Ethical Perspectives Of Death Penalty Philosophy Essay


Death penalty or capital punishment is the act of putting an individual to death following a judgment passed by a legal system. Death penalty is passed as a way of compensation to the offended party and penalty to the offender. It also give satisfaction to the offended party that no similar cases of the crime will be experienced after execution. Factors that pave way for capital punishment or the so-called death penalty are outrageous and seriousness aggravating circumstances (Michelangelo & Day, 2009). For any form of punishment, it must be proven beyond any reasonable doubts that it caused pain or other unpleasant consequences. However, the question is under what circumstances the government should pass right that allow killing if killing is wrong.

On the other side, this form of punishment had its origin in the ancient times and was applicable all over the world. Today less than half the countries in the world still practice the act. Beginning of the eighteenth century marked a drastic change when majority of the countries started abolishing that punishment. Countries that have abolished capital punishment experience more peace when compared to those still practicing. Additionally, the level of crime is lower than those that still prosecuting convicts.

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Many legal scholars have the same opinion over law and its bases on a moral basis. They believe that it is almost impossible to make laws that govern every moral wrong. Punishment is for offenses already committed and violation of legal statute. The only issue is if moral failure is punishable too (Pojman & Reinman, 1998). This is if a person has the intention to commit a crime, whether he can be punished. Punishment should be executed on the offender, though this is not the case in most cases. Many innocent people are framed and punishment for crimes they did not commit. This is because they never get the chance to prove their innocents (Pojman & Reinman, 1998). Giving such individuals’ death penalty is ethically wrong since the offenders are left free and could still commit other crimes and frame more people that are innocent. Most of the evidence points at them with the failure to prove their innocence. In any judicial punishment, the necessary condition for punishment is guilt (Pojman & Reinman, 1998). Never the less, most of the convicts are not guilty, but cannot prove it, therefore they are convicted. Morality in this case demands that one suffers for the crime that he commits.

Imposing of the death penalty in the United State depends on the establishment of criminal’s guilt. A person charged with any form of crime remains innocent until he is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by evidence that is competent (Michelangelo, 2009). Punishment passed to a morally guilty person is believed to equal the seriousness of the offense morally (Pojman & Reinman, 1998). Morally, people think that the death penalty is giving justice to the offended party, but this is not always the case. The problem with the death penalty as an equal repayment for a crime gives rise to other forms of violence. This is because ethically, wrongs cannot correct other wrongs. Once a person is sentenced to death he or she does not redo the wrong committed. Additionally, his friends and family may want to revenge his death. This accounts for the rise in crimes even after conviction.

Passing death penalty to those found guilty of homicide is a moral thing within many societies. They feel that it is a way of imparting morality in the society and prevent further crimes of similar cases. In the same society, there are people who do not see this as justice. They feel that it is a brutal thing, they wonder if it is wrong to kill and why the state should do it. This means that in a society that accepts death as a penalty for murder, it becomes morally right. On the other side, if they do not accept the punishment then it becomes morally wrong. The problem with death penalty is that it does not change the situation or redo the wrong. Additionally, it leads to violence in the society. Most of the states that accept death penalty as punishments have the highest rates of crimes. Some people think that death penalty restores peace and safety in the society (Bedau, 1997). They fear that those found guilty of murder can commit the same crimes again if they get the chance to live, instead of facing death.

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On the other side, death penalty gives a long-term solution to curb crime rate. This is because most of those found guilty and sentenced have no other chance to repeat their crimes. News show that most convict of murder form very dangerous gangs and force other people to join. This creates more risks both in prisons and out of prisons. Pardoning such criminals may be very dangerous and morally wrong (Bedau, 1997). Yet, at the same time, convicting them to a death penalty is ethically wrong. Eliminating such gangs would mean passing death penalty to them. This is because they would not form more gangs and would not force people to join them to commit crimes. Violent gangs understand that whatever they do is ethically wrong, but still do it. Some of them have no choice, but follow orders while to others it is a life style of choose.

Additionally, they become so violent and are never ready for change or rehabilitations. Their dangerous tricks and fearfulness make them feel powerful, good and in control over everybody. They lack the sense of responsiveness and kill without considering their actions and the consequences of these actions. They put the society at right by endangering everybody. They also disturb the peace in the society and make people fearful.

