Capital Punishment Is Moral And Ethical

2280 words - 9 pages

Aristotle defines morality as reasoning well for a complete life. As humans we understand this and work to create our own moral code; however, the question is what that moral code should be. Although we put laws into place to define what is best for humanity, our morality is easily split. Among moral questions the arguments of life appear to be the most controversial. What we find moral often either benefits the group or the individual. Do we have the right to kill an individual for the supposed common good? I believe that yes we do; however how can one justify this system. The answers can be found in the safety, cost, prevention, and our rights. In order to insure safety, one must decide how others reason. According to Aristotle, the purpose of a human being is to use our rationality to live a life of virtue in accordance with reason. If one is using their rationality unreasonably, than the safety of others are at stake. This refusal to behave rationality is a knowledgeable forfeiture of one’s rational rights. For example, it is considered self-defense if one shoots and kills an armed intruder. So why is it considered wrong to kill those who have killed in the name of self-defense? Like the intruder, they have given up their rational rights and placed the consequences in the hands of the rational. We should then take this freedom and consider our own interest. If not we face the possibility of the same actions reoccurring. Cowan 2 A fear of those who obey the law, are those who do not. There is also the possibility that those criminals will also reoffend. According to Marie Gottschalk, in her article “Days without End: Life Sentences and Penal Reform,” the total amount of people serving life sentences in the United States are 141,000 (Gottschalk 1). This number does not include the number of people who have received an exceeded life sentence. If criminals who would qualify for the death penalty are not being dealt with, than an increase in prison population might prompt an earlier release. Mary also states in her article that Charles Manson and Sirhan Sirhan, both responsible for murder, are eligible for parole hearings (Gottschalk 13). If our deemed “worst” criminals are eligible to walk among us, than who are already walking the streets? The everyday citizen does not know the answer to that question which makes it all the more urgent that we find a better solution. With criminals like Charles Manson eligible for parole, the idea of re-offense may often enter the mind. Although it is difficult to tell how many released felons have offended again, we find that it does happen more often than need be. For example in 1970 Glyn Dix was to serve life in prison for the murder of 32 year old Pia Overbury. After serving 31 years of his life sentence, he was then allowed to walk free. However three years later, in 2004, he killed his...

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