Who Has the Right to Take a Life?
Conforming to the correct rules of conduct, or moral values, reflect an individual’s views about life. Morality draws the dividing line between what is right and wrong. When developing an opinion toward the death penalty, one immediately drifts toward a certain side. Introduced to world justice systems early on, the death penalty became a means of punishment for those who committed crimes deemed as morally reprehensible. Although taking the lives of many, this frequently challenged action remains a controversial topic in modern American society. Essentially, the use of the death penalty not only defies the principles of living entitled to every human being, but the practice also reflects the decline in American society’s critical thinking process. The act of taking another human being’s life for the purpose of justice only satisfies immoral and vengeful attitudes. In order to create a more civilized and morally grounded society, the penalty of death as a means for punishment should be abolished.
When first considering arguments against the death penalty, one must first understand the basis of thinking for those who may demand this sort of justice. Immoral actions, for example, illustrate an individual’s ability to act inhuman. Families of the lost loved ones and victims of crimes, for example, feel as though death inflicted upon the guilty party will not heal them from the sorrow and sense of loss they feel. However, because another life may be taken, the death penalty can possibly cause a victim’s family to suffer even more because they feel responsible for the accused criminal’s life as well (Pinker).
Likewise, with the occasional discovery of false or unreliable evidence used to convict someone, innocent victims have been wrongly convicted, thus resulting in them receiving the death penalty in error. While under the pressure of the hectic and flawed U.S. justice system, jurors and attorneys may drastically jump to conclusions about a situation or evidence. Based on the court-appointed representative the suspect receives, the outcome is also left up to chance. In other words, in a scenario such as this, why should a faultless individual have to give his or her life for a situation he or she was not a part of? Abolishing the death penalty would stop innocent people from being subjected to a form of punishment that violates an individual’s basic right to life. Even in situations where a guilty party is indeed expected to receive punishment, the judge can sentence the person charged with the crime to life in prison without the possibility of parole. By taking this less violent path, tax payers are burdened less, society is still benefitting with one less dangerous person on the street, but most importantly, a life is spared—criminals can even focus on rehabilitation while in prison. Plus, the cost for an execution in most states can be as much as $2 million, while a life sentence in prison average around...