Capital Punishment Essay

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The world is full of mysterious answers to questions: Why does the sun rise? Is there a higher power somewhere? These questions can be answered one of two ways; either through knowledge or belief. The accuracy of these answers, however, can vary greatly depending on which method of knowing is used. Belief, for example, is the least accurate option of the two. Belief is personal. Different individuals may have different beliefs on the same matter. People tend to have different beliefs depending on their way of thinking, which in turn depends on the person’s upbringing, education, knowledge, etc. Knowledge however is something universal; there are no different views factored into knowledge. It is something that is void of any emotions or personal beliefs.

When it comes to capital punishment, the answer for whether or not governments should be allowed to execute criminals is an answer based on belief. Some people may believe that capital punishment is wrong while some may believe that it is just. No one knows for sure whether or not it’s right or wrong to execute criminals. Some faith groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church, oppose the death penalty as not being "pro-life."Catholic Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, writes "...the death penalty diminishes all of us, increases disrespect for human life, and offers the tragic illusion that we can teach that killing is wrong by killing." This quotation is based off of reason. It shows the side of the debate that views executing criminals as wrong. After all, if we kill someone to teach that killing is wrong, doesn’t that make us just as bad?

“If a civilized society cannot say why one man should be executed and another not,” stated Justice Matthew Tobriner, “it does not rationally, logically take life. Instead, it grossly denies due process of law, inflicting death on the basis of a trial that is capricious, discriminatory and guess-infected.” For example, wrongly convicted, innocent people...
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