Social Problems: Capital Punishment

Topics: Capital punishment, Crime, Murder Pages: 3 (934 words) Published: November 18, 2010
Social problems: Capital Punishment

Social problems have been a part of society for thousands of years. Some have vanished over time while others have uprooted to accommodate with the changing times of the world. One of the great problems of our society is capital punishment, which is still controversial issue. Is it acceptable and appropriate system of punishing criminals or not?

As for me I support the death penalty, because it serves as retribution. Guilty people deserve to be punished in proportion to the severity of their crime. Robert Macy, District Attorney of Oklahoma City, described his concept of the need for retribution in one case: "In 1991, a young mother was rendered helpless and made to watch as her baby was executed. The mother was then mutilated and killed. The killer should not lie in some prison with three meals a day, clean sheets, cable TV, family visits and endless appeals. For justice to prevail, some killers just need to die." I subscribe to his idea of resorting to capital punishment, but it’s necessary to take into account such factors as the atrocity of the crime, the conduct of the criminal, and the defenceless and unprotected state of the victim. These aspects are very important, and influence the sentence passed upon felon. We should not confuse retribution with revenge, because they’re two different phenomena. Vengeance describes the way of inflicting harm on the offender out of rage because of what he has done. However, retribution is “the rationally supported theory that the criminal deserves a punishment fitting the gravity of his crime”, as Louis P. Pojman, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at West Point Military Academy stated. People treat capital punishment as though it is 'eye for an eye,' 'blood for blood' or 'murder for murder', and in this way they ignore the differences between public retribution and private revenge. The death penalty should restore the balance disturbed by the crime. Thus, the execution is...
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