Phil 1112 Death Penalty

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Phil 1112: Death Penalty Essay
“An eye for an eye,” right? As fair as America tries to be, sometimes we also have to remember that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Many people rave about how the death penalty is an unjust punishment and that we can do without it; the idea of killing someone so that the punishment fits the crime is what shows how our world and societies are just as cruel as the criminals in it. The death penalty debate is a dispute that is learning to become more immoral and becoming a less used tactic when penalizing criminals. This problem has decreased significantly over the last couple decades but the controversy is still up in the air nearly everywhere. Additionally, much of the controversy has a heavy influence on biomedical research due to the fact that lethal injection is highly used for execution purposes. Currently many professionals are looking for other forms of punishment, yet there are still many people who believe that this is a fair and equal punishment. Regardless of which side one is on, both perspectives offer good reasoning to why or why not the death penalty should continue to stay in effect. Althought I do not agree with the death many and it’s many consequences, I understand the reason for it being so controversial.

The dictionary defines the death penalty as punishment for someone convicted of a capital crime. Dating back to centuries ago, any capital crime such as murder, rape, drug trafficking were not tolerated by any means and were immediately sentenced to death. “An eye for an eye” was the typical argument that defended the side that the punishment should equal the crime. In an article written by Louis Pojman, he defends the death penalty with his own “eye for an eye” theory. His reasoning is that he believes humans are logical creatures who make the logical choice to commit a muder, therefore giving up their right to live. Pojman argues that the death penalty is a good deterrent for potential murderers, therefore we should kill people to prevent others from killing in the future. The problem with this is that regardless of who is killing who, or who is killed for what reason, there is still murder of some sort and we are creating unnecessary death (Pojman pg. 2, 2011). Unnecessary describes this solely because we can find other ways for criminals to suffer the consequences of their actions without stooping down to their level and committing similar crimes. The death penalty’s idea of “payback” for what a criminal did makes us look like we are barbaric and malicious human beings, two things that are not normally clued together with the idea of people in America.

In addition to the defense of the death penalty, there are still many people who oppose the idea of the practice. Two wrongs don’t make a right; we’ve all heard that from our parents or teachers at one point in our lives. When a person is guilty for murder, it makes one question if it is right to sentence them to death. An eye for an eye is what it seems to be. Taking the life of a human being does not justify any crime. The convict will not learn about his actions because he will just be dead. The death sentence is an escape from living with guilt. Roberts-Cady suggests that a person’s penalty for their crime should be implemented in respect of human dignity (Roberts-Cady pg. 7, 2011). By doing so, this will actually have an effect on human the character of the person who is receiving the punishment. As opposed to the death sentence, a person will have a lifetime to dwell on his or hers’ actions when spending a whole life in a prison cell. The death penalty seems to be an “easy way out” because it simply just terminates a person, versus terminating a problem as a whole.

Although we may not think about it, the medical world is affected from capital punishment. Since most places have deemed the electric chair as “cruel and unusual punishment,” the most common form of capital punishment is used...
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