June 21, 2009
Capital punishment is a matter of conscience. This is a contentious issue. For many years, it has helped debates and the idea seems to have an appealing simplicity. A person is guilty for murdering another human being. So he or she must die to even things up, “an eye for an eye.” We as individuals and as a society must decide whether or not to abolish capital punishment. Supporters of the death penalty will decide on the affirmative and others will decide on the negative. Either way, we will never come to an agreement because neither side would ever be fully persuasive, but we will decide what will be the greatest good possible for everybody.
Let us turn and examine three arguments supporting capital punishment. They are deterrence, moral necessity and moral order. The major question at hand is whether or not the state should execute those convicted with heinous crimes.
Supporters of capital punishment state that it deters crime, prevents recidivism, and it is an appropriate punishment for the crime of murder. “Murder becomes more attractive when potential killers know that prison is the worst outcome they can face. (The Boston Globe, June 6, 2002.) Deterrence persuades future criminals not to commit murder if they know of the severity of the death penalty. Violent crime is an increasing factor for fear and frustration among people. The United States Government and the supporters of the death penalty are in favor of this because of deterrence and prevention. They judge that the death penalty will prevent criminals from continuing the killing of innocent people if they are going to die by capital punishment. These advocators see it as a deterrent to grave evil and even when the deterrent fails, they reason, at least it can bring justice and emotional closure for the relatives of the murdered victims.
Supporters of capital punishment agree to the execution of criminals out of moral necessity. They...