Felicia A. Becca
Soc. 101: Introduction to Sociology
Professor Allen Lipscomb
September 7, 2009
In the United States the death penalty has outlived its usefulness. Taking another person’s life because of a crime that has been committed leaves our society no better off once the sentence has been carried out. There needs to be a deterrent before the crime is committed. If the death penalty is so effective, then why are there still serious crimes against humanity being committed? As Americans we consider our nation to be civil; where is the civility in taking another human life? This paper shall discuss whether or not the death penalty has outlived it’s usefulness in the United States.
The moral aspect of whether government has the right to punish people, who have committed a heinous crime by putting them to death, has been of great concern to philosophers and theologians. Those that support the death penalty continuously disagree with those who oppose it. At the center of this debate is the moral dilemma of How can the law punish its citizens for the killing of another fellow citizen, and then turn and violate its own rule of law by executing its convicted citizens. In order for a rule of law to be fair and equitable, it must be adhered to by both the state and its citizens. This nation cannot be above the law; just as no individual citizen is above the law. If the laws of the land are written to be fair and equitable to all, including both the state and its citizenry, then the law has to be applied fairly and equitable to all. And if this is basis for all moral and just laws, recognized by the state and its citizenry, then how can we morally justify this nation to kill its citizenry and then punish the citizenry for carrying out the same act practiced and sanctioned by this nation? Can this nation sow injustice and reap justice? Can our nation practice capital punishment in the court house, a euphemism... [continues]
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