'the Death Penalty Is Justified Because It And It Alone Pays Proper Respect To The Importance Of Human Life.' What Is Your View On This?

1305 words - 5 pages

Much has often been said about the sanctity of human life. The gift of life is a privilege bestowed upon us. Even though each life may tread different roads, encounter different experiences, there is one fact that binds all lives together - we only live once.The quality of life, however, is a variable factor that is sometimes beyond our mortal means of control. It is undeniable, though, that everyone is entitled to an equal shot at the myriad of chances life presents to us. Out of this whole concept of the sanctity and sacredness of life arises the debate on capital punishment, or the death penalty.There are those who despise the death penalty for its apparent cruelty and the finality that it implies, and yet others who look upon it as the ideal and only way to pay proper respect to the importance of human life. But the pertinent issue that we must examine here today is whether the death penalty is truly justified in its execution and also if it is the only, and ultimately, the most suitable means of paying homage to the value of human life.Today, approximately ninety countries around the world still retain the death penalty. This includes China, Islamic countries, Singapore, as well as thirty seven states of the United States. The controversy surrounding this form of criminal punishment has never faltered over the years, however, as people call into question the humanity of terminating a criminal's life.Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." It is on this basis that many anti-death penalty activists argue their case, by claiming that the government flagrantly disregards the sanctity of human life by disallowing the criminals their right to live. Then there are those who claim that the death penalty is hypocritical because while it sends out a message that murder is a crime that should be condemned, the government is doing precisely what it condemns by murdering the criminal. Yet others bring out the seeming futility of executing criminals; they preach peace and forgiveness, and despise the death penalty for its seeming emphasis on vengeance.Surely these are valid arguments. And clearly they have their own logic. However it is my own personal belief that the death penalty is justified not only in its punishment of criminals, but also as the most respectable way to uphold the sanctity of human life. It must be understood that the death penalty is only meted out in cases which involve murder. When a criminal goes so far as to commit the crime of murder, he is obviously exhibiting his disregard for the victim's right to life. Human rights are a contract deal. Freedoms of individuals should, theoretically, be respected and unhindered but it cannot, and must not, infringe on another's rights. If one takes away the right to life of another person (as murder clearly does), at that moment he himself has already forfeited his right to life.Instead let us...

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