Imagine how painful the life of a convicted innocent person would be. A person who never committed a crime, who is in peace with society and has a humble job, all of a sudden being convicted of a crime he or she didn’t commit and is then sentenced to the death penalty. A punishment that consists of executing a criminal in a legal way ignores the natural time people are supposed to die. Because we must uphold our human morality, we should abolish the death penalty. It is an illogical punishment that plays with our rights to live. How can capital punishment expect to prevent killing by killing? Our society isn’t a game that we can play with. Life doesn’t come with instructions. Humans are imperfect beings. Our world will never improve if mistakes are made and we don’t learn from them. Many believe that if you kill, you should be killed. But this is demonstrating to our society that provoking deaths will never stop. DEATH PENALTY? NO.
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On Point
"The color of your skin can put on you the label of killer"
In this cold world, a man awaits his death. In this cold world, a man can die for someone else’s sin. In this cold world, the color of your skin can put on you the label of killer. In this cold world, people will stand watching in an act of complicity because they find the need to end your life. The death penalty is not a solution to heinous crimes and should not be used as a form of punishment. Since there are systemic problems and a better alternative in the criminal justice system -- life in prison -- we should abolish the death penalty. Some argue that capital punishment deters crime. From this point of view, the cure for the current crisis is to get the death penalty. It’s assumed that in this way the criminals will get the message. In the criminal underworld, the discussion will go like this: If you kill, you will get the death penalty and this will scare other criminals. Criminals will put their guns down and start looking for work the next day. Crime just doesn’t pay anymore! When you see the problems of crime and violence in these simplistic terms, you begin to develop solutions that are also simplistic. This not the way to shape our society. DEATH PENALTY? NO.
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Teens in Print student writers come from neighborhoods and schools across the city. Meet one of our "Tipsters," Melanie Baez! Melanie Baez, 18, joined TiP when she picked up a copy from school and realized it was missing something—a comic! Today, she is more than just a comic artist but both an artist and a writer. Melanie approaches the writing process in the same way that she approaches drawing. She begins with something attention grabbing and lets the rest flow, leaving the editing for later. At first, Melanie said she wasn’t interested in journalism, but now she admits that she enjoys writing articles. The article she is most proud of is, “Headbanger music, Spanish style.” In it, she translated a Spanish song into English to reveal the authenticity and cultural meaning of the lyrics. TiP has helped Melanie create a new flow of inspiration for her writing and art. Never having been influenced by “real life stuff”—as she calls it—Melanie now uses her writing to create new artwork: “I feel like my art and TiP have really connected.” Motivated by “spreading the word,” Melanie uses her writing to talk about issues she is passionate about. She finds her voice when she focuses on topics related to LGBTQ rights and women’s rights. TiP, she says, has taught her many imp ortant tools that will help her in college, such as editing and how to find valid sources online and in person. She laughs as she says, “One big thing TiP has taught me is that I always need to check my work,” admitting that she was guilty of throwing something on a page and declaring it “done.” After high school, Melanie plans to go to college to study animation and graphic design. She aspires to one day work for a major animation studio like Disney or Pixar.  
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School
"Being educated can take you far in life"
  Listen to all the advice; take the best and leave the rest. My parents told me that being educated can take you far in life. They always tell me to never give up. Going to elementary school in Roxbury, I was nervous because I didn’t know English. I spoke Cape-Verdean Creole. But I soon found out that by going to school, I was starting to learn English along the way. In Middle School, I hated Mondays because it meant taking a vocabulary test. But I would make flash cards to remember all the words, and I recall getting A’s. In high school, I was meeting new people day by day. I got comfortable with the school and the students. My school is very diverse. I love being around different ethnicities. Even though I am older, I won’t forget the words my parents told me: Education is the way to success.
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It all began when we went to high school together, me and my best friend. Then he began spending time with his new friends -- and not me. I am a person who likes to pay back with the same coin. So I began to play volleyball, which got me new friends. He approached me one day and said that I was spending all my time with others. “You started leaving me for your new friend,” he said to me. “You’re the one who began to leave me for your little friend,” I replied. Finally, we went our separate ways. We haven’t talked since. That makes me feel bad. I want to be his friend again, to laugh and have fun together like before. But I don’t think it’s going to be the same because he cares more about his new friends than his old one. She was my best friend. Then she kicked me out to be with her new boyfriend. Seriously, that made me upset. So I just decided to let her feel how I feel. She has a boyfriend and, me, I have my friend. She must have been a fake friend because I was there before the new boyfriend and she replaced me. Sometimes I miss her, but I think that she doesn’t think about me and our memories. But I’m cool with that because one day she’s going to need something from me and that’s when she’s going to talk to me. I really hope we can be friends like before.
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