 on Death Row (1992) is written from the perspective of a young cat faced with the realities of the inner city. The anger and passion in his songs are real, and that is how a lot of people in those situations feel. He was a mirror of this society, and was able to put it into words like no other.

“16 On Death Row”

Death Row
That’s where motherfuckers is endin up

Dear mama, I’m caught up in this sickness
I robbed my adversaries, but slipped and left a witness
Wonder if they’ll catch me, or will this nigga snitch
Should I shoot his bitch, or make the nigga rich?
Don’t wanna commit murder, but damn they got me trapped
Hawkin while I’m walkin, and talkin behind my back
I’m kind of schizophrenic, I’m in this shit to win it
Cause life’s a Wheel of, Fortune here’s my chance to spin it
Got no time for cops, who trip and try to catch me
Too fuckin trigger happy, to let them suckers snatch me
Niggaz gettin jealous (jealous) tryin to find my stash
Whip out the nine, now I’ma dive and pump your ass
Peter picked a pepper, but I can pick a punk
Snatched him like a bitch, and threw him in the trunk
The punk thought I was bluffin, but swear I’m nothin nice
Before I take your life, first wrestle with these, mics
I listen to him scream, Tray Deee went insane
I guess the little, mites had finally found his brain
New Rovers pull me over, I’m sentenced to the pen
Remember that little, bird, he snitched and told a, friend
It’s trouble on my mind, I’m with the old timers
And fuck five-oh, blaow blaow.. turn em into forty-niners

[Tupac sings]
Bye bye, I was never meant to live
Can’t be positive, when the ghetto’s where you live
Bye bye, I was never meant to be
Livin like a thief, runnin through the streets
Bye bye, and I got no place to go…
Where they find me? 16 on Death Row

Dear mama, these cops don’t understand me
I turned to a life of crime, cause I came from a broken family
My uncle used to touch me, I never told you that
Scared what you might do, I couldn’t hold you back
I kept it deep inside, I done let it fuel my anger
I’m down for all my homies, no mercy for a stranger
The brother in my cell, is 16 as well
It’s hard to adapt, when you’re black and you’re trapped in a livin Hell
I shouldn’ta let him catch me
Instead of livin sad in jail I coulda died free and happy
And my cellmate’s raped on the norm
And passed around the dorm, you can hear his asshole gettin torn
They made me an animal
Can’t sleep, instead of countin sheep, niggaz countin cannibals
And that’s how it is in the pen
Turn old and cold, and your soul is your best friend
My mama prayed for me
Tell the Lord to make way for me, prepare any day for me (why?)
Cause when they come for me they find a struggler
To the death I take the breath from your jugular
The trick is to never lose hope
I found my buddy hangin dead from a rope, 16 on Death Row

[Tupac sings]
Bye bye, I was never meant to live
Can’t be positive, when the ghetto’s where you live
Bye bye, I was never meant to be
Livin like a thief, runnin through the streets
Bye bye, and I got no place to go…
Where you find me? 16 on Death Row

Dear mama, they sentenced me to death
Today’s my final day, I’m countin every breath
I’m bitter cause I’m dyin, so much I haven’t seen
I know you never dreamed, your baby would be dead at 16
I got beef with a sick society that doesn’t give a shit
And they too quick to say goodbye to me
They tell me the preacher’s there for me
He’s a crook with a book, that motherfucker never cared for me
He’s only here to be sure
I don’t drop a dime to God bout the crimes he’s commitin
on the poor, and how can these people judge me?
They ain’t my peers and in all these years, they ain’t never love me
I never got to be a man, must be part of some big plan
to keep a nigga in the state pen
And to my homies out buryin motherfuckers
Steer clear of these Aryan motherfuckers
Cause once they got you locked up
They got you trapped, you’re better off gettin shot up
I’m convinced self-defense is the way
Please, stay strapped, pack a gat every day
I wish I woulda known while I was out there
Now I’m straight headin for the chair

[Tupac sings]
Bye bye, I was never meant to live
Can’t be positive, when the ghetto’s where we live
Bye bye, I was never meant to be
Livin like a thief, runnin through the streets
Bye bye, and I got no place to go…
Where you find me? 16 on Death Row

16 on Death Row
It’s to all my partners in the penitentiaries
16 on Death Row

This is the video shot in the basement of our school, really worth watching!

The video was introduced to the class by means of an interview.  Then all the “actors” explained some parts of the video. The following notes will cast light upon certain aspects of the video that otherwise would not be fully appreciated.


Good morning to everybody. My name is Emanuele Li Calzi.

Today we have with us here four famous actors. Recently they acted in a film against the capital punishment. Today we are going to ask them some questions and then watch the film trailer.

So, let’s see.. first of all

–          Why did you shoot the film?

We chose to shoot this video, because we wanted to raise people’s awareness to the way the prisoners are treated and the choice to put an end to their life.

We protect lives, we fight for human rights that are not granted in all countries and then, we do not give the opportunity to change life to someone who had once made a mistake.

Punishment should be a chance for prisoners to understand they made mistakes and to start a new life just like a new person, it should not be a fatal punishment, because it is an irreversible process. This is the main reason we shot this trailer.

–          What was the hardest thing about shooting the video?

Oh, it was not hard shooting the video because we had so many ideas! However it was hard to find the right location because re-creating the atmosphere of a jail is not so easy. The other difficulty that we had was behaving like convicts.

– Is this the first time you have acted together?

Yes, it is the first time and I am really satisfied with our job.

