Capital Punishment: Is It Morally Right?

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Capital punishment is one of the most controversial topics among Americans today. Since every person has his or her own opinion on the topic, either for or against, the question always raised is “Is it morally right?” To many death penalty abolitionists, the answer is very clear and they believe capital punishment is not only morally wrong, but ethnically wrong as well. Human beings do not have the right to take a life of another individual; moreover, innocent people are being executed. Many times the race of the accused clearly plays a part in whether or not the death penalty is required. As Americans we are taught to be in favor of the death penalty; however three things would have to be proven. That it is morally correct, that there is a valid amoral reason for it, and the risk of executing the innocent.

One argument, based on morality, commonly used against the death penalty is that it is an insult to the purity of human life. If one believes that, morally, murdering someone who does deserve the punishment of death, one must also decide whether it is justified in every case. Many states in the U.S. have a system of frustrating and justifying circumstances. These circumstances are used in deciding if the death penalty is appropriate.

There has been much debate on the exact purpose of punishment and to this day is still not agreed on. It is clear to me that it is morally correct to punish criminals; however, the actual moral level of punishment is difficult to establish. Relief and piece of mind is certainly something that some victim’s relatives hope to receive from the execution of the criminal. The execution puts an “end to it all” or a sort of closure in a way that a sentence of life without parole would not. The relatives must ask themselves if the relief they receive from the execution is really worth the criminal’s life. Who are we, as Americans, to play God?

There is no proof that any...
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