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Capital Punishment: Loosely Based Assumption Essay

914 words - 4 pages

Capital Punishment loosely based assumption
Capital punishment, also referred to as the death penalty, is the judicially ordered execution of a prisoner as a punishment for a serious crime, such as murder. Currently, in the United States, capital punishment is legal; however, it continues to create controversial disputes throughout the country. The first dispute revolves around the misconception that capital punishment attempts to teach society not to kill by killing. The second argument is whether society has an obligation to enforce capital punishment; thirdly, whether the death penalty is a means of vengeance or a means of justice; lastly, one of the most controversial discussions, is whether capital punishment is considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment. Although the death penalty has its faults, I believe it to be an appropriate form of punishment suited for the heinous crime committed. Furthermore, capital punishment is the only certain sentence that guarantees the safety of future potential victims; no other punishment can assure the same outcome.
Opponents of capital punishment not only argue against the death penalty, but often ridicule the government for its continuation. One strategy is by referencing Victor Hugo, who once stated: “What says the law? You will not kill. How does it say it? By killing!” Although the statement is memorable and appealing, it is also misleading and deceptive. Capital punishment does not demonstrate the wrongfulness of killing by killing; it demonstrates the wrongfulness of killing by executing convicted murderers after a fair trial. The death penalty is enforced to illustrate that murder is intolerable: if one takes the life of an innocent human, then one will suffer the consequences that fit the crime. It cannot be forgotten that the United States is a democracy; therefore, the government is merely fulfilling its responsibility by doing what the people want. Additionally, even though the government has an obligation to fulfill its responsibility by representing the people, it does not suggest that the people do have an obligation to fulfill as well.
Society has the duty to protect one another and their community by eliminating evil and potential harm, case in point murderers. Within David Gelernter’s article, “What Do Murderers Deserve? The Death Penalty in Civilized Societies,” he states: “By executing murderers, the community reaffirms this moral understanding by restating the truth that absolute evil exists and must be punished” (148). If capital punishment is not enforced, there no longer remains absolute assurance that the murderer will not find a way to kill another victim, which is why society has an obligation to uphold the death penalty. Whether or not the public agrees with the execution of a convicted murderer,...

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