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capital punishment paper

capital punishment paper - Barbara Georges March 2008...

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Barbara Georges March 2008 Capital Punishment One of the most charismatic leaders of the world, Mahatma Ghandi once said "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind." This renowned peace maker believed that there will never be an end to violence as long as someone always provokes it. Like Ghandi, I believe that if we keep on taking revenge of each other, we will only destroy ourselves. This famous quote opposes the biblical phrase “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” which takes the notion that the punishment must compensate for the crime that has been committed. For example, you kill someone; the government kills you. There has been an ongoing debate over capital punishment for many centuries. There are many good arguments in defense of the death penalty as well the opposition. Philosophers Earnest Van Den Haag and Hugo Adam Budau make excellent arguments on both sides of the capital punishment debate that have made a clear understanding to me whether or not the death penalty is justifiable. The most common form of death penalty used today is Lethal Injection. We can all agree that the act of heinous crimes such as rape and murder are horrible and that every crime committed should have a justified penalty but is the death penalty morally right? The Eight Amendment to the U.S. constitution says in part that no “cruel and unusual punishment” shall be inflicted (Gregg vs. Georgia page 117). Studies have shown that lethal injection can be excruciating. I believe that the death penalty is senseless and
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immoral. This inhumane treatment is a degrading punishment and a violation of the right. All humans have the right to life and the lives of convicted criminals do have value. It is extremely unfair for the government to decide on one’s life or death. The question is whether or not capital punishment serves as an effective punishment rather than life sentence in prison. Utilitarians will argue that the right act will on balance promote the most pleasure over pain. If the infliction of punishment promotes more pleasure than by not inflicting punishment, then by all means, it is right. We can all agree that the death penalty effectively incapacitates the offender; it prevents a murderer from ever killing again. However, we do have the means to protect society from convicted criminals and serve justice without using the death penalty. Life sentence in prison without parole can effectively incapacitate the offender as well. Utilitarians against capital punishment would not only choose life in prison over the death penalty because a life
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