EQ: Is the Death Penalty immoral? (Christian-TOPIC 2)

EQ: Is the Death Penalty immoral?
Background: The Death Penalty, often referred to as capital punishment, or death by sentence, has been quite a controversial issue in recent decades. The Death Penalty in itself has been a common practice since even before the United States was officially known as a nation. Between the years of 1977 and 2009, 1188 people have fallen victim to the Death Penalty, and over these years the morality of the punishment has been questioned. Those who support it often argue that eliminating criminals completely ensures that society is safe from that of future crime enacted by that of the individual as well as the fact that it costs by far a lot less than that of lifetime imprisonment. Those who oppose it, however, argue further that the Death Penalty does nothing to deter crime and only allows the government more power to take that of the lives of its citizens, where those of specific color or a specific economic class are targeted for crimes that they have not done, and that lifetime imprisonment would be a much cheaper option, in both a moral and monetary sense.
Claim: Although continued practice of the Death Penalty is seen as an immoral act of false justice, where the government and its people seemingly take the lives of citizens who may or may not be correctly deemed as criminals, it allows society to be free of the fears of unlawful practice, ridding society of the essential causes of societal disruption and chaos, thus making the Death Penalty an action of moral cause.
Support: “Immanuel Kant said it best. He said a society that is not willing to demand a life of somebody who has taken somebody else’s life is simply immoral. So the question really… when the system works and when you manage to identify somebody who has done such heinous evil, do we as a society have a right to take his life? I think the answer’s plainly yes. And I would go with Kant and I would say it is immoral for us not to.” (Alex Kozinski, JD) “The death penalty honors human dignity by treating the defendant as a free moral actor able to control his own destiny for good or for ill; it does not treat him as an animal with no moral sense, and thus subject even to butchery to satiate human gluttony. Moreover, capital punishment celebrates the dignity of the humans whose lives were ended by the defendant’s predation.” (“Individual rights and Responsability – The Death Penalty, but Sparingly,” By Bruce Fein, JD)



Filed under Controversial Issue #2

7 responses to “EQ: Is the Death Penalty immoral? (Christian-TOPIC 2)

  1. Toris Sherwood

    I agree, I think the death penalty is necessary because for one it is simply unthinkable to have a person who killed someone be allowed to go to jail then get out in a few years. I personally believe partiually in Hammurabi’s code. If a person goes out and kills someone they deserve to recieve the same.

    • Christian Encarnacion

      I appreciate your response.
      It is indeed unreasonable to place a person convicted of a felony or other form of extreme crime in jail, just to have the possibility of being released in a certain amount of years. Why allow that person the chance to make up for his/her deeds? The victim doesn’t get a second chance, so why should the criminal receive one? Their is no room for remorse or forgiveness, only retribution. Hammurabi was indeed sensible in his methods of keeping society intact, and we should indeed be demonstrating these values in today’s society. Many people today, Charles Manson for example, continually go out on parole to try and get out of their life imprisonment sentence, and this can only serve society horridly, What if they were released back into society? They’d only go out and disrupt society once again.

      • Toris Sherwood

        This is just something I just thought of. What if the person was framed of the crime and sentenced to death.

  2. Justin Clements

    Although your argument was well-written, I disagree with your claim. In Furman v. Georgia, Thurgood Marshall noted, “[Capital punishment] violates the Eighth Amendment because it is morally unacceptable to the people of the United States at this time in their history.

    In judging whether or not a given penalty is morally acceptable, most courts have said that the punishment is valid unless ‘it shocks the conscience and sense of justice of the people.’ Assuming knowledge of all the facts presently available regarding capital punishment, the average citizen would, in my opinion, find it shocking to his conscience and sense of justice. For this reason alone, capital punishment cannot stand.” It is unconstitutional for our government to kill its own citizens.

  3. Christian Encarnacion

    I appreciate your response.
    Your argument, however, I find rather redundant.
    You provide support towards that of the constitution, but your argument becomes rather opinion based when you quote “…the average citizen would, in my opinion, find it shocking to his conscience and sense of justice…”. Although morality relies on opinions, it does not constitute the usage of the viewpoint of one member of society to vouch for every citizen in the nation. Your support relies on an assumption, and assumptions are not fact.

  4. Johna Russell

    Throughout the world jails are becoming more and more overcrowded. The cost of maintaining a prison is immense, and this price is left to the taxpayer to pay. I believe that a tax payer’s money should go more to things that benefit them such as park upkeeping, better schools, better playgrounds, and improved roads. In every society there are those who make the wrong choices in life, those of us who have made the right choices should not suffer because of the damage caused by those who didn’t. The death penalty should continue to be implemented not just because it is a just punishment for those who have committed atrocious crimes, especially murder, but also because it will help to save money, giving those who have made the right choices a better chance to prosper. It is true that some people who are imprisoned have been falsely accused, however as with any other system the justice system is not perfect, and while it is a horrible thought for those who are innocent to die for crimes they did not commit, but at times it is neccessary to make sacrifices for the greater good.

  5. Judy Sanchez

    I do think that the death penalty is good, although it does at time seem cruel. If that person was set out to kill then why does should people live in fear. Tax payers shouldn’t have to pay to feed and house someone who did something bad enough to get them the death penalty. Some people think that it is more cruel to have them suffer in jail and live with what they have done, but a lot of people can live with the guilt; it would seem that more people would be terrified of death.

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