FOR the death penalty

AGAINST the death penalty

1. JUSTICE…

An eye for an eye. The death penalty is reserved for the most heinous of crimes, such as murder. Why should a murderer be allowed to live out the rest of their lives in relative comfort, paid for by the public? To continue to house, clothe and feed them for the remainder of their natural life at taxpayer expense makes a mockery of justice. They gave up their right to life when they took the life of another person, and justice can only be served by their lawful execution.

 

1. MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE…

You cannot un-execute someone. Miscarriages of justice are bad enough, but the wrongful execution of an innocent person takes it to the extremes. If someone is wrongfully imprisoned they can at least be released and compensated by the state. If they are executed, however, then a posthumous pardon won’t be much comfort.

2. DETERRENCE

The death penalty saves lives. Would-be murderers have a better reason to think twice if they know their life is on the line. Ultimately, only the most severe punishment possible will dissuade the most violent crimes. Only then will it be clear that the good guys aren’t messing around, because taking an innocent life would mean forfeiting your own.

 

2. TOO MUCH POWER TO THE STATE

The three countries that executed the most people in 2016 were China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. There’s a reason why the death penalty is favoured in authoritarian regimes: it is the ultimate form of state control. Troublesome political dissidents can be mixed in with criminals and drug dealers on death row, and any criticism can be deflected as being “soft on crime”.

3. CLOSURE

The execution of a criminal is the best way to provide closure to the family of their victim. They can finally put the crime behind them and move on, knowing that there is no possibility of the person who took away their loved one ever leaving prison and walking free.

3. KILLING IS WRONG

Two wrongs do not make a right. Taking a human life is unethical, whether it is a crime or whether it is done in the name of ‘justice’. Everyone’s right to life should be protected by law, including criminals. We should aim to set the example that killing is always wrong and that there are always alternatives. Life in prison is not a ‘soft’ option.

IMAGE CREDITS: cc / Flickr – AlexLMX