[6] Death Penalty – The decision between life and death?



With the concept of the death penalty we usually associate medieval times, but it is a shocking fact that sixty percent of the world population still live under this threat. Even more surprising is the fact that the world’s most advanced nations like the United States and China are practicing it. So how can we see the US as a role model when some of their states consider the death penalty as justified?

Our wish for the future is the abolition of the death penalty in the US, thus getting other countries to follow their example so that this harsh punishment can be absolutely banned from our world.

Whereas it may be true to say that the death penalty is a fair punishment – because the perpetrators receive the same fate as their victims – it is surely wrong to say that the victim would profit from the murderer’s death.

Supporters of the capital punishment argue that by killing someone the assassin loses his or her right to live as well. Moreover, the murderer will eventually serve the sentence and will once more be a threat to every human.

On the other hand, there are many arguments that speak for a ban of capital punishment.

First of all, by killing the perpetrator the person committing the act should therefore be deemed a murderer as well. This would result in an endless cycle. The people who support this execution aren’t any better than the murderer. Beyond that there is no proof that the dying person is not in pain due to e.g. the poison that prevents the body from reacting accordingly.

In addition, criminals, just like the victims, also have families and friends who will mourn their death and feel their absence.

Considering the early and sudden death of the assassins they don’t have the chance to think about their mistakes. For example, a person who killed or raped people receives the capital punishment and will die within the next few months. The execution will be the only thought on the offender’s mind. However, the criminals with the same crimes who have to serve a life sentence have more time than enough to think about their past actions and what consequences they had. Therefore, the inmate has the chance to regret those murders or rapes.

Above all, no one knows for certain if the punishment was given to the right person. There can always be a miscarriage of justice. It is even proven that there have been cases in the United States and other countries where innocent people were executed.

In conclusion, one could say that it is a risk to let murderers or rapists live; but you have to take that risk because no one has the right to judge about some else’s life.

2 Responses to “[6] Death Penalty – The decision between life and death?”

  1. First of all, thanks for your comment!
    I have to agree with you. By killing someone -even if it is to take vengeance for the murder of a beloved one – we are being hypocritical.
    But on the other hand, you have to take into account that someone who just lost a friend, a family member or the love of his or her life isn’t able to think rational. However, it obviously is a hotly debated topic that doesn’t only concern the States. We are influenced by their decisions because we look up to them.
    I can’t believe that there are people out there who approve of torture. Can you tell me what other arguments they had besides “an eye for an eye” ?
    Because I honestly can’t imagine that their arguments differ that much from those who support the capital punishment. Torture might even be worse than death if it goes on for a long time. When you think of children who were kidnapped and held captive, who endured years of torture and couldn’t even hope for a quick ending in the form of death, it makes you think twice about the cruelty that is torture.
    So I have to agree with you that it would place us on the same level as them.

  2. We discussed whether death penalty should be a legal punishment or not in school and though most of my classmates were against the death penalty, they thought that another kind of punishment would be appropriate. Have you heard of “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”? Some people, with whom I talked about capital punishment, said that if a murderer is not killed, he should at least be tortured or should be harmed in the same way, he wounded is victim. I was really shocked, when I heard that people I see nearly every day approve of torture or even death penalty. Killing or torturing criminals would place us on the same level as them, if not even lower, because we are judging them for the exact same thing we are doing to them.