Moral Aspects of Death Penalty

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In a society of numerous irregularities it is necessary of a rule of law when serious offenses are committed upon people. Those serious offenses are of different magnitude, but the ones that do violate fundamental and crucial social codes and laws are those who in some cultures should be paid with the ultimate price, life. And because of very bitter situation, many people find themselves in either supporting or opposing such action. When arguing about the issue of death penalty, we touch a very sensitive issue for the decision-makers in a country, since it is an irrevocable action taken for the preservation of social order. This problem has been considered an issue for decades. People have tried to argue about it from the aspects of morality of such an action. Death punishment has been so accepted by people in the past, to the extent that the execution of the sentenced people was done in public. This phenomenon was considered as the right action since at that time it was supported by religion as well. The society has evolved since then in many aspects, and the degree of civilization of human kind is the main element that is pushing people to analyze further the sentence of capital punishment. By no doubt, a person who commits a capital crime deserves a higher punishment than someone who is engaged in a minor crime such as pickpockets. The question is whether that punishment should be death penalty. Supporters of death punishment use the argument of “an eye for an eye”. According to them, the punishment of a crime should be as close to the crime itself. When a person is sentenced for a murder then that person should be punished with the same degree of harm, execution. This argument would make sense in the case of one murder. However, we know that there are many cases where a criminal murders 20 people. When we consider this case, “an eye for an eye” punishment would not be suitable; we cannot kill a person 20 times. Additionally, in cases of murder as a result of a rape, execution would not be a fair punishment as according to the “an eye for an eye” supporters. But it still satisfies their stance of killing a person who kills. Facts of this argument can be found even in the archaic Kanun developed in the 15th century. This set of laws developed in mountain area of former Arberia, was a set of rules, which amongst others regulated murders. In specific, it did regulate what in the modern world can be seen as a capital punishment. The only difference is that the punishment is conducted by the victim’s family, rather by a legitimate party or force. Even in Kanun we can find the strong support of the argument “an eye for an eye,” rephrased in “blood for blood.” This code has passed along many generations, and today in ethnic Albanian society, the aforementioned argument is strongly supported. In my opinion, this argument appeals more to emotional and physical revenge, than to social balance and justice, as it fills the drive for avenge for a person of your blood or family. Another argument that supporters use is that by executing the criminal the society is safe. The chance that that person will kill again is diminished. It is also assumed that by having enacted the capital punishment the crime rate will decrease. According to Isaac Ehrlich, after one execution 7 innocent lives are saved (Schauer, p.724). It is true that the people who kill for passion the threat of death punishment will not have an impact on them. However, for the people who plan a murder, the ones who do this as a profession they will think more about engaging in such work in cases where there is a death penalty. While there is no exact statistics on the motif of a murder, it is often believed that conscious people evaluate their stand and action before engagement in a criminal act, in this case in a murder. Rational people would not bear the fact that what they do upon others, will turn around and be done upon them, and certainly in the case of a murder....
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