Ethics – the Death Penalty
Essay title: Ethics – the Death Penalty
Ethics: The Death Penalty
We have a system of capital punishment that results in infrequent, random, and unpredictable executions, one that is structured to inflict death neither on those who have committed the worst offenses nor on defendants of the worst character. This is the “system” of the death penalty. The practice of capital punishment is as old as government itself. For most of history, it has not been considered controversial. Since ancient times most governments have punished a wide variety of crimes by death and have conducted executions as a routine part of the administration of criminal law. The controversy and debate over whether governments should utilize the death penalty continue today. In todays world, the real American system of capital punishment clearly fails when it is considered a form of justification for punishment, deterrence, and retribution, since many case studies show that many mistakes were made that led to the death sentence and now which have led to Supreme Court rulings.
Sentencing an individual to death is not a justified form of punishment. It is rather barbarous. The government speaks of justice, but this word is only a reflection of the confusion, anger, and hatred that have fermented within this country, indeed within the very foundations of human society. The idea that certain rights exist independently of the will of the state at any one time finds its fullest expressions in the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and in the concept of human rights. These instruments unmistakably recognize a universal and inherent dignity of the human person gifted with unalienable rights among which are, the right to life. The Declaration of Independence goes as far as to affirm that these truths are self-evident. Our unwavering commitment to upholding these rights is an assertion of our own moral decency and a testament to our human dignity. In this light capital punishment is an essentially destructive and pessimistic social construct forsaking mans dignity. It alleges that we cannot protect society from man in case we kill. Any types of todays executions (electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, shooting) are barbaric and truly, they show the lowness into what our society has sunk. When human life is assigned a value and weighed against other alternatives, there is problem. The death penalty denies the sacredness of human life. Life is so precious that nobody should ever be killed, even by the state However; nothing is more barbaric then when a person says that the death sentence should be enforced because it can serve as a deterrent.
The deterrence theory assumes that a rational person will avoid criminal behavior if the severity of the punishment is imposed and that it will deter others from committing such heinous crimes. Many spectators argue that this is the main purpose of the death penalty. To hear that is absolutely horrifying. This is where a persons individual moral rights and values come into play. Yes, criminals should be punished but not to the extent that they are killed to set an example. Death row inmates spend most of their lives with little chance for exercise, visitors or contact with human beings in a 6 by 9 cell awaiting a final hour that is always uncertain. This psychological and physical treatment has been likened to torture and is, by the most basic standards, arguably degrading. Abolishing capital punishment affords the United States a unique opportunity to build on the spirit of human rights and reinforce its role as a leader and beacon for the world. Another major factor that comes into play of why this punishment is cruel and unjust is retribution
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