The Death Penalty
Is the death penalty just or unjust? It has been argued that capitol punishment is imposed merely to gratify a desire for revenge. Whether or not a punishment is legal depends upon whether or not it serves a valid goal or purpose of a policy. The death penalty is usually defended on two grounds; is useful and that is just . Is capitol punishment moral or immoral? Is the death penalty moral? Capitol punishment is imposed to spare future victims of murder by carrying out the threat of execution upon convicted murderers. The death penalty punishes them not for what they may or may not do in the future but what they have already done. It's unclear that the murderer has the same right to live as their victim. " Our ancestors... purged their guilt by banishment, not death. And by so doing they stopped that endless vicious cycle of murder and revenge." (Euripedes, Orestes 408 B.C.) By 1500 in England only major felonies carried the death penalty. Reform of the death penalty began in Europe by the 1750's. By the 1850's these reform efforts bore fruit. Michigan first abolished the death penalty in 1847. Various public opinion polls report that more than 70% of Americans favor the death penalty for murder. By 1991, some 2,350 persons were under the death sentence in 36 states. The death penalty should be moral because, " a life for a life." Is the death penalty immoral? Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is a realistic alternative for the small number of offenders who are likely to be executed in any given year. Justice does not demand death but justice does demand that murderers be punished. If punishment is justifiable as for restoring justice and the moral order, it does not necessarily follow that capitol punishment is moral. " The death penalty only allows us to extend the pain. It allows us to continue to blame one another, to turn against one another, to learn to hate better" . Many people think that...
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