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Essay/Term paper: The death penalty

Essay, term paper, research paper:  School Essays

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The Death Punishment

Life is a precious gift from God. Even when a person has no material possessions, life is still

possessed. In light of these observations it is logical to assume that murder, the taking of another's

life, is the most heinous of crimes. Undeniably, penalties imposed upon criminals should match the

crimes committed. Therefore, the worst crime possible, murder, should receive the worst penalty

possible, death.

One argument against the death penalty is the Bible tells us not to murder. Murder is the

unlawful killing of one human being by another. The death penalty is the lawful killing of a

human being after a trial by peers. So by definition the death penalty is not murder, but justice.

Furthermore, as stated by Ed Koch, a former US Government official, "the execution of a lawfully

condemned killer is no more an act of murder than is legal imprisonment an act of kidnaping".

Finally, the same Bible that condemns murder also advocates "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a

tooth". This statement could be further developed to include a life for a life.

It is argued, the death penalty should be banned to prevent the execution of innocent individuals

unjustly convicted of capital murder. Statistically this has occurred; however, given the lengthy

appeals process, all but few ultimately die, innocent or guilty. The above statistic applies to all

crimes, from theft to kidnaping. Should no one be punished because of shortcomings in the judicial

system? Obviously, society could not function within a system devoid of law enforcement, because

where there is no law, there is chaos.

Some argue that death is too good for capital offenders. This position favors inhumane and

unlawful disciplinary actions like torture and life imprisonment. Though some think it not harsh

enough, the death penalty delivers justice quickly and effectively. Capital punishment is more

humane than life imprisonment. For example, a murderer sentenced to life must endure his entire

existence imprisoned, which is a type of torture. On the other hand, a murderer sentenced to death

is executed. Punishment is final.

Finally, people argue that punishing violence with violence is not civil or effective. This view

is correct; however, in the case of the death penalty, violence is not being committed. Violence is

the use of excessive force in order to intimidate or destroy. The death penalty involves a lengthy

appeals process, the just processing of a criminal, and when the time occurs, a solemn and precise

execution. This procedure is in no way violent and is completely civil and effective.

Death by execution is deplorable. Government mandated executions are not exempt from this

statement. For society to function in a meaningful way and its citizenry to feel safe and secure,

individuals must be confident that criminals will be apprehended and dealt with in a fashion

commensurate to their crimes. The death penalty achieves this. Although it has been contested on

the grounds that it is against God's will, it risks the unnecessary execution of an innocent person, it

is not harsh enough, and it is too violent, the death penalty is necessary to preserve a safe and orderly


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