The Death Penalty
Capital punishment is the legal infliction of the death penalty on persons convicted of a crime. Today, in modern law, the death penalty is corporal punishment in its most severe form. It is irrevocable: it ends the existence of those punished, instead of temporarily imprisoning them. Although capital punishment is not intended to inflict physical pain, execution is the only corporal punishment still applied to adults. The usual alternative to the death penalty is life-long imprisonment.
For the past decades capital punishment has been one of the most hotly contested political issues in America. This debate is a complicated one. Capital punishment is not merely-or even primarily-a legal question. It is a practical, philosophical, social, political, and moral question as well. I don’t have any problems with the death penalty only if all avenues have been investigated and nothing is questionable. I believe in the concept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth because there are always consequences to the things you do and murder should not an exception.
The notion of deterrence has been at the very center of the practical debate over the question of capital punishment. The fear of death deters people from committing crimes. I believe that the death penalty has a deterrent value because it removes the criminals from society so they will never be able to committing anymore crimes. Also future criminals must understand the consequences of committing a crime.
Abolitionists have long argued that deterrence is little more than an assumption, that most murders cannot be rationally deterred by any penalty, including death. They are crimes of passion, committed in moments of intense rage, frustration, hatred, or fear, when the killers aren’t thinking clearly of the personal consequences of what they do. I respect their beliefs, but I still believe in its deterrence value. I believe the serial murderers that continuously kill should be put to death so that no more lives will be lost.
I believe in capital punishment because I know of a person who was killed in a drive-by shooting. He was a good student and had plenty of potential. The juveniles who took his life are currently in juvenile hall. What saddens me the most is that these violent teenagers have a potential of freedom when they turn eighteen. I believe these criminals should have been executed because there is a chance that they will commit a murder again. If the death penalty was applied to them, it guarantees that they will never murder again.