CAPITAL PUNISHMENT 7
Despitethe increase in the level of civilization, the society is still proneto dehumanizing types of crime. In the recent past, the globe haswitnessed acts of personal violence which are now evolving tofirst-degree murders, kidnap for ransom and other injustices that putthe security of the community in danger. Many people have questionedthe morality of applying the ultimate form of punishment.Nonetheless, capital punishment is fundamental in implementing thesocial purposes of deterrence as well as retribution. To support thisclaim, the paper will begin by analyzing the importance of deathpenalties, then highlight opposing arguments, and finally give aresponse to such arguments. As such, capital punishment is morallyneeded as an equal penalty for heinous crimes like rape, robbery withviolence and premeditated murder among others.
Froma deterrence point of view, capital punishment is more effective indeterring capital crimes than incarceration. The prison systemimproves criminals as it establishes contacts between differentoffenders who may use their connections outside the penitentiary tocontinue committing brutal acts of torture to the society. Accordingto Mandery & Mandery (2011), life incarceration creates a lot ofcongestion in the prisons thereby increasing the operational andmaintenance costs for the government. It would be more reasonable tospend the money that would have been used for life imprisonment fortreatment and job creation purposes within the economy. Some of theconvicts have perfected the art of breaking out of prison.
Mostimportantly, execution cuts the breed of the worst criminalspermanently from the community, meaning it is safer for otherinmates, the correctional officers, and the society. A large numberof people who commit extreme crimes are incapable of rehabilitation.In fact, some of them avoid the law, and when they can get away withit, they continue performing the crimes. Mandery & Manderyillustrated that a good example would be the case of Osama Bin Ladenwho was responsible for the loss of thousands of people afterconducting the 9/11 attack. He went on to carry out additionalattacks in other regions of the continent (2011).
Itwas a moral requirement for President Obama to order a kill missionon him as his existence posed a threat to a dangerous revolution ofthe terrorist group, hence threatening the lives of millions. Capitalpunishment, therefore, acts as a form of defense to protect thewelfare of the society (Mandery & Mandery, 2011). Ideally,criminals concede their right to life when they rob innocent peoplein a malicious manner, conduct gang killings, and drive-by shootings.The seriousness of such a verdict will prevent intelligentindividuals from carrying out any form of violent crimes. Retributionjustifies the essence of capital punishment by making it clear that acriminal ought to suffer the same proportion of the committedoffense.
Heinousforms of crimes that impact negatively or terminate the lives ofinnocent civilians call for the death roll, thereby making it bothmorally justified and necessary. Families of victims of murder shouldhave an opportunity of getting justice by witnessing the execution ofthe killer who took the life of their loved one. The society itselfis immoral if it does not demand the life of an individual who hastaken the life of another if there is sufficient evidence of such acrime.
The dissenters argue that capital punishment is impermeable becauseit is an immoral act of revenge. One of the objections to the deathpenalty is the argument that such a verdict does not deter. Instead,it fuels the thirst for revenge. The capital punishment providesenergy and encouragement for delinquent and inspired individuals whointend to injure the society to do so since some of them are evenwilling to die (Mandery & Mandery, 2011). Life imprisonment seemstougher because people consider imprisonment as a deprivation ofhumanity, which makes people live miserably for the rest of theirexistence. They add that vengeance is not a public virtue and as suchit is immoral to promote a trait, which is not of interest to thesociety. The Bible backs the vengeance view as it denounces the actin its biblical teachings. If anything, the Bible declares that Godshould be the one to judge. Opponents claim that capital punishmenthas incited crimes that it intended to deter.
Somehave argued that capital punishment has seen innocent people sufferfor the mistakes of others making it an immoral act. Since thecriminals have threatened the families of some police officers, whowill provide evidence of their wrong doings. Hence, the officersplace the burden on suspects who have no power to threaten theirhouseholds (Mandery & Mandery, 2011). Besides, some states havebeen accused of conducting prosecutions based on circumstantialevidence. Given that the state cannot give any compensation to theloved one’s family that is worth the life of the executed, thedeath penalty is, therefore, unacceptable for human fallibility.
Thethird argument is that a capital punishment demoralizes the nature ofhumanity by failing to consider the dignity of an individual.Inspiring good behavior in the society would require the justicesystems to make sentences that take into account the aspect ofhumanity. Death reduces the possibility of proper reforms for thegreater good. The principle of doing the same things to criminals isinappropriate hence one should murder murderers. As a matter offact, by imposing a capital punishment, the government becomescomplicit in devaluing human life just as the killers. Consequently,the execution of criminals in a nation lowers the chance ofreflecting and repenting hence should be morally impermissible.
Respondingto the Opposing Arguments
Capitalpunishment is the best when it comes to deterring capital crimebecause life imprisonment is a threat to inmates who fear beingkilled by other criminals. Revenge is a personal response from oneindividual to another for injury. Capital punishment is hardly afactor that promotes hate (Mandery & Mandery, 2011). It is a formof progressive rule that imposes a penalty to guarantee equality inthe society. Objectively speaking, the punishment of an offendershould be proportional to the damage they did. It is, therefore,impossible to demand an eye for a life.
Incidencesof innocent individuals getting death sentences are very few. Thedifference between the capital punishment and murder is that thedeath penalty does not aim at executing innocent people while murderdoes (Mandery & Mandery, 2011). One should not argue for theabolition of the capital punishment because of some fewirregularities. Instead, people should advocate for improvements inthe system to avoid wrongful executions. Moreover, courts should notuse circumstantial evidence to make decisions regarding capitalpunishment.
Capitalpunishment respects the dignity of victims by ensuring that theoffender gets an equal punishment. Considering that the capitalpunishment does not take place immediately after judgment,individuals get an opportunity to reflect and repent (Mandery &Mandery, 2011). Offenders like serial killers and rapists are oftenincurable. In as much as justice wants to inspire good in thesociety, it is in the best interests to get rid of such people.
Justicethrough capital punishment is in line with the insights of particularauthors. John Arthur stated that any claim on morality should bebacked up by comprehensive reasons. In the case of the capitalpunishment, the benefits outweigh the costs (Singer, 2011). Rachelsemphasized on the need to keep an open mind when faced with moralissues. He went on to say that the society has advanced than it wasin the past and therefore tackling matters would require focusing onthe interests of the people (Singer, 2011). Kant reiterated the samepoint by arguing that the death penalty is a means to the good ofothers and that the criminal should face an equal punishment as thathe/she did to the victim (White, 2009). John Stuart favored capitalpunishment by declaring that the interests in the case of the capitalpunishment are meant to protect the society from dangerous criminals.
Mandery,E. J., & Mandery, E. J. (2011). Capitalpunishment in America: A balanced examination. Sudbury,MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning Publishers.
Singer,P. (2011). Practicalethics.New York: Cambridge university press.
White,J. E. (2009). Contemporarymoral problems.Australia: Thomson Wadsworth.