Capital punishment or the death penalty is barbarous way of punishing people for committing a crime. According to the definition it is the usage of death in order to make legally permitted methods of punishment. Before talking directly about the death penalty, it is necessary to mention what death is. It is the end of human life, exclusion of the soul and body. The soul abandons the body because of special circumstances, when it cannot deal with the body anymore. For instance, it happens when some disease reaches the human organism or in the car accident.
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James Kendall, sentenced in spying for Spain in Virginia in 1608, is considered to be the first person, who was executed in America (The Death Penalty Information Center, 2001). Looking back to the history, death penalty took its beginning since ancient times in order to repay offenders. The Bible bound the death penalty over murderers, kidnappers and those who were practicing witchcraft. In England by the year of 1500 sentenced to death were only burglars, rapists, murders and arsonists. Starting from 1723 the Parliament has legislated for numerous new capital offences that resulted into growth of people who were sentenced to death. The total number of people killed in England and Wales from 1740 to 1840 was approximately 8753 with the population of 9 million (Chandler D., 2007). From 1750, the reform of the capital punishment has began. Some activists such as Voltaire, Samuel Romilly and Cesare Beccaria started disputing about the cruelty of the death penalty and after that the life imprisonment appeared as an alternative.
Nowadays people do not have the proper understanding of the capital punishment. A lot of them give countenance to the death penalty while others would like the government to forbid it. While one group of people claims that it is deterrence, the other believes it to be an executing of an innocent man. It also happens that one group says that it is retribution and justice, while another proves it to be murder. In United States of America, there are 37 states that still practice the death penalty. According to the statistics, 43 inhabitants were sentences to death in 2011, while in 2010, the number of them was 46. There are a lot of grounds to put a ban on capital punishment (Death Penalty Statistics, 2011).
First of all, Amnesty International is convinced that the capital punishment is the total infringement of human rights. It is a planned murder on the part of a government and in the name of justice. However, it violates human’s right to life. It is cruel, merciless and inhuman punishment. According to the Bible, there is no excuse for killing, neither for the victim’s family nor innocents. One needs to keep in mind, that the death penalty does not make the world safer. It does not mean that by killing one criminal the others will frighten and stop committing a crime. It is all about their behavior and human nature. Death penalty evokes hate, fury and mercilessness. That is why people need to stop thinking about it in order to get rid of violation around the world (Olivia H., 2010). Except for violation capital punishment engenders the feeling of revenge, which, nowadays is really hard to deal with. Revenge brings nothing but the feeling of emptiness and desire. Once someone starts taking vengeance on his or her enemy, he or she cannot stop (Jacobs N., Landes A., Siegel A. Mark, 1996).
To contradict this, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorney claims that killing the criminals is a good thing, since in such a way society can get rid of violence and murder throughout the world. It is a possible way out to prevent future murders. His point of view is that society has not only the right, but also the duty to protect itself by exterminating the evil part of mankind out of a planet. In fact, why those who murdered someone should lie down on a bed in a comfortable prison, get free meals three times a day, have a free time for watching TV and have visitors while whom they murdered are lying down in a coffin (Lacayo R., 2009).
The second substantial argument against the death penalty which Catholic Cardinal McCarrick supports is the fact that it reduces the population of people, expands the contempt for human life and represent the false illusion of propagandizing killing, even due to revenge. Capital punishment is grounded on the principles of retribution. In other words, one can say that it is a collection of anger. A lot of people take death penalty as a compensation for hurting a victim’s family. Mostly, those families insist on death sentences of the culprit. Nevertheless, it does not bring the victims back to life or facilitate the grief of loss. Losing a close person is the most horrible, unbearable and unchangeable event (Olivia H., 2010). Revenge brings nothing but the feeling of emptiness and desire. Once someone starts taking vengeance on his or her enemy, he or she cannot stop (Jacobs N., Landes A., Siegel A. Mark, 1996).
The following argument for capital punishment is called incapacitation. Under its theory, criminals are kept under the rigorous control in order to reduce the possibility of hurting people again. One of the reasons of performing death penalty is that criminals are indifferent to the judicial system. Most of them are aware that they will be released in ten or fifteen years so they can continue murdering people. The thing is that they are not petrified of punishment or prison. The only possible way out is to make them be afraid of death. Death penalty should be an alternative for usual punishment. Murderers need to be controlled unless they want to die in the fearful sufferings (Chandler D., 2007).
The last but not the least evidence which disapproves capital punishment is religious beliefs. For instance, Buddhism abolishes death penalty, because it is believed that no one kills and causes to be killed. Christianity preaches the same opinion as Buddhism; however the explanation is a bit different. Christians see death penalty as an element of revenge that contradicts the Christ’s beliefs that people need to forgive. Additionally, Protestants are one of the minorities who became opponents of death penalty. Baptists tend to support the usage of death penalty for people who are guilty for committing murder or merciless acts as long as it is not a personal revenge or manifestation of discrimination. As for the Hinduism, it is notable for having a dual theory. It means that Hindus, to some extent, agree and disagree with the methods of killing the perpetrators. They believe that human’s soul after death is alive and that death is possible only for physical body (Lambert E., Clarke A., Lambert J., 2004).
Senator Lisa A. Gladden, a Baltimore Democrat claims, that in order to support capital punishment one can say that the punishment of crime should be the same as crime, just to determine the balance in equality. This kind of justice is sometimes called “eye for eye”. That is why the appropriate punishment for murder is his death (Lambert E., Clarke A., Lambert J., 2004).
All in all, crime is an apparent element of the society and everybody knows that a great deal of measures needs to be taken to prevent it. Nevertheless, we are living in the 21st century right now, and our world is supposed to be civilized. The days of barbarism and slavery are gone a long time ago. People need to move with the time and think about their future. The vast majority of people realize the danger of crime; however a lot of measures and methods should be dealt with in order to improve the justice system. Killing is wrong; no one can hurt anybody, even though he or she wants to revenge. People should stop promoting capital punishment to give the nation a chance to stop the circle of violence. Murder is only the inception of the violence of people and it is crucial not make this inception to develop into the end of human’s existence.
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