This theme really involved us; we played our roles with such enthusiasm, that we did not feel tired after hours of work

Last but not least

–          Do you believe that your film can be persuasive?

We do not want to censor anybody’s opinions.  This is the reason why in the video there are two people against the Death Penalty and two who are in favour (the ones wearing a mask).  We just wanted to have our own say and young people against capital punishment, so we hope our classmates appreciate what we worked hard to make.

Thank you very much to all of you. And now we are going to watch the movie trailer!


I’m going to speak about the treatment reserved to prisoners. As we saw in the trailer, during the period of detention too many times the guards abuse their authority, physically and mentally against convicts. Inmates may be beaten for no reason and locked in tiny cells that are similar to cages. Victims do not have the right to speak. They are often forced to live in dark places, where the only companionship they have is themselves.

Moreover, the day of their execution may be postponed day after day. It is clear that, in this way any man on Earth, would lose his mind. For these reasons, I strongly believe that, in these circumstances a man is killed before he is actually executed.


This was a real game played in the 1960s.  These people could be three potential criminals or a guilty person and two liars who decide the man’s faith without even talking to him. In fact in most cases others decide a man’s fate without taking into consideration his “truth”. When we see that one of the three has got a picture, symbolizing his death, the other two realize that he is guilty.  The system has found someone to blame, no matter if he is really guilty or innocent, the system did its work.


In the scene of the execution, we decided not to kill the executed. In fact he raises his eyes and stares directly at the camera. In our opinion this is symbolic of life as more powerful than death: nobody can decide to “stop” somebody’s life. Another important detail is presented in the fifth scene. After the execution a cheerful mask appears on the wall. This choice has two different interpretations. The first reading describes the desire to make the viewer experience what the executed has. The second one discloses the unfeeling people who watch the execution without telling anything. It seems that some people present at the execution may smile at that horrible spectacle. Where do they find courage to be so uncouth? Is it the joy of revenge that gives them the strength to witness a “murder”? We’d better ponder for a while.

Part showing the convict as a “dead man walking”. His last walk. We decided to film this scene in a corridor because it is dark and it is a narrow corridor, all these features convey to the spectator a feeling of anxiety, which is what the convict feels.

(last part)

I speak about the last part of the video. In this last part there are four people: a girl, a nun and two people with masks. This part represents the different opinion about death penalty. The girl and the nun shake their heads to say that they are against it. On the other hand the two people with masks are in favor of capital punishment. We decided to represent the people that are in favor of death penalty with masks because sometimes people are afraid of saying their opinion or what they think and they do not want to show their faces. So the mask is a metaphor for their fear of assuming their responsibility for their decision. The nun is the symbol of the Church, whereas the girl is a metaphor for all of that people that fight against death penalty.

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101 risposte a The Death Penalty

  1. Valentina Pozzi scrive:

    For me, the Death Penalty is a brutal act that doesn’t respect the dignity of humanity.
    For me, the most striking image of the site representing the Death Penalty, is the first one, because it represents the ungliness of Death Penalty.
    I like the first quotation, because it is a real and brutal definition about capital punishment.
    In the first poem, I understand that the writer is truly against the Death Penalty, when he write the last three lines of the poem: “I think that no man should die, no matter is sins, no matter the yearn to justify.”
    I like the second and the third poems too, but in particular the third one, because it tells about hypocrisy of people who believe in God, but agree the Death Penalty.
    I think the Death Penalty is a murder, because no one man can take the life of another man.

  2. Valentina Paronuzzi scrive:

    I think that the death penalty is not right. First of all because they respond with violence to more violence does not make sense because the underlying problem is not solved, rather it will continue to foster a sense of revenge by the families of the condemned. Then because if you are not completely sure that he is guilty you can not kill an innocent person. Besides I think killing a person is meaningless; if someone killed many people or just one, if someone raped or abused a child, he has to live with this mistake for his entire life.
    The imagine that I find the most striking to represent the Death Penalty is the one with the three men hanging from the ropes and the people passing below because it shows the indifference of people towards this problem.
    The quotation I like the most is: “Capital punishment is the most premeditated of murders.” This sentence makes it clear that with the death penalty the law goes against itself.
    The last part of the first poem makes me understand that the writer is truly against the Death Penalty because it states that no one should die, despite his sins and especially the last verse “No matter the yearn to justify.”
    The author of the second poem is a condemned and you can understand from the and the last two lines “I leave with you these few lines /For now, I have run out of time.” The poem shows the writer’s anger towards the State and the judicial system because the process isn’t fair and they judge him guilty despite his innocence.
    In the third poem the writer compares the death penalty to a murder.
    He says that if we pray to God we cannot be in favor of death penalty because it implies we deny Moses Fifth Commandment.
    The fourth poem is addressed to all the people who observe what happens without reacting, to all those who assist to outrageous crimes and don’t say nothing.
    A stanza that I can add is:
    “when they came for the homosexuals,
    I remained silent.
    I was not homosexual.”
    The slogan I find effective is the one with a black background, a red handprint and the written “The Death Penalty makes killers of us all.”
    The song “25 minutes to go” speaks about a man who has only 25 minutes of life and then he will be hanged. In the song the individual embodying justice, like the mayor and the police officer, seems not to care about the man’s death: the mayor is out to lunch and the sceriff is happy to see him die. I expected the rythm more slower but i think that the singer choose this tune to defuse the moments of anguish before the death.

    Valentina Paronuzzi 4’F

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Dear Valentina, Thanks for the hard work you have put into answering the different points of discussion present in this page dedicated to The Death Penalty. I really admire your energy, commitment and passion.

