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History And The Pros And Cons Of Capital Punishment

1136 words - 5 pages

Capital PunishmentCapital punishment is a death penalty for committing a crime. This is a very controversial topic. Some people find this law barbaric and unethical. Others agree with this law because they think it deters crime. Some people ask themselves: Is it really a deterrence? The New Testament says God commands the use of capital punishment, then why is it that some states forbid it? What effect does it have on society?Common reasons in support of capital punishment:The Bible- The Bible requires the death penalty for a wide variety of crimes, including sex before marriage, adultery, homosexual behavior, doing work on Saturday and murder. It even calls for some criminals (e.g. prostitutes who are the daughters of priests) to be tortured to death by being burned alive.Justice/Vengeance- Many people feel that killing convicted murderers will satisfy their need for justice and/or vengeance. They feel that certain crimes are so dreadful that executing the criminal is the only reasonable response.Deterrence- Many people feel that the death penalty will deter criminals from killing. This does not seem to be confirmed by a study of the available data. Even Richard Dieter who is the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center said, "The issue of deterrence has been studied for decades, and the overwhelming conclusion is that the death penalty has failed to be a deterrent and certainly is no more of a deterrent than life without parole...." However, it feels naturally correct for many people.Value of human life- "It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life." (Edward Koch).Cost- Once a convicted murder is executed and buried, there are no further maintenance costs to the state.Safety- Once a convicted murderer is executed, there is no chance that he will break out of jail and kill or injure someone.Common reasons against capital punishment:The Bible- Some Christians feel that they are no longer bound by the legal codes of the Hebrew Scriptures, and that the death penalty is no longer required. Since the Bible was written, as society became more open-minded, we eliminated the death penalty for pre-marital sex, practicing a different religion, blasphemy, rebellion by teenagers, etc. We should eliminate it for murder as well.Effect on society- Some feel that permitting deliberated murder is totally unacceptable, even if done by the state. Capital punishment lowers the value of human life as seen by the general population and brutalizes society. It is based on a need for revenge.Lack of Deterrence- The death penalty has not been shown to be effective in the reduction of the homicide rate. There are some indications that executions actually increase the murder rate.Cost- The costs to the state of funding appeals by convicted murderers would more than pay for their permanent imprisonment.Value of human life- Human life has essential value, even if a person has murdered...

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