Point: The rationality of capital punishment

The most severe crime must always result in the most severe punishment.

In our modern society, the death penalty, or capital punishment, has come under significant attack. With many “leading” nations abolishing the “barbaric” ritual, there is immense pressure in the U.S. to retract the social policy.

However, capital punishment is just and it must be enforced to guarantee a stable, upright society.

It is unjust to let a murderer live. Currently, the characteristics required to enact the death penalty are so restricted, that murder is the only crime capable of such a punishment. While it could be argued that other crimes fall into this category, I will continue to base my argument on the crime of murder.

The laws of our society are based loosely on the moral code of the golden rule. If society allows a murderer to keep his life, not only will this crime begin to occur more frequently, societal order will become severely strained.

Critics, however, argue that this is not the case, and many point to statistics within the U.S. to legitimize their argument. However, if the death penalty is lawfully and rightfully enforced, crime rates will undoubtedly plummet.

It’s rational to believe that if society suddenly imposed the death penalty on men who cheat on their spouses, the number of men who cheat on their spouses will significantly decrease.

If this is not the case, then there may be a problem with the system by which that society convicts criminals, not the punishment itself; this may be true with the U.S. justice system.

Consequently, many critics attack the death penalty, but not the system that enforces it. In the current U.S. legal system, it may take years and years attached to hundreds and thousands of dollars to convict a felon.

If this is true, the crime deterrent of forfeiting your own life is buried behind decades of trials, meals and conjugal visits. The death penalty is not the problem — the legal system is the problem.

Instead of annihilating capital punishment, we should eliminate the loopholes of our current legal system.

In essence, if society retracted the death penalty, it would, in fact, be saying that life is not important enough to conserve and sanctify. Many critics also say that innocent people may also sometimes be wrongly executed if the death penalty is allowed to continue.

Of course the possibility is always present, but this shouldn’t stop us from eliminating the death penalty altogether.

My guess is that many of you support your right to consume alcohol (hopefully if you’re over the age of 21), even though the use of which could ultimately result in, let’s say, a drinking and driving fatality. As you can see, this logic is flawed.

Even if you aren’t yet convinced, the possibilities of modern science, for example DNA testing, ultimately serve as a steady reinforcement if there is at all any other doubts.

In this case, murder, the most serious of crimes, must always result in the forfeiting of the murderer’s life, the most serious of consequences.

By enforcing the death penalty, society is upholding the sanctity and beauty of all human life; eliminating the death penalty only illustrates how the falsities of incorrect ideals can mold society into an immoral and over-ideological machine.


Reach the columnist at spmccaul@asu.edu

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