  3. Valentina Paronuzzi scrive:

    Death Penalty is pointless,
    it is cruel.
    Men should not kill one other.
    We all make mistakes;
    of little relevance,
    or more serious.
    But we should give another chance
    we should forgive more.
    Death penalty isn’t justice
    it is revenge.

    Valentina Paronuzzi

  4. Elisabetta scrive:

    My last three minutes

    Fear, anxiety, desperation, regret, sorrow
    This is what I feel.
    But do I really deserve this?
    Who has the power to decide when somebody must die?
    Who wants to take responsability?
    No one should.
    No one should, because we are all human
    we are all equal, identical.
    But now it’s my turn. Somebody decided my destiny.
    They say it’s time now for me to pay in the “right way”.
    Only God knows which is the “right way”. We should not take His place.
    This job is too hard. It’s better for us to act just like human beings.
    Time is rushing.
    I hold my breath and I count to ten.
    This is the End.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      I love the title of your poem, really effective. The poem itself speaks out your rejection of the Death Penalty as a form of deserved and proper punishment.

  5. Riccardo Sartori scrive:

    Somebody thinks that it is the fair punishment,
    Somebody calls it a murder, others justice,
    And maybe they are right.
    Think of all the the violence to ill people,
    Or think about a mafioso: What is the right punishment?
    Only prison, be it life imprisonment? Perhaps it is too little:
    They have to pay for what they did in the past.
    People heard every day about “persons” that did such a horrible actions,
    And have not spent a day in prison.
    So, what does real punishment stand for?
    I mean: for someone paying for one’s crime is synonymous with the Death Penalty, the fair punishment.
    But it is not so.
    In what way a person, who committed a crime, pays with his life?
    Does he/she understand his/her mistakes in order not to repeat them in the future?
    No, because there will be not another chance.
    They think that with the death penalty, criminals are more afraid
    But they do not educate them in this way.
    And think of this:
    If you kill someone, who killed in the past, you make the same mistake.
    So death penalty is a viscious circle, it has no end.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      It looks more like a series of reasonings in favour of the abolition of the Death Penalty than a poem. Nice, though. Since there were quite a few mistakes I decided to correct the major ones, this because I did not want your “creative piece” to be skipped because of unclear bits.
      Here you get your updated piece. If I intreted things in the wron way, please let me know since I can redress everything quite quickly. 😉

      • Riccardo Sartori scrive:

        No, sorry, maybe I was not clear at all. On the poem I liked to start with the things that people think in favour of it and, in the end of the poem, revealed my opinion about it. Sorry, again. If you want, I rewrite it 🙂

  6. Giada scrive:


    He must expiate his crimes.
    He must serve his sentence.
    He must pay for his faults.
    He must spend his days in prison.
    He must be sentenced to death.

    He must die.

    But.. remember that he is a Man…so

    He should expiate his crimes,
    he should serve his sentence,
    he should pay for his faults,
    he should spend his days in prison,
    he should be sentenced but…

    He mustn’t die.

    In the world there are lots of people that are in favour of the death penalty.
    But a Man that committed something wrong is also a Man with a family, friends, dreams and life. And I do not call him “criminal” because he could be innocent.
    He could be our father, husband, brother or friend.
    And the most important thing is:
    He is a Man like us,
    He must live!

    Giada Blasut 4^F

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      You did a fabulous job. I am so proud of you young woman!

    • Sara scrive:

      I like this poem because there is the repetition of “he must” and then “he should” in contrapposition, and they remember me of Dante’s Inferno (what is written on the door). The two stanzas repeat the same things, but changing the verb is really effective and help the reader to understand what is the writer’s opinion.

  7. yana guerra scrive:

    A man who kills a man
    CanNOT be justified,
    CanNOT be killed,
    CanNOT be tortured,
    But it must be punished.
    Punished for what he did,
    Punished for the crime he committed,
    Punished with jail,
    And not with death.
    Death is not the right way,
    It isn’t right to punish death with death,
    and life should guarantee redemption.

  8. Silvia scrive:

    A man who raped and murdered a student
    deserves punishment.
    The state killed lots of criminals,
    But this is not considered as a criminal act.
    The law says not to kill,
    And this is the teaching you give?
    It is thought that this would change their mind,
    But they still commit terrible crimes.
    Nobody should be stolen their life
    This is not something a human being should ever do.

  9. valerio zaina scrive:


    Again those steps
    Are they going to be the last ones?
    Not yet.
    With the same ears
    I heard those prophetic words
    Not sure
    Not care
    If they were the last ones
    They were killers’ words
    But it is enough.
    Again that smell
    Is it going to be the last one?
    Not yet.
    With the same nose
    I smelt the wooden “justice”
    Not sure
    Not care
    If it was just
    Or not
    But it is enough.
    Again that flavor
    Is it going to be the last one?
    Not yet.
    With the same mouth
    I tasted the sour “truth”
    Not sure
    Not care
    If it was true
    It was everybody’s truth
    But it is enough.
    Again that smooth sensation
    Is it going to be the last one?
    Not yet.
    With the same fingers
    I touched hypocrisy’s hair
    Not sure
    Not care
    If it was legal
    Or not
    It seemed human
    But it is enough.
    Again that heartbeat
    Is it going to be the last one?
    Maybe yet.
    With the same chest
    I felt their anger
    Not sure
    Not care
    If another heart is stopped
    Will it calm down
    Or not:
    It doesn’t seem enough.

