Sunday, May 2, 2010

Capital Punishment

There are many ways in which the criminal justice system has proved to be corrupt; one of which is the huge controversy surrounding the death penalty. The execution of criminals for their actions has been long debated by scholars and politicians for its controversial connotations. Many believe that those prisoners sent to “death row” have obviously committed some gruesome crime that in turn they must be punished for capitally, but there are also others who believe that capital punishment is extremely immoral and should therefore no longer be enacted. The main question one must ask his or herself is “Do I believe that killing a human being for his or her actions is morally ‘right’ and is the death penalty not murder in itself?” Those questions are tough to answer because no sane person would go right out and say “I support murder” but isn’t that really what one is saying when they say they support the death penalty.

Personally, I have somewhat of an ambivalent stance when it comes to the death penalty. In many cases I support the execution of criminals for their actions, but at the same time believe that capital punishment is an out-dated form of punishment that should no longer be enacted. I think it is natural for one to be upset at a criminal for his or her faulty deeds, but do two wrongs make a right? If we sit at the judicial stand and scream that murder is wrong and immoral but at the same time execute, or murder, criminals are we not being hypocrites? Capital punishment is basically legalized murder, and though one may deserve his or her punishment a justice system based off of the so-called eye for an eye psychology is only a temporary solution to a problem and in the long run it only causes more grief, pain, and guilt. Many times the judicial government does not take into account the extreme emotional after-math that capital punishment causes the criminal’s and victim’s families. Many times what may seem like the perfect emotional closure for the victim’s family only temporarily subsides the pain that came with losing their loved one, etc. In those cases, which are many, capital punishment acts as a band aid covering a severed heart: it may help with the pain temporarily, but in reality, your heart is still severed. Who gave the federal government the authority to take the lives of individuals in the first place? Many believe that the government has elevated themselves above God, therefore taking the lives of criminals and individuals in their own hands.

This is not to say that criminals should not be punished for their crimes. I definitely believe that there are consequences for every law-breaking citizen, I just think that sometimes the death penalty and capital punishment can be taken to great unnecessary extremes. I think that the government should make a better standard for what someone can be capitally punished for. There is no clear standard thus results in un-fair sentences for criminals who may not deserve the ultimate penalty.

1 comment:

  1. I have a similar opinion on the capital punishment as you. There is a need for a proper punishment for those who committed a crime, but I am not sure if a death penalty should be considered proper. I like how you called the capital punishment an out-dated form of punishment, because it is a method used since ancient times, and it does not seem to fit our modern laws that ban murdering of others. It is ironic to say killing is illegal but as a consequence of it the person gets executed. There needs to be a punishment other than the death penalty that can make the criminals suffer what they have committed but does not involve immorality.