In the application of punishment, law should be based on justice to all. Bills of right are necessary and their violation is wrong. Any punishment imposed on anybody should equal the crime that he committed. Penalty of the punishment should be equal to the seriousness of the crime (Henberg, 1990). The seriousness of the crime gives the reasons to act in a particular manner for the sake of security. Never the less, a wrong cannot correct a wrong. This means that convicting criminals to a death penalty because they committed murder does not change the crime committed. The crime remains and another life is lost. Additionally, right to live is right that should not be denied to anybody. The dilemma is in giving those convicted the right to live because killing is wrong, yet they kill. Criminals cannot be left free because they might cause other pain and disturbance, but at the same giving them death penalty does not give them the chance to re-correct their actions. .

Convicting murderer gives the society relieve that their safety is assured and peaceful stay knowing that there will be no more murder cases by the same person. Most of the murderers when put to jail make lives of other inmates a living hell. They are dangerous and their existence leaves other people at risk. They may still escape from prison or get pardon and commit other crimes, which means that they existence is a danger to society. Additionally, other people like doctors who perform abortions put the society at higher risk. Their existence could be dangerous since what they see is money and to them this could be their best option of getting money easily. Such a doctor would not think twice in performing the act one after another. Additionally, a man found to sexually abuse children and murder them is very dangerous. He may still carry on with the act even after many years of rehabilitation. Death penalty in these cases become acceptable by law as a way of curbing crimes and sending strong messages to those who are in the same act or think of going in the same directions (Pojman & Reinman, 1998).

Any time convicted murderers get pardoned and commit similar crimes they cause a lot of confusion to the society with mixed emotions (Bedau & Cassell, 2005). The society security, activities, and work are highly affected. In these cases, people fail to perform their duties because they fear for their lives. Therefore, debating on death penalty from all perspective would help in understanding legal problems and morality. It would help in executing safety measures for the sake of the society. Death penalty would be, therefore get its bases on various considerations. It would aim at giving security and eventually making the society peaceful for everybody.

It is an ethical dilemma for death penalties for persons mentally challenged. Considerable controversies have risen with the question of whether to execute them or to treat them (Hood, 2002). Why a mentally challenged person is treated and prosecuted. When he committed the act he was not in his right mind, therefore treating him and then prosecuting him is morally wrong. Treating such a person would be the necessary rehabilitation the person need.

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Additionally, moral principles that govern the right to live states that any justice denied account for justice delayed. It is ethical to prevent crimes and give justice to those offended. Murderers put the society at risk of destruction and endanger lives of many. Some people may be on a revenge mission and feel that shedding blood is the best thing to do. They commit murder after a murder and put many lives in danger. Putting them in jail may be a short- term solution because they may escape to complete their mission. Elimination of such people from the society may be a way to instill safety for all. Life imprisonment to some extent is cruel punishment. In this case, death penalty becomes a less cruel way of preventing more crimes from being committed by the same person (Honderich, 2005). It also gives relieve to friends and family of the victim outraged by the crime. They feel more secure that there could be no more similar cases by the criminal. Therefore, death penalty becomes applicably necessary for the sake of other lives at risks.

Ethically it is wrong to kill, yet the law allows a death penalty for those who are found guilty of murder. Pronunciation of death to the wrong doer appears to be acceptable, but is death right in this case. On the other side, it is that criminals could still change if given that chance. Therefore, passing death penalty denies an individual the chance to change and makes them forever-incapacitated (Honderich, 2005). Some people who are victims of murder wish to forgive for the sake of mercy and grace, but still fear more harm. They fear that the convicted murderers may still commit other crimes and put the lives of many at risk. On the other side, rehabilitation does not change every person or may take long to change a person. This means that there could be more crimes committed even within the prison walls.

Once death penalty is executed, the files of the case are closed and no other evidences can be admitted (Michelangelo & Day, 2009). Passing of that new evidence even if they were allowed they would never bring the life of the convict back to clear his name. This means that they are those convicted of murder not because they are guilty, but because sufficient evidence points at them. Errors of these kinds would be minimized leaving the guilty to face punishment. Therefore, abolishing the death penalty ethically would be the best thing. It would eliminate many social crimes that would be because of these punishments (Honderich, 2005).

In conclusion, people need to understand that a wring cannon correct a wrong. Giving a death penalty is inhuman and cannot fully compensate for the loss of loved ones. Many people think that they are relieved once the guilty person is sentenced without thinking about the benefit they get from it. People should be human and give the guilty a chance to change through rehabilitation. Nothing can compensate a life lost since the dead cannot be brought back to life no matter what penalty one gets. Taking better measures would help in coping with the loss. These are measure such as taking considerations of the economic benefit the deceased had and making the guilty take it. Additionally, they should be made to pay for the needs of the family left. Monetary reimbursement is provided by civil law to cater for damages done. This will not be enough to pay for the wrong, but the death penalty will not help in either way. A second chance is what every person needs to re-correct his action.