For Or Against The Death Penalty

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Svetla Vasileva, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. Svetla Vasileva

    Svetla Vasileva New Member

    To answer this question one must have power to dispose with the sacred right to live. I would readily wash my hands from such power. A list of arguments for or against can be quite objective but when it comes to weighing the arguments to reach a final decision essayists of my kin are helpless.


    On one hand there is that Old Testament approach to the subject “eye for eye, tooth for tooth.” People with such ideal will have no mercy for the criminals who have consciously committed murder. ‘He that smiteth a man so that he die shall surely be put to death” the Good Book says on the subject. “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed.” Behind this idea there is a whole merciless group of lawmakers who would vote for the capital punishment. These are people who would classify killing as lawful and unlawful, reasonable and unreasonable, right and wrong. On the other side in Exodus Verse Thirteen we have one of the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not kill.” This is the cherished in the New Testament idea that human life is sacred. Its followers will argue that the death penalty is a relic of human barbarism, that murder is murder even on the electric chair and that with setting such example the society does not deter crime. What is the moral sense of killing a killer in order to show to the rest of mankind that killing is immoral? In opposition can be said that law is not always produced by moral values but by practical and logical decisions. The murderer is not an adequate part of humanity therefore, he does not deserve to live and be fed in the state prisons by the tax payers. Somewhere here psychoanalysts will take the floor and explain that socially inadequate is another saying for mentally and emotionally ill, therefore even the most depraved and most ferocious murderers can be tolerated on basis of their mistreatment by society. Ultimately, the capital punishment can be defined as evil but useful. Then we come to a point where the discussion can take other dimensions with no chance to be ever solved justly.
     
  2. S Joy Fox

    S Joy Fox New Member

    1) Your question poses a multidimensional argument and is reminiscent of what I learned back in philosophy 101: as a philosopher, no solutions are sought, philosopher's duties are only meant to ask the questions. With this in mind, I see you have done just that, Svetla! Of course we all have opinions regarding the death penalty. Mine is that putting someone to death coughs in the face of compassion. Those that transgress society need everyone’s help the most. Rehabilitation is my solution (I guess I am not a philosopher). Anyone who has killed another, needs to be rehabilitated, not put to death. Many of the folks who have committed murders have a form of insanity, in my estimation of their mental functioning at the time of their crime. Most people, who are aggressive enough to harm someone else by taking their life, have a history of being harmed themselves. This is common knowledge in the research found of the lifespan development dialogs in psychology. Psychoeducation for aggressive parents is paramount to lower the incidence of violence against others as their kids grow up and try to figure everything out for themselves. Although it may happen that kind parents breed killers, it is far more common the other way around.
     
  3. blaze65

    blaze65 New Member

    I am against the death penalty mainly for three reasons. 1) Our justice system is not perfect; therefore, an innocent person may be put to death for a crime he or she never committed. 2) If a person does deserve to be put on death row, I do not agree with making a non-partisan person do the killing. Why should "killing" be part of someone's job description? Instead, if we are going to have people on death row who need to be killed, then a representative from the victim's family should carry out the death sentence. 3) If a person committed a crime so horrendous that he or she deserves to be on death row, then I prefer the person live as long as possible. I want the person to live and suffer. Death is too quick and does not make a person "pay" for the suffering he or she has caused.
     
  4. jimcort

    jimcort New Member

    Killing is wrong, no matter who does it and no matter what the reason. Sure, there are people who should be removed from society. They're sick, or they're troubled, or they're just plain mean. Lock them up. Don't let them out. Maybe they'll get better. Maybe they won't.

    Don't kid yourself into thinking you can solve your problesm by killing. That's the way the killers think.
     
  5. Lafcadio

    Lafcadio New Member

    Justice

    Justice drips like beads of blood
    Silent in the night
    Slithering soundlessly down cold stone corridors
    Staring unblinkingly at the last march of the Condemned
    Listening hungrily to the roars of the crowd:
    "He killed a man! He killed a man! And Justice must be done!"
    Trembling lips in a pallid face
    Utter an apology,
    Too little, too late...
    Blind to the Commandment carved in the stone
    Deaf to the Promise given on the cross
    It prepares to consume its prey:
    Slowly curling as the shackles are bound,
    Breathlessly hissing as the mask is lowered,
    Lethally striking as the switch is thrown.
    We killed a man,
    We killed a man
    And Justice has been done.
     
  6. Kievsky

    Kievsky New Member

    I usually sum up my stance on the issue with Gandalf's quote to Frodo about turning around and killing Gollum:"Many that live deserve death, and some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?" Killing an innocent is something you can't take back and as someone else pointed out justice system's are not perfect. I would rather any number of criminals go free than one innocent human be put to death by the system that is supposed to protect them, which to me is enough of a reason to be against it.
     
