The Value Of Life Essay

984 words - 4 pages

Since childhood, we have been taught that the most precious thing in this world is life; therefore murder is the worst of all sins that one could commit. But when it comes to capital punishment, this moral, which has been taught to us since birth, becomes arbitrary. This is where we as humans have failed. Capital punishment is simply the taking of a human life sanctioned by the state. How is that any different from simply murdering someone? There is no reason for the death penalty to be an option, even in particularly heinous crimes, when the alternative of life in prison without parole is on the table.
Capital punishment is seen by many of its defenders as necessary due to the fact that it is the ultimate warning for criminals. People fear nothing more then death. Our own mortality drives humans to do crazy things through out our lives. It is human nature to fight for ones life, no matter the cost that one may pay. However, this idea has no credible evidence behind it. In a statement made by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) they stated that “[T]here is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws. And states that have abolished capital punishment show no significant changes in either crime or murder rates” (Top 10). When someone commits a crime, they do no do so assuming that one-day in the near future, they will be caught and tried for their crimes. Instead they give into their emotions and killing a fellow human being. In theory, the idea of having the death penalty on the table is a great one, but murders do not think in the long term of what might happen if convicted, they live in the moment, giving into their emotions as they commit their crime.
Another strong argument from the defense of capital punishment is that it provides retribution and closure for the families of the victims. Many people argue that the only way for family members of the victims to move on, is to feel the satisfaction that the man who killed their loved one is no longer alive. In an article written about the possible implication on the death penalty, the author says “[The victims] grief begins with the murder. It may not end with the murderer’s execution, but the execution does engender a feeling of relief at no longer having to think about the ordeal—a feeling which often fails to arise while the murderer still lives on” (5 Arguments). After living through a tragic crime such as a murder, ever person deserves the right to closure, but closure can be met in other ways then the taking of another life. If the criminal is sentenced to life in prison with out parole, justice if served to the same extent...

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