Death Penalty Ethics Essay by PerfectEssay
The death penalty has a long history in society. During older times, the death penalty was used in giving justice to grave crimes which gave the idea that grave crimes definitely cost people their lives. The discourse on the death penalty involves different concepts in society especially ethics and morality. In the context of ethics and morality, capital punishment is never seen as the righteous way to achieve justice. This follows the idea that taking one’s life is equated to devaluing it.
Of course, the death penalty also exists in a religious context. Throughout history, the Church has been prominent in voicing out its strong opinion against capital punishment. Despite this, history also says the Church has somewhat given the state civil liberties in how justice is practiced. In these juxtaposing concepts, it is seen that the issue of capital punishment is an issue that gathers strong opposing opinions which identifies it as an important moral and ethical problem.
The Ethics of Capital Punishment
The ethical constraint that lies within capital punishment is the idea of life being taken willfully from an individual. For many, this follows a barbaric form of the justice system just like the “eye for an eye” concept. Furthermore, in the case of religion, taking the life of another human being is already sin in itself which widens the moral grounding against capital punishment. In short, this form of penalty is not reason enough to be considered “right.” This thinking has developed over present times which produced progressive movements against capital punishment. Many consider that the uproar against capital punishment is mostly ruled by emotions but it is important to know that this is completely fine. The discourse on death will never be technical and emotions can be associated with the functionality of morality in society.
Morality speaks of what is right or wrong, based on our inherent perceptions of society. Just like with other ethical issues, capital punishment is perceived as unjust because it does not truly bring justice to those who need it. On the other hand, it is only a premature form of vengeance that does not truly satisfy anyone. In light of this, it is important to explore the different underpinnings of capital punishment in society and how different nations have legalized it despite the continuous retort of several advocacy groups.
Capital Punishment in the Society
In the United States, some states allow capital punishment as the highest level of crime punishment. This is dedicated to grave crimes such as murder and the likes. For some people, this form of punishment can be considered as a “grave” or excessive showcase of authoritarian power. It does not give space or reform for change in the society; rather it instills a sense of fear among people that is usually misguided. Aside from this, the idea itself of capital punishment tends to paint a picture of justice that is cut short. Of course, death is not the solution to achieving justice.
In nations that approve of capital punishment, their reasoning lies in the idea that through the death penalty, people would avoid making crimes that would lead to their death. State ruling also reasons out that through capital punishment, people would fear being involved in great crimes. For experts on crime and psychology, capital punishment may have an effect that is opposed to this belief. Criminals who get involved in grave crimes do not have time to think of this sort of logic; criminals would be more focused on committing their crimes rather than the repercussions of their actions. Instead, capital punishment in itself can trigger more grave crimes for criminals would see the crimes they commit as their last. Of course, this is only one side of the story and this also proves the multi-faceted orientation of the discourse of capital punishment depending on what context it is situated in. Despite all this, when the discourse is focused on morality, the automatic understanding is that the death penalty is unreasonable. Cutting short the life of a criminal may be reasonable to the victims but this is a blinded perception of the justice system. Ultimately, the issue of the death penalty continues to raise debates because of how life is connected to what is ethical and the death penalty is just one of the many wherein ethics is erased.