  7. Federico

    Federico New Member

    I've always disliked the death penalty. Now, don't get me wrong, I think that some people do deserve death, but a fraction of innocent people will always get through. The system isn't flawless, and I'd much rather have a million guilty men live the rest of their lives in jail rather than be executed, that have a single innocent man killed for a crime he didn't commit. Kievsky's Gandald quote is really spot on. I'll complete it as to enhance my point: "Not even the very wise can see all ends."
     
  8. Tapir

    Tapir New Member

    Great topic! I took a course on capital punishment in America in college and it was my favorite class I ever took.

    In my opinion, the death penalty should be outlawed for numerous reasons:

    1. Despite what many proponents of the death penalty claim, all research has shown that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent for murder. Most murders are crimes of passion and the perpetrator doesn't think about the consequences before acting. Also, despite what the media seems to display, most people who commit murder will only act once. Studies show that murders who get released from prison rarely act again.

    2. Death sentences are not handed out fairly. While blacks and whites are represented pretty equally on death row, the victims of death row inmates are predominantly white. Basically, while the offender's race seems to have little bearing on getting a death sentence, the race of his/her victim does play a major role. Also, nearly all death row inmates are poor (meaning they probably didn't get fair representation in court) and uneducated. Court-appointed attorneys in capital cases have been known to fall asleep during the trial, show up drunk to court, or be lacking in experience with capital cases.

    3. Of course there is no way of knowing for sure if a person is truly guilty of their crime or not. Surely innocent people have been put to death in the name of justice. Once proven innocent, there is no way to bring someone back from the dead. There is just no way to make this system flawless and I don't think that people should lose their life as a result of it.

    4. The death penalty is not "an eye for an eye," as many people claim. A person who kills their victim with a single gunshot would to the head is executed in the same manner as a person who tortures and slowly kills their victim.

    5. Capital punishment is unfair for the victims' families. For example, say my family member is murdered and your family member is murdered. My family member's killer gets sentenced to death, while your family member's killer gets sentenced to life in prison. What makes my family member's life more valuable that your family member's life? Why should my family member's killer get a harsher sentence than yours?

    I can think of several more reasons why I am opposed to the death penalty, but I have really only heard one good argument in favor of it. The best argument I have heard in defense of capital punishment is revenge. Revenge is a perfectly normal human emotion and desire. I can completely understand why a victim's family would want to see their loved one's killer put to death.
     
    Zinia likes this.
  9. Tapir

    Tapir New Member

    Oh, I forgot to subscribe beforehand. So here's my initial comment:

    Great topic! I took a course on capital punishment in America in college and it was my favorite class I ever took.
    In my opinion, the death penalty should be outlawed for numerous reasons:

    1. Despite what many proponents of the death penalty claim, all research has shown that the death penalty does not act as a deterrent for murder. Most murders are crimes of passion and the perpetrator doesn't think about the consequences before acting. Also, despite what the media seems to display, most people who commit murder will only act once. Studies show that murders who get released from prison rarely act again.

    2. Death sentences are not handed out fairly. While blacks and whites are represented pretty equally on death row, the victims of death row inmates are predominantly white. Basically, while the offender's race seems to have little bearing on getting a death sentence, the race of his/her victim does play a major role. Also, nearly all death row inmates are poor (meaning they probably didn't get fair representation in court) and uneducated. Court-appointed attorneys in capital cases have been known to fall asleep during the trial, show up drunk to court, or be lacking in experience with capital cases.

    3. Of course there is no way of knowing for sure if a person is truly guilty of their crime or not. Surely innocent people have been put to death in the name of justice. Once proven innocent, there is no way to bring someone back from the dead. There is just no way to make this system flawless and I don't think that people should lose their life as a result of it.

    4. The death penalty is not "an eye for an eye," as many people claim. A person who kills their victim with a single gunshot would to the head is executed in the same manner as a person who tortures and slowly kills their victim.

    5. Capital punishment is unfair for the victims' families. For example, say my family member is murdered and your family member is murdered. My family member's killer gets sentenced to death, while your family member's killer gets sentenced to life in prison. What makes my family member's life more valuable that your family member's life? Why should my family member's killer get a harsher sentence than yours?

    I can think of several more reasons why I am opposed to the death penalty, but I have really only heard one good argument in favor of it. The best argument I have heard in defense of capital punishment is revenge. Revenge is a perfectly normal human emotion and desire. I can completely understand why a victim's family would want to see their loved one's killer put to death.
     
