Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Monday, April 22, 2013

Capital Punishment

I see the central argument as this:

Capital punishment does more to prevent wrongful death than not.

The goal is preventing or minimizing wrongful deaths. Murderers kill people, & those who die at their hands have their basic right to life violated. Justice has said for millinea that if you kill someone, you lose your right to life. 'An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, life for life', was how it was in the old jewish law, & the same principle has been in force in every civilization of mankind. The anti death penalty argument is that it is barbaric, & there are times when mistakes are made. I also argue that capital punishment is a greater deterrent for those who might be considering a capital crime. But i will address the 2 main points against capital punishment:

1. 'Barbaric' is a judgment call. Justice is either always barbaric, or it brings order to a barbaric society, depending on which side of the law you are on. It is an emotional word to elicit sympathy for the perpetrators of the crime. It really has no place in the central debate, which is how to prevent or minimize wrongful death.  A society with the fewest wrongful deaths is the least barbaric.

2. Mistakes. This is probably the main argument against capital punishment. Sometimes, a person is accused wrongly, & convicted. In seeking justice, another wrongful death is caused.
a. Many criminals are repeat offenders. They cause more 'wrongful deaths' than any travesties of justice. If the goal is to prevent wrongful deaths, that is served better by taking the lives of violent criminals, with the very rare wrongful death of an innocent. Incarcerated criminals also commit murder in prison, adding more 'wrongful deaths' to their resume.
b. An innocent locked up for life is slim consolation. A travesty of justice has still occurred, & justice has not been served.

I submit that justice is not barbaric, & is a stronger deterrent. Another benefit of capital punishment, is the taxpayers are not overburdened with the very expensive cost of incarcerating those who commit capital crimes.

My arguments are few & simple. Capital punishment is a better deterrent & minimizer of wrongful death than not. You will have fewer wrongful deaths, statistically, with capital punishment than by keeping capital offenders alive. They will not be able to kill again, nor will they kill while incarcerated. Logically, capital punishment is a better solution to wrongful death. Most anti capital punishment arguments center on the plight of the poor accused. But no consideration is given to the victims, or future victims of the perpetrator. Many family members have to spend their lives continually involved in the crime, since the perpetrator is still alive, & they have to appear every so often before a parole board to oppose releasing the killer. They are not able to find closure, & their lives are disrupted by the continual opening of old wounds. Capital punishment brings closure for them.

Here's a summary of the benefits of capital punishment for a civilized society:

1. It minimizes wrongful deaths.
2. It is a deterrent to capital crimes.
3. It relieves the citizens from having to pay for the criminal's incarceration for life.
4. It provides more closure for the victim's family.

I have not listed statistics to support these points, but they are readily available. My purpose here was to make logical arguments for the value of the death penalty in a civilized society.

No comments:

Post a Comment