    Zaina Valerio 4^F

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      I changed the last few lines a bit, but please check whether I have rendered them in the way you really meant. Awesome poem. Well done. 🙂

  10. Valentina scrive:

    She has blue eyes, he has brown hair.
    He comes from Brazil, she comes from Spain.
    She has got two brothers, he is an only child.
    He did it for money, she did it for revenge.
    She loves painting, he loves running.
    Maybe she has got ten years left.
    Maybe he has got three days left.
    He cannot breathe anymore.
    She cannot speak anymore.
    She is already dead.
    He is already dead.
    He is a man, isn’t he?
    She is a woman, isn’t she?
    They are human beings, aren’t they?
    People are different.
    But they are all human.
    People are different.
    But they all make mistakes.
    People learn things from their mistakes…
    But what if they died, before they have learned from their mistakes?
    Nothing disappears,
    nothing can be forgotten,
    nothing can be destroyed,
    nobody should be killed.
    It is not by closing your eyes that the storm disappears.
    It is not by trapping a fly
    into a box
    that you won’t hear it

    Valentina Porro 4F

  11. Arianna scrive:


    I don’t want to wait anylonger but I don’t want to die,
    I wish this were just a joke, I wish this were just a lie.
    They are abusing their power by sending me to hell,
    The only thing I can do is throwing a wish into the well.
    Do you really think you will feel better after my death?
    I want to hold my breath.
    You are not seven,
    and trust me, you won’t go to heaven.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      I love the power of this line: “The only thing I can do is throwing a wish into the well”

  12. Lucrezia scrive:

    We are all precious creatures, we are all human beings,
    we have the right to live.
    How can a man think of killing another man?
    Why should a person kill another person?

    If that happens
    the person who kills deserves being punished.
    …what kind of punishment is fair punishment?


    What is the meaning of this dreadful word?
    This is a question that should not exist
    because death penalty SHOULD NOT EXIST.
    A person who commits a crime must not die for what he did,
    this person must be punished but not with the death penalty.
    What does it solve?
    We cannot kill a person who killed
    because in this way we become killers ourselves
    if we kill, where is the justice?

    Lucrezia Busato 4f

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Can you think of a possible title? Nice poem. It could be “Justice is done” not reveal straight away that the poem is against the Death Penalty. However, it is your poem so it is better that you choose for yourself.

      • Lucrezia scrive:

        Thank you for the title you suggest me 🙂 I think it is extremely meaningful. Another possible title could be ” Be Human” in the sense that we are all human and we must not kill a person but even in the sense that we must not kill a person who kills.

  13. Silvia scrive:

    Stop breathing for a while: can you here it?
    It’s your heart beating.
    What if it would suddenly stop?
    Now close your eyes and imagine someone told you
    “this is your last day in this world”.
    Have you ever thought of what you’d say to your wife?
    Have you ever immagined how you’d look at your child?
    Saying Goodbye to him for the last time?
    What sentence would you choose as the last one
    coming out from your mouth?
    Perhaps “Let me live”?

    Are you still in favor of the death penalty?

    Silvia Piol

  14. Ira scrive:

    We try to speak and understand
    what feels the the prisoner in the end
    when he or she knows the condemnation
    and is preparing for infinite isolation.

    There are some people who are in favour
    Of the death penalty before it happens
    to their relatives and friends
    Because nobody could be insured from mistakes.

    It is true that THEY must be punished
    For all the terrible things THEY committed
    But no one can decide when one person must die
    And if he does, then it is a new crime!

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Any possible title? Off my head I would choose “A new crime”, but… you are the one to choose.

  15. Giulia scrive:

    Life is very important,
    It is our soul
    the worst of crimes,
    taking away freedom from a person.
    Robbing a person’s life.
    We were created to live
    We are animals
    and failing perfection is
    our only ‘fault’
    You can make a mistake, but
    You should not die
    We are men
    creatures of the earth.
    And as such we can
    make a mistake
    but we can also find a solution
    but not in killing as a form of retaliation.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      What could the title be? “Life”? It is up to you to decide. I made a few corrections, since certain passages where not clear. Please check that I interpreted certain ideas of yours correctly.

  16. Valeria scrive:

    The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights,
    it is just like giving weapons to Iraq and being against all the fights.
    The Death row is hours-counting,
    it would be better if I let myself drowning.
    Ten years without looking at the sky,
    ten hours by the bye.
    Once I had a job and a girl,
    but who cares now if I hardly unfurl?
    First thought is her smile,
    so simple and bright.
    I feel the sea-wind on my skin
    or maybe it is caused by my actual sin.
    I can taste my mom’s pie,
    I would not see my sky again.
    It is only nine,
    they bring me at the finish line.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      What title would you give to this poem of yours?
      This line is not clear to me ” who cares now if I hardly unfurl?” What do you mean by it?

  17. Mattia Pizzutti scrive:

    Death does not bring back a life

    Life marked him.
    On that terrible night
    The Devil’s shadow
    took over his mind
    and induced him
    to make that
    terrible act.
    He had spent years
    to try to get stuck with it.
    Speaking, listening, reading and writing
    trying to understand
    and make understand
    his repentance.
    But nothing and no one by now
    could change the destiny
    that someone,
    had already decided for him.
    Putting an end to his life would mean justice?

  18. Giulia Bertacco scrive:

    The convict is waiting
    waiting for his destiny
    what is he thinking about?
    maybe about his SUFFERING death
    how can he feel
    thinking EVERYDAY
    that his moment to die WILL ARRIVE?
    does he feel well?
    NOT, surely he doesn’t
    Do you think, READER, the death penalty is
    Does it help a man regret what he’s done?
    SURELY it does NOT.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      I changed just a few things, see whether you agree with my little contribution. Well done Giulia, you see, you can write a poem and You always doubted it!

