Would You Sentence A Murderer To The Death Penalty?
I would sentence a murderer to the death penalty because someone who has taken a life (a murderer) should not be allowed to carry on with theirs. My reasons for this opinion are that it will deter other people who are contemplating killing someone from doing so. Also each criminal should get what their crime deserves and in the case of a murder what their crime deserves is death. It can also give closure for the victims’ families. Most importantly it is most definitely safe to say that those who are executed for their crimes cannot commit further crimes. I think the aim of the punishment should be:-
Protection – Society must be protected from criminals like murderers. Some criminals need to be protected from vigilantes, people who take the law into their own hands. To protect society – criminals go to prison and lose their freedom.
Retribution - Based on the Old Testament saying – “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”. The criminal is punished and made to pay for the crime that was committed. The punishment fits the crime. An example of this is capital punishment where a person is killed of they commit murder.
Deterrence – This is meant to put the criminal of re-offending, to stop them committing a crime again and going back to prison. It also puts other people off crime because they realise they will be punished.
Reform - This aims to change the person when they are in prison so that they will not return to crime when they are set free, this is often called they Christian aim because Jesus taught that we should forgive and love our enemies.
Vindication – This aims to show that law breaking will not be accepted in society, the law is to be respected and if you break it you will be punished.
Other people will disagree and would not sentence a murderer to the Death penalty because it is up to God when someone’s life should end. Their reasons for this opinion are that everyone has an inalienable human right to life, even those who commit murder: sentencing a person to death and executing them violates that right. Also everyone thinks that human life is valuable. Some people against capital punishment believe that even the worst murderers should not be deprived of the right to live. Another reason could be that sooner or later the justice system will wrongly accuse and innocent person and they will lose their life for no reason at all. They think the aim of the punishment should be that they should pay for what they do with time rather than their lives.
The Catholic Church is against the death penalty and teaches that the aim of Christian punishment should be to protect people from criminals, to give the criminal a punishment that fits the crime, to deter the criminal form offending again, to reform the criminal and make them see that it was wrong and to teach the criminal that breaking the law is wrong and will not be accepted in society. Catholics have these beliefs and values because they believe in the sanctity of life. This is the teaching that all life is sacred and that only God can take life away. An example of this is in the Old Testament with the commandment ‘Thou shall not kill’. The Teaching of Jesus and his commandments to love you enemies also points towards the death penalty being against Catholic teaching. The Parable of The Prodigal Son also stresses the importance of forgiveness, so it is difficult to see how Jesus would support the death penalty. Although in the past the Catholic Church has allowed the death penalty in certain circumstances, for example until 1969 the punishment for assassinating the Pope was the death penalty. However current church teaching is firmly against the death penalty except in very extreme circumstances. This was shown in Pope John Paul II’s document ‘The Gospel of Life’. Pope John Paul II said: “Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for...
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