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The question of capital punishment has plagued society for a number of years. This
argument even reaches back to ancient times. The Bible mentions that executions should
be used for many crimes (Exodus 21:12). In a time when chaos ruled, much like today,
strict laws must be applied so there is some distinguishable amount of order. In
principle, a case can be made on moral grounds both supporting and opposing capital
punishment. Two different cases can be made. One is based on justice that defends
capital punishment. The second is based on love and a sense of forgiveness that rejects it.
In a society in which high crime and misdemeanor take place regularly, some sort of
lofty punishment must be established as a consequence. Some acts are so vile and so
destructive of the community that they invalidate the right of the perpetrator to
membership and even to life. Those who violate the personhood of others, especially if
this is done persistently as a habit must pay the ultimate penalty for the sake of
maintaining the community (Kenneth Cauthen, Capital Punishment).
One might argue that the death penalty is clearly more humane than life
imprisonment. This is a valuable statement. By far the worst place on earth, jail can be
described as a hell of sorts. Confined to a single cell and the prison walls, life becomes
drastically long and monotonous. Filled with terrible and evil men/women, it may be
perceived as torturous to live out one’s days within. In many cases, ending an inmate’s
life is more compassionate.
The death penalty in itself creates the highest level of maximum public safety.
The fact about it is that once these criminals are killed and out of the picture, there is
absolutely no possible way for them to wreak havoc once again on society. There is no
chance of parole. There is no possibility of escape. The people of the community can
feel totally secure and confidant that that sort of flagrant activity will not happen again.
At least not by that individual (U. of Texas, Capital Punishment). The use of the death
penalty as intended by law could actually reduce the number of violent murders by
eliminating some of the repeat offenders.
Supporters of the death penalty rationalize executing because if a man takes a
life he should pay for it with his own. These advocates live by the words, an eye for an
eye, a tooth for a tooth (Stack 45, Capital Punishment). They also use versus from the
Bible like, “Whoever sheds a man’s blood, upon that man shall his blood be shed”
(Genesis 9:6). These people use these principles and feel that execution is the only way
to satisfy the public as well as themselves. Capital punishment is barbarism, but as
murder itself is barbaric, death is a fitting punishment for it. How would one feel if
their spouse, child, family member, or close friend were murdered? One would feel
angry, frustrated, confused, alone, and outraged. Then try to imagine that that individual
would not be revenged. The murderer would not pay for it with his life. Instead, he
would live the rest of his life, comfortably in his cell watching cable television on his
nicely padded bed. Then try to contemplate that there was a flaw in the trial, and the
murderer would be on parole in thirty years. Does that seem fair? Is that justice? A
central principle of a just society is that every person has an equal right to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness. A community founded on moral principles has certain
requirements. The right to belong to a community is not unconditional. The privilege of
living and pursuing the good life in society is not absolute. It may be negated by
behavior that undermines the nature of a moral community (Justice For All). The
essential basis on which community is built requires each citizen to honor the rightful
claims of others. The preservation of moral community demands that the shattering of
the foundation of its existence must be taken with utmost seriousness (Kenneth Cauthen,
Capital Punishment). This high form of punishment must be established for the sake of
the society whose laws have been broken. Clearly, the only way to keep justice in our
country is through the theory, a life for a life.
Deterrence is a huge argument for the death penalty. Capital punishment
establishes itself as such a high disciplinary tactic. These executions deter other
criminals from killing in fear of being executed
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Penology, Criminology, Capital punishment, Cruel and unusual punishment, Deterrence, Murder, Electric chair, Capital punishment in the United States, Capital punishment debate in the United States
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