  10. santorebirth

    santorebirth New Member

    I am strongly against capital punishment. Let's face it, There is no justice system in the world that is infallible. If a state should enforce the death penalty, it is inevitable that the state will kill an innocent man and there is no way that the state can make amends to the wrongfully convicted person.
     
  11. VikkiR27

    VikkiR27 New Member

    Some food for thought: someone goes out and kills a thousand people, and then someone kills him out of punishment/retaliation/example to others (any number of real and often-used reasons). Will his 1 life atone for the 1000 people that he killed? Will his suffering really equate to the amount of suffering he caused others - not just the people he has killed, but their friends and families and everyone else who has lost their feeling of security through his heinous crime?

    I also believe that, in the Old Testament, the "eye for an eye" law was actually meant to limit what one person could do to another out of retaliation: ex. stealing a sheep does not warrant human death.

    In short, I don't believe that the death penalty really serves the purpose of social justice, even though it may make sense on the surface.
     
  12. Fifi Leigh

    Fifi Leigh Member

    I am against the death penalty because I feel only God has the right to take anyone's life. HE brought them into this world, and only HE can take them out. If they person did a terrible crime, then they should live a life-term in prison, like some FEMA camp, where he or she is given certain jobs to do there for the rest of that person's life. But, otherwise. if the crime didn't murder or torture, the person should also get some rehab and psychiatric help while in person, and maybe they can eventually live in society when they get parole.
     
    Wonderfully Scarred likes this.
  13. megshoe

    megshoe New Member

    I am very against the death penalty because I don't believe that putting even the most despicable criminal to death is not worth the risk that an innocent person may be wrongly sentenced to die. The question of whether criminals (in the United States) have been wrongly put to death is not just a hypothetical conversation; in Oklahoma, after the dawn of DNA technology, it was discovered than many of the men and women put to death over the years had in fact been innocent. It turns my stomach just to imagine that, to imagine that becoming my reality. Since then, Oklahoma has instituted a law requiring solid DNA evidence before sentencing someone to death, but I honestly can't believe they didn't do away with capital punishment all together. This is the main reason I am against it, but issues of inequality in sentencing people of different races, the question of the pain or inhumanity of execution, and the fact that the death penalty does not deter crime, strengthen my view that it should be outlawed.
     
  14. Zwong777

    Zwong777 New Member

    The death penalty is not humane at all! I get that the crimes some people commit are hideous and that they don't deserve to live but it's not our decision to decide their outcome. I would rather that they cut down on all the luxuries inside prisons like widescreen TV's, gaming consoles, gyms, pool tables and etc. Prison is suppose to be a punishment not a reward!
     
  15. dranzer123

    dranzer123 New Member

    I am for the death penalty. The amount of criminals costs a lot of money. The death penalty isn't even used for death row inmates. If you kill a person you deserve to die. Prison isn't an award it is a punishment. The death penalty will definitely discourage many possible killers. Our justice system does need to be revised but eventually the death penalty should be put to use.
     
  16. Clarkrhi

    Clarkrhi New Member

    I am torn on this topic. I believe and don't believe in it for many different reasons. I believe in it because serial killers and rapists that have no empathy for other human life don't deserve to spend the rest of their days in a jail, where they get a roof over their head, food and healthcare. Money that is spent on evil people can be used on innocent children or needy people.
    I don't agree with it because what if someone was wrongly convicted? Then an innocent person is killed for no reason and once the mistake is realized it's too late. Even though I believe money shouldn't be wasted on killers ect, I partially want them to live out their life suffering for what they did, but that would be not humane
     
  17. Áron

    Áron New Member

    I am totally for the death penalty in case of murderers. A person who commits such a terrible crime, deserves it. But maybe if I do not want to be so cruel there should be a difference between murderers killing someone being not able to handle their rage at a moment and people who prepare everything before commiting it. I have literary examples for this issue from two of the short stories of Poe: The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart. The most important difference between the two are that The Black Cat’s narrator was once a kind person and definitely the alcohol ruined his personality. The Tell-Tale Heart’s narrator must have been a rotten person from his infancy.
     
  18. Áron

    Áron New Member

    I am totally for the death penalty in case of murderers. A person who commits such a terrible crime, deserves it. But maybe if I do not want to be so cruel there should be a difference between murderers killing someone being not able to handle their rage at a moment and people who prepare everything before commiting it. I have literary examples for this issue from two of the short stories of Poe: The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart. The most important difference between the two are that The Black Cat’s narrator was once a kind person and definitely the alcohol ruined his personality. The Tell-Tale Heart’s narrator must have been a rotten person from his infancy.
     
