Capital Punishment

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Criminal law is imposed by almost every nation in the world to reduce crime rate and maintain law and order of the society. An individual who found guilty of a crime will have to face corresponding punishments. Among all penalties, capital punishment is considered to be the most severe and cruelest one which takes away criminal’s most valuable right in the world, that is, right to live. It is a heated debate for centuries whether capital punishment should be completely abolished world widely. The world seems to have mixed opinion regarding this issue. According to Amnesty International (2010), currently, 97 countries in the world have already abolished capital punishment while only 58 nations still actively adopt death penalty. Nevertheless, four of the most populous countries, China, India, United States and Indonesia, still keep exercising capital punishment today. This essay will discuss why capital punishment should be abolished by looking into the religious view of Buddhism, the right to live, execution of the innocent and the sociologic perspective.

First of all, from a religious point of view, the doctrine of Buddhist implies that death penalty is inconsistent with Buddhist teaching. The research of BBC (2009) mentions, “Buddhists place great emphasis on non-violence and compassion for all life. The First Precept requires individuals to abstain from injuring or killing any living creature.” From the doctrine, it is clear that no physical punishment is justified, no matter how bad the crime. Chapter 10 of the Dhammapada (2012) states, "Everyone fears punishment; everyone fears death, just as you do. Therefore you do not kill or cause to be killed." Buddhists are taught to forgive other’s wrong done and they believe in the superior power of the Buddha's teaching to rehabilitate murderers and other criminals. To execute someone leaves no chance for the criminal’s rehabilitation into society. In addition, capital punishment is not only a form of punishment,...
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