There is no other way to put into words the dilemma that death penalty poses to the consciousness of individuals than J.R.R. Tolkien’s statement in The Fellowship of the Ring, in which he wrote, “Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?” This predicament can be pointed out as one of the reasons why death penalty has been suspended and reestablished as the years go by in the Philippines. In the past, death penalty has been implemented during the times of Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, and Glorio Macapagal-Arroyo as a response to increasing crime rates. But then, last 2006, Arroyo signed Republic Act No. 9346 which proclaims the suspension of capital punishment in favor of life imprisonment. Not a decade has passed yet lawmakers are in talks once again on reviving death penalty. Even though an overwhelming majority opposes this controversial position, I firmly stand on the belief that death penalty should be reinstated in the Philippines because of three crucial reasons, namely: it is a proportional punishment for atrocious crimes, it helps protect the welfare of the citizens, and it brings closure to the family of the victim.
My first argument in support of the reimplementation of death penalty in the Philippines is because of its responsible action to deliver proportional punishment for atrocious crimes. Such “atrocious crimes” could be tagged to crimes involving murder, rape, and drug trafficking. On the proposal that death penalty should be constitutionally accepted as a form of punishment for murder, US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (1976) agreed to this proposition and defended his decision by stating, “When a life has been taken deliberately by the offender, we cannot say that the punishment is invariably disproportionate to the crime. It is an extreme sanction suitable to the most extreme of crimes.” To fully understand this Stewart’s stand, take into account the case shared by Bradbury (2000), in which
A 2 1/2-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped, sodomized, tortured and mutilated with vise grips over six hours. Then she was strangled to death. Her assailant, Theodore Frank, according to court records and his own admissions, had already molested more than 100 children during a 20-year period. (“The Death Penalty Is an Affirmation of the Sanctity of Life” article, para.1)
In this situation, a sentence of death should be considered rightful as it is the only thinkable suitable penalty for a serial assailant who commits extremely flagitious crimes. Sadly, 23 years have already passed since this incident occurred yet no decision has been officially made in court. Furthermore, based on this case, it follows that innocent life should always be valued over that of the person who transgresses against the law.
Opposition of this stand, however, ridiculed and criticized this as they believe that proportional punishment is unachievable in majority of the crimes listed down...