  19. SecretlyTaco

    SecretlyTaco New Member

    I'm against the death penalty, but not because I think we can rehabilitate all people. I'm just not sure I can trust the justice system that much. People do sometimes get wrongly convicted, and if that even happens once, it's not a good system.

    I think that there could be the death penalty for some violent murders, but only if there is 100% indisputable proof that the crime happened, but with the ease of creating and editing video nowadays, it's getting more and more difficult to obtain proof like that.
     
  20. marie7680

    marie7680 New Member

    I have mixed emotions on this topic. I used to be one of those individuals who was pro-death until I started seeing the wrongfully convicted being near death before someone intervened. That awakened the,"What-if's" in my mind. I cannot say I am full against it anymore but I cannot honestly say I am for as well. I believe if without reasonable doubt a person has committed a heinous crime against someone then by all means give them the death penalty. There are some murderers who will coldly admit to what they have done and laugh in the fact of the family members. Those people should have their sentences carried out. One example of a wrongful conviction that comes to mind is Damian Echols. There was no solid evidence linking him to the murders but he was convicted and sentenced to die. That is an example of where our justice system failed. He was saved from death a few years ago after a very lengthy campaign backed by people including myself. I can only imagine the others out there just like him who were not so lucky.
     
  21. jrobinson

    jrobinson New Member

    I am for the death penalty. There are tons of repeat offenders out there. Getting them off the streets (for good) would stop a lot of crimes. Besides, murderers kill, so what makes them more deserving of life than their victims?
     
  22. Dell Williams

    Dell Williams New Member

    This is quite an interesting topic indeed. As for me however, I'm not so convinced as to have a decision either for or against this act of governmental authority. I will cite my reasons here....

    First, the creator of this topic mentioned several scriptures from the Bible. The one referencing the Command not to "kill" is actually an improper translation. The word "kill" is subject to such an open range of descriptive reality that, to make it pertain to a single, yet general meaning that suits this argument is inadequate, I think. Killing can be used descriptively for an act of self defense. It is used for what is done to the animals that we (some) eat. Smashing a bug, a doctor or other such practitioner unwittingly dosing a patient improperly that may cause an allergic reaction, thus resulting in death, accidentally hitting a dear or a cat with a car, etc. are all examples of killing, not murder. Do these warrant the "Eye for an eye" prescription and the death penalty? I don't think so.

    The word cited is actual translated from a Hebrew word that really means "murder." More accurately, premeditated murder. So in essence the commandment and its requisite punishments, were meant to be applicable to those of such an act and practice. I see this as perfectly appropriate and rightfully sustainable within God's right to do. He's God. I also understand that this and the other Commandments written in stone were given to address an appropriate a rule of morality that are to transcend generational and cultural realities- but that's another topic for another time. I'll continue... While on the Biblical prescriptions for moral law and practice, allow me to cite another teaching and command of God through His Apostle Paul from Tarsus. This may be lengthy, but I think my point will come across with more clarity. He states in the book/epistle to the Romans, chapter 13 KJV-

    13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

    6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

    7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

    8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

    9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    This is speaking of governmental rule and their establishment of order and due processes. Notice how it says that these "powers" of government are ordained of God in order to keep the people morally subjugated NOT to themselves but to God. It also states that whomever resists them are in resistance to God. That's pretty heavy and should not be taken lightly!

    So here is where my dilemma rests. I agree that the system is NOT flawless ergo, innocents have been victims of its imperfection. But then, how can I argue a point contrary to the above cited standard from the Book I believe I am to pattern my life after? I am similar in my thoughts as an earlier poster here who said it seems that he's both for and against it for varying reasoning. Lastly, I must say that personally, I detest murder and violent crime of any kind; doesn't matter to me which it is. I don't believe in killing human beings, but do some warrant death for a crime as severe as murder? According to Scripture, yes. Do I decide that? Emphatically... no. Must I support my government? The answer is yes. I can only pray that we elect officials and develop ways to make these decisions properly and within their (and the people's) God ordained and hopefully directed, right of moral right and authority. I leave with this... "...love is the fulfilling of the [moral] law. Rom. 13:10
     
    Vivianna likes this.
  23. Vivianna

    Vivianna New Member

    Wow that was an awesome detailed response, that really

    You really nailed this response in detail and with scripture. Great response!!!
     
  24. Mike

    Mike New Member

    I'm against it solely because of the wrongly accused.

    Also, I always find it interesting how religious people cheer on the execution of an individual when that very execution is in violation of the ideology to which they subscribe. It's still taking a life, no matter how justified it may feel...
     

Share This Page