Capital punishment is the killing of a person by judicial process as a punishment for a capital offense. This process has been practiced in almost every society in the past, and currently, 58 nations around the world practice it, with 95 countries abolishing it and the 10 remaining not using it or not allowing it except in certain circumstances. Recently, I have noticed that the topic of capital punishment has changed from a legal issue to a bigger moral issue. Gone are the days where the decision to execute a criminal was simple and accepted. These days there is a huge debate about whether capital punishment is morally the right thing to do. Opponents of the death penalty argue that it has led to the execution of innocent people and that its main motive is revenge rather than justice. They also feel that it is just a means to saves money, discriminates against minorities and the poor, and violates the criminal’s right to live. Supporters of capital punishment feel that the death penalty affirms the right to life by punishing those who violate it and that it is justified by the principle of retribution. Both sides feel they are correct in the matter and there is evidence to support both arguments. One thing I see is that both sides are arguing about the right to live; one for it and one against it. This shows that the issues surrounding capital punishment revolve around whether or not it is morally right to kill a person after they have committed a horrible crime.
Personally, I have mixed feelings toward capital punishment. In some cases I agree with it but in other cases I don’t. When we discussed this topic in class a while back, many people were in the middle as well. A big factor for me regarding the use of the death penalty revolves around the crime and the condition of the criminal. In my opinion, the death penalty should only be used in cases involving murder, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and voluntary manslaughter, that exceeds a certain number of people. The death penalty should not be used for a criminal that kills one person because I don’t feel that it the proper punishment. If someone kills another person, they deserve to live the rest of their life in the worst possible conditions. In the case of one person being murdered, I think that their killer should spend the rest of their life rotting in a jail cell. In the cases involving multiple murders, the killer should receive the death penalty. If they take it into their own hands and end the lives of numerous people, their life deserves to end. In this case, the criminal is forced to sit on death row for an unknown amount of time awaiting their termination. I do not believe that some criminals should be excused from the death penalty because they are considered mentally unstable or their crime was committed in the “heat of passion”. It is a good thing that I am not in charge of handing out death row invites because I just don’t think I could handle that.