Monday, August 3, 2009
Capital Punishment- The Moral Issue- The Death Penalty.
The death penalty is a form of punishment which is currently used in many countries around the world, the USA being one of its largest supporters. Capital Punishment is no longer practiced in some countries however, and the debate that's gripping these countries is this: should Capital Punishment be legal? The answer is yes.It is immoral to the furthest extent to proclaim that a person who commits an extremely heinous act; such as rape, brutal premeditated murder or torture to another human being, still deserves the right to live freely, or even in an incarcerated state, in our country.We live in a digital age, thanks to DNA testing, forensic science and computers we are able to analyze evidence thoroughly and determine, beyond a shadow of a doubt, whether or not a person is guilty of committing a crime. This is not always the case, however, and in such instances it would be a blatantdisplay of bad leadership and moral values for the government to put someone to death. But if they know, with full certainty, that someone is guilty of a heinous crime such as murder, rape, torture or any other very henious crime, they should have the full right to remove the offender from society.Life SentencesA life sentence is a the second option, for individuals who commit heinous crimes. But it is a variable option. Sentences to life imprisonment may be withdrawn after twenty years in some instances, and the criminal is let back on the streets, where they are likely to re-offend. The government is paying for sick criminals to rot away for the rest (or most) of their lives in prison. They use tax payer's money to fund the prisons, where criminals are vainly being kept alive, simply to live the rest of their lives in prison; a purgatory between their free life, and finally their death. There is simply no point in keeping these people alive, consequently overcrowding prisons and costing tax payers more money. The argument of Life Sentences vs. Death Sentences is a weak one; if opposers of the Death Penalty argue that no-one has the right to decide whether someone lives or dies, then should they not argue that no-one has the right to decide whether someone may live freely or be incarcerated locked up in prison for the rest of their lives, where they are no use to anybody.Do They Deserve to Die?Another argument used by opposers of Capital Punishment is that everyone deserves a life; that no-one deserves to be killed. But then, they support Life Imprisonment, simply because the offender is still alive even though there is really no point to their existence. There should be no argument here: some people simply deserve to die, to pay for their actions.Wrongful ExecutionIt would be incorrect to state that every person who has been put to death was guilty. Wrongful execution is definitely a major issue with capital punishment. It is the main plot of The Life of David Gale, A 2003 film directed by Alan Parker. In the film, David Gale, an anti-death penaltyactivist was put on death row for the murder of his fellow Deathwatch activist, and good friend, Constance. At the end of the film, after Gale is put to death, evidence is released to prove that Gale was innocent; Constance killed herself in order to prove that innocent people are put to death.This is a justified argument against the death penalty. But, as was earlier mentioned, we live in an intelligent and technological age, and should the death penalty used, such mistakes definitely should not be made. In order for the death penalty to be effective, there must be an unquestionable amount of evidence to prove that the offender is guilty without a doubt before they are placed on death row.Moral ValuesWhen a person commits a heinous offence, when they appear in court they often present 'excuses' for their actions. The most common excuses are mental illness or mental scarring due to abuse as a child or a troubled upbringing; the offender might say that his mother was a drug addict, or that he grew up in an abusive environment, to justify his own acts of violence. But regardless of whether the offender didn't know they were doing wrong, or were in a psychotic state due to mental illness, the responsibility for their actions lays on them, and no-one else.For example, a man was in a car accident as a child which caused damage to his brain and gave him a psychotic anger management problem. He flew into a fit of rage, and bashed his daughter to death. He was most likely unaware of what he was doing, nor was he able to control it, but he still did it. He was sentenced to life in prison. Regardless of the 'excuse', regardless ofthe 'justification', that man was responsible for his actions.The argument of deciding whether a criminal should live or die does not come down to'playing god' by putting them to death, nor does it matter whether the offender had an 'excuse'. It comes down to moral values. The man bashed his daughter to death; no-one would want this man living in their community, because he committed a heinous act.The Death Penalty is the strongest promoter of moral values. By putting a dangerous criminal to death they are removed from a lawful society where they may re-offend, they are not placed in confinement where they live pointlessly off the community, and their misjudgment of moral values is made public. The public will know, then, that if they are humane and moral beings, they will be free to live peacefully with others.The FamiliesIt is natural that in the event of a murder or serious offence, the only people taken into consideration are the family of the victim. A thought is rarely spared for the family of the sentenced offender; it is unlikely that an unrelated party could imagine how the offender's family may feel knowing that their relative is suffering in an overcrowded prison, rather than being put out of their misery. The death penalty is a justice to the victim and the offender, as well as their families, by bringing justice to the victim and putting the offender out of their misery.Playing GodWhenever the issue of capital punishment comes up, religion is thrown into the works. Religious people argue that their particular god created life and is the only one who has the right to end it. This causes a whole other argument; Atheism vs. Christianity vs. Islam vs. Hinduism vs Judaism, etc. The same way that a person should not be put to death simply because someone believes that they are guilty, a person should not be put to death simply because someone believes in a higher being which controls the occurrence of life and death. The government is representative of the wider community, and the government makes decisions to benefit the community. They decide which person are to be removed from society and incarcerated, for the benefit of the community. It is simply the matter of the Death Penalty being an improved alternative to life imprisonment, therefore the government has full right to put an undeniably guilty person to death.Methods of Capital PunishmentThe current most common methods of putting someone to death are: lethal injection, firing squad, electric chair, and in some countries hanging, gas chamber and beheading are still used.It is important for any human being, criminal or not, to die with dignity. A murderer may display his or her own immorality by taking another's life, but it would be inhumane for anyone to put them to death in an undignified manner. For example, the lethal injection is the most commonly used method in the United States. It involves the offender being given a last meal, being made to wear a diaper (because when the lethal injection kills the person, their bodily functions fail) and lead down a corridor to the chamber where they are strapped down and injected with either Sodium Pentothal, Pancuronium Bromide, or Potassium Chloride. The death penalty should be used more effectively. It will free space in prisons, cease tax payer's funding the life of undesirable criminals, bring justice to both offender and victim, and keep heinous criminals out of society.Life sentences are not an effective alternative; the offenders may be released, causing them to reoffend, or if they are kept in prison for the rest of their lives they suffer, cause overcrowding of prisons, are cause for their families to suffer, and are simply no use to society.Capital Punishment is the strongest promoter of moral values. By letting a criminal rot in prison, simply because the victims or affected people want them to suffer, simply causes them to stoop to the criminal's level of inhumanity. The death penalty is there to eliminate inhumanity in oursociety, while Life Sentences support it.People who commit heinous crimes deserve to die; they surrender their right to live freely in society by displaying inhumanity towards others. It is time to mend the mistakes made in society and make this country a better country free of criminals and all its elements. Some of you may not agree, but you decide and comment.