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Death Penalty Fair, Just And Moral Essay

1094 words - 4 pages

The death penalty has been a controversial issue for many years. Its opponents provide numerous arguments in support of its abolition. Fundamentally, they contend that capital punishment is a racist, immoral act that is nothing more than a legal murder (Sharp par 1-4). In my opinion their statements are either word games or powerful claims that are wrongly accepted as fact. In this paper I will critically evaluate the arguments presented by those that oppose the death penalty. I contend that their arguments either overlook the facts or simply present them in a negative manner.There is a common argument that death penalty is racist, only punishes the poor and, therefore, is applied unfairly. This argument is logically flawed. Those that perpetuate it are arguably asserting that if the death penalty were imposed fairly it would be acceptable. Consequently, this argument is lends support more to improvement of the justice system than abolition of the death penalty. Now, suppose that this argument is in fact about the racism in death penalty. Please note, however, that "statistical analysis demonstrates no consensus that wealthy capital murders are less likely to be executed than their poorer ilk". In fact, statistics indicate that "wealthy capital murderers may be more likely to be executed" (Sharp par 39); demonstrating that a murderer's social class is not determinative of their likelihood to be executed. . Furthermore in regards to the racist aspect of the argument, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Legal Defense Fund (NAACP LDF ) has shown that "the majority of those on death row are white"(Sharp par 39). The argument that the death penalty is racist or unfair is easily refuted. It is a logically flawed argument lacking factual substantiation.The next common argument is that death penalty is a legalized murder. Citizens United for Alternatives to Death Penalty (CUADP), an anti-death penalty lobby group asserts: "We kill people to show that killing people is wrong" (CUADP par 5). This slogan carries a message that may seem very convincing. However, it is only an example of the frequently used word games mentioned earlier. The slogan misses a very important point that the words kill, murder and execute are not interchangeable.One can kill someone in self-defense - that is killing, but not murder. Murder is "the unlawful and malicious or premeditated killing of one human being by another". When using the correct words the slogan changes to "We execute people to show that murder is wrong". It does not sound as catchy but it is much more truthful, warning that those who commit murder will be executed. Analogously, execution is not a murder, but a punishment. It is the punishment of a criminal who committed murder and in doing so intentionally and maliciously robbed another human being of his or her life (Carmical par 2). Using the wrong words to describe the death penalty may make it seem cruel and hypocritical, but when...

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