Seeker of Truth

For those who sincerely seek the truth, and only the truth. All are welcome, Christians, non-Christians, pagans, atheists, agnostics. etc. We hope you will find what you seek for.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Justifying The Death Penalty?

Such an age-old debate: Is it right for the state to kill a criminal in cold blood? Or is life imprisonment a better solution?

Well, we could "rationalize" killing a convicted criminal sentenced to lethal injection. We could justify his death as good for society.

But it still would not be right. The fact remains that this criminal is helpless to defend himself or do further harm. So what justifies killing him?

If you killed an assailant in self-defense protecting yourself, the act is justified. Really, self-defense is the only moral sitiuation, nothing else.

Another reason against the death penalty is the possibility of the person living a new life away from crime.

If St. Paul, one of the greatest saints and a founder of the Christian Church was once a murderer before he got converted, who else can't?

The prisons are different nowadays. I'm sure you've heard of Christian renewal meetings or religious charismatic groups in many prisons now. This is a major change. It is a great thing.

This only proves that there is a chance for a criminal, for any person to change. There is no soul too dark for God's power to enlighten.

The death penalty takes away this gift of hope. By denying the criminal the right to live, society denies him/her the right to a better life.

Life imprisonment or the death penalty? Life imprisonment would be the more humane, wiser, holier choice.

Some would counter-argue that influential criminals can "twist" the system and may eventually be able to be get out of life imprisonment. They have power, money, can use their connections to beat the system presumably.

It is a reasonable argument. But this type of problem lies within the system itself. It is the flawed implementation of the system that is the cause of the problem here.

There is no perfect system of course. But to use the argument that death penalty is justified because certain influential people can twist the system is a fallacy. It is not enough justification by itself.

The issues against death penalty are from a moral problem by nature. On the other hand,the issue of influential people beating the system are more of a legal problem. The two issues are different from each other, related as they are.

They are apples and oranges and are not the same (so shouldn't be considered as such).

Another argument is that even if it's true that certain people of power can exploit the system, they comprise only a tiny fraction of the whole prisoner population. They are only a minority not the majority and therefore do not represent the plight of the great majority of prisoners.


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