  19. Virginia Nichilo scrive:


    Will killing a man render
    you better?
    How would it feel
    if you were the one,sitting,
    awaiting your death?
    I can tell you how it feels.
    Every day is a race against
    you wait in your cell,
    you see inmates come and
    Everyday you know that
    it will be your turn.
    is killing a man really
    getting revenge?
    With the breath of prayer in
    your mouth,
    you sentence me to death.
    In a blink of an eye you
    changed a person’s life.
    So think.

  20. Sara Nicastro scrive:

    broken breaths
    anger, then killing-escaping-be caught-
    be judged-and losing
    postponing-waiting again
    postponing-waiting again
    but there’s no happy ending, and finally

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Great poem, the use of the hyphon creates a pause, but then the repetition of the words and of “again” give a sense of anxious speeding up of the existence, almost running towards death.

  21. Giulia Girardi scrive:

    How could I possibly forgive a murderer?
    How can I want him to be released from jail?
    Why should I care about a convict?
    Why should I be against his penalty?
    Did he care about his victim while he was committing the crime?
    Did he worry about the consequences of his act?
    So, how can I possibly forgive a murderer?
    Many of us say people sentenced to death are still human beings:
    but.. even that person who was killed,
    even that girl who was raped,
    any other victim
    was a human being.
    And now he or she is dead.
    This is the reason why I cannot possibly forgive a murderer.
    This is why I cannot take a stand against the Death Penalty.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      The capability of forgiveness is an enhancing power and to gain it a human being has to work hard, very hard, it does not come easily and it does not come to all of us, if we do not work hard to conquer it.
      The poem is effective in expressing your view, I just added the last line to make is as strong as you wished. The title could be “No forgiveness, No forgetting”. See you whether you like it or whether you prefer choosing a different one.

  22. Alessia Bragagnolo scrive:

    We all want to live
    We don’t want to die
    We punish who kills,
    who makes us wanna die.

    We think we are clever
    We think we are right
    We condemn any torture,
    which comes from medieval times.

    We want to solve the problem
    We want to be free
    And what do we do?
    We kill.

    Alessia B. 4^H

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      “We want, we think, we kill”, an escalation and for this reason I would entitle the poem in this way!

  23. Serena scrive:

    Another chance

    We are all human
    and therefore we can make mistakes,
    but is it right to die for a mistake?
    Is it right to punish violence with violence?
    There is no going back from death.
    Killing is not the solution!
    We are creatures of the world
    and we are here to live our lives.
    A man who kills a man
    cannot be justified,
    but HE can be forgiven!
    Let’s give HIM another chance.

  24. Nicola scrive:

    Harlem quarter 3:09
    a person just got shot on the other side
    of a big church
    where many peole search for a God
    and they praise him not to set us in temptation with the bad
    but isn’t this scene sad?
    Somebody’s life has been struck
    now he’s in the back of a truck
    taking him on his last journey,the grave.
    So the person who killed him,should he be saved?
    Nah what he deserves is jus what he gave:
    tears,fear and unimaginable pain.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      As I told you in class, this is a really nice poem, regardless of it speaking out a sentiment I do not personally share. You made your point clear, yet at the same time you made it poetic too. Obviously, as I pointed out, it may be read in a different way and thus it may be read as an ironic support of the Death Penalty. You made it clear it is in favour, though and you read it in a way that could not be interpreted otherwise.

  25. Sara Pavan scrive:

    His hazel eyes
    His dark hair
    Her name on the shoulder.
    His sorrow, terror on his face
    His tears
    His regret.

    A papercut
    Hanged on the filthy wall
    A picture, A girl.
    Her blue eyes
    Her blonde hair
    His knife stealing her life.
    Her sorrow, terror on her face
    Her tears
    Her death.

    That wall
    That jail
    That smell filling his nose
    Those blue eyes
    That murder

    Now that his time is running out
    Now that it is almost over
    He knows that he cannot be saved
    He knows that he maybe deserves it
    He knows that he saw her final breath.

    He wonders why he was drunk
    That damn night…

    The time is come finally.
    He wonders who should judge him
    Men or God?

    Sara Pavan 4H

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      A breathtaking poem, not just in the way it is written, but in the way you end it. You leave it to the reader to decide whether it is up to us to kill a person or it should be God. So you leave room for a different opinion from yours. Well done Sara, this is a poem that touched me. Thank you.

  26. Sara Grande scrive:


    Am I dying? Maybe nobody cares.
    Am I alone? Nobody cares.
    I wish I had hope, but nobody cares.
    I am condemned and nobody cares.
    I walk the road that leads to death,
    Who cares!?
    Am I really guilty? Nobody cares.
    Do I deserve this punishment? Nobody cares.
    Does God want me to be killed? Just nobody cares.
    I am sorry, but nobody cares!
    It is too late… Nobody cares.

    Now I am dead, does anyone care?
    NO. Nobody. Nobody cares.

    Sara Grande 4^H

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      By entitling the poem “Nobody” you emphasise two things: the fact that nobody cares and the fact that the victim is a NOBODY in the eyes of the public opinion and this is the reason they do not care whether he dies.
      The repetition of NOBODY and CARES adds to the anxious tone of the poem, it creates a sense of powerless desperation seen through the eyes of the convict sentenced to death.

