In Favor of the Death Penalty
Many state legislatures are abolishing the death penalty; but without it, can justice ever really be carried out for murderers? In this essay I will argue in favor of the death penalty.
My main argument will be that the death penalty is imperative to carrying out justice in regard to murderers. Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative defends this position stating "Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law" (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant, pg 88). This is similar to the golden rule that we are taught as children. Treat others as you would like to be treated. By murdering a human being, a person is saying that they would like to be treated in the same manner. The person willed his/her own death in the single act of murder committed. One main concern with the death penalty is the possibility of it to be carried out on innocent people. This is a risk, and just like many other things people do, they take their chances. Someone could be ran over today by a car, this doesn't mean everyone is going to decide they should not drive. Similarly, someone could be wrongly accused and convicted, sentenced to death; this does not mean it should be abolished. The death penalty is something else that includes chances people are willing to take.
Illinois Governor George Ryan put a suspension on the death penalty in 2003. He believed that due to race issues, class issues, and statistics that show more people on death row who were wrongly accused than rightly, the death penalty was not being carried out in a way that was appropriate. (Contemporary Moral Problems, White, pg 251) These reasons do not show me that capital punishment should be banned. If two siblings were caught fighting and one was punished, but it was found to be the fault of the second, should the second not too be punished? The possibility that innocent people may be punished is...
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