The Death Penalty Essay

1059 words - 5 pages

The Death Penalty
The death penalty has always been and continues to be a very controversial issue. The death penalty has declined throughout the industrial Western since the 19th century, and nearly every European nation has either formally abolished the death penalty for civil crimes or has abandoned it in practice. People on both sides of the issue argue endlessly to gain further support for their movements. Opponents of capital punishment are quick to point out that the United States remains one of the few Western Civilization countries that continues to support the death penalty, yet Americans are also more likely to encounter violent crime than citizens of other countries. I ...view middle of the document...

Nothing prevents the people sentenced in this way from being paroled under later laws or later court rulings. Furthermore, nothing prevents them from escaping or killing again while in prison. After all, if they have already received the maximum sentence available, they have nothing to lose. For example, in 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court banished the death penalty. Like other states, Texas commuted all death sentences to life imprisonment. After being released into the general prison population: Twelve of the forty-seven prisoners that received commuted sentences were responsible for twenty-one serious violent offenses against other inmates and prison staff. One of the commuted death row prisoners killed another inmate and another one killed a girl within one year of his release on parole. This does not mean that every death row inmate would kill again if released, but they do tend to be repeat offenders.
Over forty percent of the persons on death row in 1992 were on probation, parole, or pretrial release at the time that they murdered. Society has a right and a duty to demand a terrible punishment for a terrible crime. According to Walter Burns, an eloquent defender of the death penalty, execution is the only punishment that can remind people of the moral order that human beings alone live by. The desire to see crime punished is felt because the criminal gratifies his desires by means that the no criminal has restrained from using. The punishment of the criminal is needed to justify the restraint of the no criminal. Society has a moral obligation to see that civil government punishes all criminals, which includes enforcing capital punishment. Executing capital offenders helps to balance the scales of moral justice.
The death penalty is religiously permissible according to certain passages in the Old Testament, particularly in the eye for an eye teaching advocated. In Matthew 5:38. god requires capital justice for premeditated murder, when there is no doubt of the accused person's guilt. This is the one crime in the Bible for which there is no restitution possible. The Constitution of the United States also supports the death...

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