  27. Elisa Del Pup scrive:

    He deceived her.
    He beat her.
    He raped her.
    He killed her.
    Why should I feel compassion for him?
    Why should I ignore what he did?
    Wasn’t that girl as important as he is?
    Why shouldn’t he be punished in the SAME way?
    He stole her life.
    He is a human being… Wasn’t she either?

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      You should be proud of the poem you wrote, regardless of expressing your being in favour of the Death Penalty. Never be afraid of expressing your ideas. I am against the Death Penalty, but that does not mean I do not appreciate you because you are in favour. If you express your ideas openly, then you are more willing to listen to other people’s ideas with an open heart.

  28. Elisa Pitton scrive:


    Someone decided my destiny,
    the place, the exact time and how I will die.
    They chose that I don’t deserve
    another chance
    that the world doesn’t need me.
    A smile, a laugh,
    a kiss, a family,
    a child running free on the lawn.
    They are simple images, aren’t they?
    You know what all these things stand for?
    I’m alone now.
    There’s silence around me
    but echoes in my head.
    Time is running out,
    but I don’t want to think about it
    now. I wish for a last moment of peace
    in my heart and in my mind
    as if I were in my mother’s arms
    and nobody could hurt me.
    Then a voice: “Your turn has come”

  29. Mattias Gerometta scrive:


    It’s the last time I see above the window
    the first and the last I walk the death row.
    I count the footsteps one by one
    one each for the sins I’ve done.
    And while I’m going along this mile
    I think for them I’m only
    a number in a file.
    Where’s my right of a worth death
    Before this rope stops my breath?
    I’m not a number
    I’m not a beast
    I’m a prisioner, that’s right.
    But I’m still a man
    I’m a man who’s gonna die.
    What sense is there in killing me now
    if I’m gonna die on my own?
    And in what sense you are better than me
    if you kill me when God says to forgive?

    I add the link to listen to the great song by Led Zeppelin “Gallows Pole”

  30. Noemi scrive:

    Will this be my last step?
    Will this be my last breath?
    Will this be my last word?
    I am just here,
    waiting for DEATH
    for a WORD pronounced by a person,
    a human like me,
    who doesn’t understand
    what life really means.

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      MY LAST… could be the title. Do you like it? I corrected a few mistakes, so see whether you agree with the corrections.

  31. Lara De Piero scrive:


    People say:
    “He is a murderer, he must die”;
    “He raped a girl, he does not deserve to live”.

    But what if an innocent is wrongly executed?
    What if you kill him?
    The victim will remain a victim.

    How can you teach not to kill by killing?
    It is a contradiction in terms,
    It is what the Death Penalty is.

    De Piero Lara 4^H

  32. Antonino scrive:


    A murderer, he killed many people,
    but fortunately now
    he is on the death row,
    waiting for his turn…
    We’re safe now,
    Justice has been done…
    And so? Are we satisfied now?
    Killing a person
    in the name of Justice?
    Yeah, we’re the people setting things right.
    He’s guilty!
    He deserves to die!
    What a bunch of hypocritical bastards.
    Who do you think you are to judge?
    What do you gain from his death? Pleasure?
    You’re just insane, people.
    You say that violence is wrong,
    but you lust it, like a secret lover.
    What a great world, legal murder, yeah,
    Anyone could be a legal serial killer.
    Kill him! Kill her! Kill ‘em all! IT’S THE LAW!

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Your poem left me speechless. I was really touched by it. It continuously shifts from anger to resignation, to seeing things through the eyes of the ones in favour of the Death Penalty to yours and the likes like you, strongly expressing your being against the Death Penalty. Really an effective poem. Well done.

  33. Annagiulia scrive:

    We say

    We say we are against the war
    But we fight.
    We say we are not animals
    But we have no heart, no feelings, no pity or regrets.
    We say we have the strength and will to be superior
    But we are driven by anger or revenge.
    We say we don’t like death
    But we kill.
    We say our life is in God’s hands
    But we decide for somebody else’s life.
    We say we are innocent
    But we condemn a person to death.
    We say we want justice
    But we don’t do it with this “solution”.
    So … are we really who we say we are?

    cl.IV H

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Do you like the title “We say”? I find it effective because your poem is built around this refrain, which discloses your strong opposition to the Death Penalty. A powerful poem. I loved reading it. I corrected just a few mistakes. You did a good job!

  34. Elena Gabriela scrive:


    Lots of mistakes

    Maybe it is too late?
    But remember: we are human
    We all have the right to live
    We cannot accept the death penalty
    It is a murder…
    We are fed up with this injustice.

    Just one chance
    We just have to give one chance
    Mistakes are part of us
    We have to ponder more
    Iran, Japan, Uganda, Bulgaria, Iraq, Texas, China
    Wake up!!
    You must abolish this CRIMINAL law!
    YOU must stop the death row!
    WE must stop the death row!


    • Cristiana Ziraldo scrive:

      A thought-provoking poem. You accompany the reader in the development of your thoughts and feelings. Nice. Thank you.

  35. alessia scrive:

    sorrounding everything
    full of fear
    frightened by
    He did what
    He shouldn’t
    He’s now
    almost dying
    I’m now
    almost dying
    in a killer State..

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      The short lines are very effective because they mirror the fact that the “speaking I” life is coming to an end. They also express his paralizing fear. Yet, there are some lines that seem “hanging” and thus they leave too much room for interpretation (e.g. “He did what…. He shouldn’t…. WHAT?).

