Death Penalty

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Absolute Justice

English 1101

The death penalty has been and always will be a controversial issue. Most people have strong opinions and arguments to support their side. Arguments for both sides can be extremely convincing but it boils down to personal opinions. In fact, each state governs the death penalty differently. Although there are opposing views to the death penalty, I am in favor of the death penalty because of the retribution, morality, and its deterrence. The death penalty gives retribution to the victim, their family, and the American society. “Capital execution upon the deadly poisoner and the midnight assassin is not only necessary for the safety of society, it is the fit and deserved retribution of their crimes. By it alone is divine and human justice fulfilled.” (The Death Penalty 33) The death penalty gives retribution to the victim, because it makes the criminal pay an equal price for the crime he/she has done. By taking the life of the criminal, no one else will ever be victimized by that criminal again. Putting the criminal to death, it will not only ease the mind of the victim’s family, it will also ease the minds of others who may be in fear of the same crime happening to them. This is especially true when it comes to serial killers. The public is justifiably fearful of the killer until he/she is captured and put to death. “Americans used to believe that executions deterred murderers even if the real reason they favored capital punishment was retribution.” (Kiss of Death 17-18) The death penalty gives retributions to the victim’s family by providing closure to the crime. The victim’s family often feels that the only way to have complete closure is to do everything possible to make sure the criminal receives the death penalty. “For example, while antidiscrimination laws make it unlawful to retaliate against those who report sexual harassment, death penalty laws allow grim retaliation, masquerading as retributive justice, against criminals.” (Kiss of Death 50) The death penalty gives retribution to the American society by showing there is an ultimate penalty to pay for the crime that was committed. If the death penalty did not exist, I feel that there would not be any deterrent for people not to commit murder and other serious violent crimes. Some feel that retribution is just a neat way of saying "revenge.” They believe a life for a life is just continuing the cycle of violence. “While many supporters of capital punishment will cite its alleged value as a deterrent as the reason for their opinion, there can be little doubt that the most widely-help and important basis of support for capital punishment is not deterrence but the desire “to see justice done”-the motive of retribution.” (The Death Penalty 118) These people feel that retribution or revenge is not a deterrent. They feel that is just a continuation of a vicious cycle of violence. They believe that getting revenge only expresses anger, and expressing anger only builds more anger. I believe the death penalty is morally correct because it honors human dignity by allowing the defendant to control his/her own destiny whether it is good or bad. It is known to be accepted in the Christian community as well. “Christian moralists have traditionally recognized the state’s right to take life. This right derived not only from the individual’s right of self-defense, but from the right of the community to protect itself.”(The Morality of Capital Punishment 25-26) We are morally obligated to protect the innocent and punish the criminal. The punishment needs to fit the crime. If someone intentionally kills another person, then they themselves need to be put to death also. This is the only way to properly punish the criminal and to insure that they are never able to do the same crime to anyone else. “If capital punishment is moral, it must be because it is a fitting punishment for humans...
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