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Capital Punishment - Research Paper Example

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Capital Punishment

The arguments in favor and against capital punishment is growing day by day. Even some of the most civilized countries like America has no problems in executing hardcore criminals. However, majority of the religions argue against capital punishment. Religions are of the view that it is ethically or morally wrong to take the life of a person. According to religious point of view, all the living things and nonliving things are the creations of the God and only the God has the authority to take back the lives he created in this world. On the other hand, many atheists and sociologists are of the view that capital punishment is necessary to save the life of innocent people from the threat of antisocial elements. In their opinion, if the execution of one person may save many lives, then it should be implemented without any worry or concern. I have conducted two interviews; one with a Christian priest who argues against capital punishment and another with a sociologist who argue in favor of capital punishment in order to get more insights about this controversial topic. This paper analyses arguments in favor and against capital punishment based on those interviews and ethical theories with respect to this topic. Arguments against capital punishment based on the interview with a priest In response to my questions about the morality of capital punishment, the priest has told me that human do not have the authority to take a life which he is unable to create. In his opinion, the secrets behind life before birth and life after death are still unknown to the people even after huge advancements in science and technology. Human abilities have limitations in understanding the mission of God. According to the priest each person is sent to this world with a mission by the God and doing something against the mission of the God is unethical. In reply to the Priest’s arguments, I asked him; “Is it ethical to allow the criminals to take the life of others freely?. He replied that punishment is necessary for avoiding criminal activities however, the essence of punishment should be correction rather than vengeance. “Capital punishment never allows a criminal to change his behavior as in the case of other forms of punishments”(10 Pros and Cons of Capital Punishment, 2010). He told me that life term is more acceptable than capital punishment since it prevent us from committing the same mistake as committed by the criminal. The priest strengthened his argument with the help of some of the existing laws in America. He has pointed out that “American criminal justice system believes that “partisan advocacy of both sides on a case will promote the ultimate objective that the guilty be convicted and the innocent go free” (Ferdic et al, 2008, p.37). He has pointed out that the chances of executing an innocent person because of circumstantial evidences or fabricated evidences are more and in such cases, nobody can return the life of that person even if he has found to be innocent later. In order to substantiate that argument, he has quoted the facts published by Van den Haag. “In a recent survey Professors Hugo Adam Bedau and Michael Radelet found that 7000 persons were executed in the United States between 1900 and 1985 and that 35 were innocent of capital crimes” (Van den Haag, 1986). In other words, 35 innocent people lost their lives because of capital punishment. He has pointed that the essence of American criminal ...Show more

Summary

Capital Punishment Capital Punishment Sharp (1997) has pointed out that “approximately 5900 persons have been sentenced to death and 358 executed (from 1973-96) in Untied States (See appendix for more details). Moreover, a record number of 56 murderers were executed in 1995 alone in America” (Sharp, 1997)…
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