  36. Michele scrive:

    An ordinary life

    He was robbing,
    His sons were hungry
    He killed a driver
    His daughter was alone at home
    He robbed a car
    His wife was in coma
    He was chased by the police
    He had lost his job
    He got arrested and processed
    His house was foreclosed
    He is waiting on the death row
    The last survivor of the family

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Your poem is really interesting in the way it is “built”. The last line comes as unexpected, so congratulations Michele, you really wrote something effective, puzzling.

  37. Valentina scrive:

    I think that “The poem’s Award” goes to (rullo di tamburi) Antonino or Sara Nicastro! I think that Antonino’s poem is “overwhelming”, the reader can understand his point of view, I found very effective the use of irony. I enjoy the way he managed to highlight the fact that sometimes people and their decisions are contradictory. I also like very much Sara’s poem due to its originality. That is a poem that you read in one breath, it is a “cold” and detached poem that seems to reflect the attitude of people that seems not to be touched by death penalty. Finally I want to add that I like Sara’s poem because I like the way she managed to show the feeling of anxiety felt by the convict.

  38. Sara scrive:

    Sara Marini

    Look at him
    Look inside his eyes
    Does he seems kind, gentle?
    Do you feel pity for him?

    He killed me.
    He raped me and killed me.

    I was seventeen
    I had a family who loved me
    I was happy and I had lots of dreams
    I wanted to became a doctor
    I wanted to save people’s lives.

    And then, one night he killed me
    He broke my wings.
    Didn’t I have the right to fly?
    To get married, have children and live a long life?

    He decided for my life
    Others should decide for their own destiny
    ‘Cause he is still alive.
    Why is he alive and giulty
    If i’m dead and innocent?

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      It is highly touching and effective the choice to have the victim be the “speaking I” of your poem. The contrast between a broken life and the victimizer that usurped it is painfully rendered. You give voice to the anger of the victim, to the anguish of a stilted existence whose potentials could not bloom. I could see the murderer through the eyes of the victim, yet, though I can sympathize with the ordeal of the family, though I can see the point of the victim, I cannot see the point of wanting somebody’s death when you are already dead and your wanting your murderer’s life won’t bring you back and will taint you with the same crime that he committed.

  39. Sara scrive:

    I appreciate all of the poems, in all of them the author’s point of view is clean out perfectly.
    The poem that captured my attention is the one made by Silvia Piol, because it seems that she speaks with the reader,she shares her point of view and makes the reader think exactly what Death Penalty means, which is very powerfull.
    But, talking about contents, I like the poem made by Giulia Girardi because we have the same point of view.

    Sara Marini

  40. Silvia scrive:

    For me the best poem is that of Sara Pavan.

  41. Elena Ghersetti scrive:

    In my opinion the best Poem is the one written by Sara Nicastro. I liked it because the words she uses are very simple, but at the same time very impressive. In a few lines she is able to describe the life of an human being marking its end with an impressive “Game Over”, that marks also the end of the overlapping events briefly described, that involve and shake us.

    I also liked the poems of Arianna Fabbro and Sara Pavan.

  42. Giada scrive:

    I really like the poem of Silvia Piol because of the feel and the power of her lines.
    When you read it you could think about your life and the things that you have to do in your last day.

  43. Emanuele scrive:

    A Tulip

    A Tulip lies on a field,
    Its petals fiery red,
    Its scent “sniffable” anywhere.

    A gentle breeze is blowing,
    Its surrounding sound,
    Its uninspired Execution.

    A Tulip lies on a field,
    Its stalk broken by the window.
    Its petals taken away by a Life’s Breath.

    This is Nature,
    That’s the way it went.
    That’s how it ended.

    But Nature, Mother of all things,
    Judges not the Wind, nor she stops its course.
    The wind is experiencing its life.

    Another new Wind will blow;
    The same that waved before,
    But under a different form.

    A new kind of fragrance
    Everywhere is tastable,
    The right parfume
    It has changed everything.

    Emanuele Li Calzi IV F

    • cristianaziraldo scrive:

      Really a nice poem Emanuele, you did a good job. I had to change some passages because they were not clear, especially the closing stanza. So please look at your poem again and make sure I have not altered your creative piece in a way you do not approve of. The metaphor of a flower whose stalk is broken is really powerful, a flower who is broken by a strong wind. The tulip could be the victim of a crime or the victimizer who becomes a victim himself. You do not seem to want to reveal what the tulip really stands for and perhaps this ambiguity is wanted. Do not know. Would love you to tell me. 😉

  44. Valentina scrive:

    The poems I like the most are the ones of Antonino and Mattia.

  45. Lisa scrive:

    The power of LIFE

    I do not know
    what death is
    I have never
    thought at it before,
    in my short life
    I learned
    the importance and the sancity
    of life
    like the cruelty and the silence
    of death
    It can be injust,
    we cannot change
    the course of events
    and of life too
    At the same way
    it is unfair to decide
    on somebody’s death
    it is not up to us.
    For believers
    the end of life
    is obviousely God’s “decision”
    for the other
    I do not know,
    the human being
    has always a dignity
    and some rights…
    we must remember
    the most important is:
    the LIFE

  46. Valerio Zaina scrive:

    I liked very much Valentina Porro’s poem. I liked it because the images she used are very vivid. It begins ad a short story and you ho in reading because you want to know how it ends. In some ways i would say it sounds romantic.

  47. Silvia Zongaro scrive:

    I personally really like Mattia’s poem. I think he wrote truly powerful lines too and I love even the title of the poem: I totally agree with what he says.

  48. Laura Bortolotto scrive:

    Which millennium are we living in?

    It is not the first one anymore:
    There was no freedom then,
    Powerful institutions still conditioned thought

    It is not the second one, either:
    Yet, there were people who believed
    In everyone’s rationality
    And life
    Was the most important of human rights
    Just before freedom of action and possession.

    It is the third millennium
    We have proudly come to,
    Hoping it would be a new era
    Of peace and respect.

    But are we still questioning
    About Death Penalty?
    Is this what we expected to do
    In this developed world?
    Talking about punishing anyone
    By killing him
    Does not have anything to do
    With our dreams’ “third millennium”.
    Should we not be an advanced society,
    Who is strong and rational enough
    To think of more elevated problems?
    Killing people
    To educate others
    Should not be allowed
    In our third millennium

    There is no slavery anymore
    As our Constitutions say,
    But old convictions still rule our mind
    Bible says that if one makes you blind,
    Then you can do the same to him.
    But it is not the Middle Ages anymore,
    Many people have already told that.
    Why do we keep on obeying
    Passively, harmlessly?

    Are we not
    That great, proud people
    Of this third millennium?

  49. Giulia scrive:

    I prefer the poem of silvia piol. It is very nice, well done. And when I read her poem I could image all the passage, the action of this person. And I can heard the thinks of this person! It is a good poem. 8

  50. Julia scrive:


    I will tell you something about the death penalty.
    But I am sorry I cannot lie:
    I want to tell it publicly that those animals must die.
    I know that we are nobody to manage with a life
    and the evildoer is a human being inside
    but since he brutally killed a father or a mother or raped an innocent girl
    he becomes a monster he is not a person anymore.
    Is it true that there is no compassion to maniacs and to those who serially kill?
    So why somewhere they are alive still? (I know that it is grammatically incorrect but I wrote it here to make the rhyme)
    The people should see the pain that the family of the victim feels!
    And it’ s time to make the monsters pay for all their sins!
    In some countries the death penalty is a law and for this I’m glad
    I just want to defend lives of helplesses and innocents it’s not about being mad.
    It is a lesson for everybody: if you have not a conscience then you will be afraid by the fear of death!

  51. Xheni scrive:

    Who gives you the right to decide my death?
    You kill me in just one breath,
    That’s why I’m telling you that
    I will change things, you bet!
    Is that democracy?
    Is that instructive?
    Do you really believe it?
    Even when you kill, you descriminate
    Why don’t you try to wait?
    Do you remember what Ghandi says?
    I’m telling it to the world wide:
    “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”

  52. Xheni scrive:

    All poems are wonderful! I think the most effective is the poem of Elisa Pitton, I really loved it. The last part “I wish for a last moment of peace
    in my heart and in my mind
    as if I were in my mother’s arms
    and nobody could hurt me.
    Then a voice: “Your turn has come”, is powerfull, poetic and breathless!
    Maybe because I’m against death penalty, but what Elisa wrote is beautiful!
    Xheni Mullahi

  53. Lisa scrive:

    I think that all poems are beautiful…but I really like Giada’ s poem. I found it so effective, strong and intence…there are no words to describe her poem!
    Another poem that make me reflect a lot is the one written by Giulia G.
    Her point of view is opposite of mine, but I can understand her reasons.
    In my opinion Sara’s poem is really well made too.

  54. Giulia Girardi scrive:

    “Very good indeed Mariniiiiiiii!!!” I really appreciated you poem, not only because your point of view is like mine, but even because it makes the reader think about the act the killer did. And in your poem the victim is absolutely right. He had the right to stay alive and become someone.

  55. marta pignat scrive:

    If a person should die for every single mistake
    The world would be a desert.
    And if we should die for every single mistake
    How could we make understand to the world that we want to fix it?
    Who is the human being to judge
    The intensity and severity of a fault?
    The human being must not arrogate the right
    Of killing another man.
    It is just that a mistake

  56. Rossana scrive:

    He was a man. He was killed.
    He had a family, he had a job
    and a life.
    There was no blade, no bullet, no gun but
    a chair.
    Justice decided to kill him,
    to punish a man for a crime
    he did not commit.
    “He looked so much like THE ONE”
    they said.
    He was not the only victim.

    This must not happen. Taking
    away the last breath and
    heartbeat even of a single man,
    guilty or innocent, is
    not human.
    It is like borrowing a killer’s
    weapon to repeat the brutal deed.


  57. Elisa Pitton scrive:

    All the poems are beautiful, but I liked the most Giada’s one for underlining the difference between “Must” and “should” and I also loved the poem that Sara Pavan wrote, very poetic and touching!

  58. Lucrezia scrive:

    I really appreciated the poem written by Arianna. Her poem makes reflect, to my mind it could be a special warning for people who are in favour of death penalty.
    I also loved Giada’s poem because it is extremly powerful in the way she presents her argumentation against death penalty 🙂

  59. Cristiana Ziraldo scrive:

    All the students involved in the project gave their feedback. There is not a single student who claimed s/he had not been happy about the whole experience. The following quotation encapsulates the overall impressions the students had of this learning process:
    “This project on the death penaly made me think a lot. I found out a lot about myself, things I did not know before. I learn new vocabulary and I was glad to see that we, as a class, were able to work together and cooperate to create something wonderful” (Sara Pavan)

    “I really appreciated the fact that we dealt with “serious” contemporary issues and not only with the ordinary school syllabus. It is amazing that, we, young people, are asked to share our ideas. I liked working in a teac, beacuse for me it is extremely important to share ideas and accept my classmates’ opinions even when they are different from mine. But the thing I liked most was researching, looking for information about the issue, knowing new things and, since I am a film addict, watching films that depart from the blockbuster films we generally watch”. (Sara Marini)