Justice System - Other

Arguments in Favor of the Death Penalty

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"Arguments in Favor of the Death Penalty"
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There are many among us that feel the death penalty is both cruel and barbaric, and not an effective crime deterrent. Others may feel it makes murderers of us as well, thinking that one is no more morally right than the other.

To that end I ask one simple question: what are our alternatives? What are our alternatives when prisons are overcrowded, funding for the correctional systems are overstretched, and finding places for new prisons becomes more and more difficult?

And to those that take the moral high ground I ask: Who can take any moral high ground in today's society? We have wars, ethnic cleansing, child labor, and vast numbers of atrocities taking place all over the world, and all the while those that can and should do something, do nothing. Religious leaders are often sexual deviants; governments are in many cases corrupt, and truth and integrity in the media and advertising no longer exists unless it benefits their cause.

It's easy to stand outside of something and point its faults to the world. It's another thing entirely to be in the middle of it and see all that's wrong.

For instance, you grow up in a violent and poor section of a city. You are a decent law-abiding person, and have a family of three; you, your wife and son. Your son is killed in a drive-by shooting one day while walking home from school. They catch the person, and his guilt is undeniable, so he gets sentenced to death by the courts. Do you feel that person's life is a fair trade for the life of your son? No, of course not, your son was an innocent, just starting out in life and had done no wrong. But the killer was a lifetime criminal, convicted of many crimes of similar nature. So the life of that sociopath is no fair trade whatsoever.

Do you feel better about your son's death now that he will die too? Again, no you don't, not at all. Any decent human being would not feel justice was served. But you would have closure and some solace in the knowledge that man will kill no one else's son.

I do not support the death penalty because it is just and right. Nor do I support it because of a sense of vengeance. I support it because it is best for us all to remove those that care so little for the society they live in, and because we cannot either make them care, or teach them to care for the right reasons.

There may be cases of real rehabilitation, but those are so very few and far between, we will never be able to know for sure until it may be too late. Look at the numbers of repeat offenders in prison systems today. If rehabilitation was a viable endeavor we would not have so many career criminals.

So by that simple logic we must make certain educated assumptions. Number one; we can neither cure them nor stop them without incarceration. Number two; keeping them in prison, paying for their trials and appeals costs honest taxpaying citizens money they should not have to pay for guilty individuals. Number three; we cannot afford to build nor are we able to build enough penitentiaries for them. Number four; those families that lost loved ones to these dregs of society continue to deal with their loss while the guilty party stays in a place paid for by those he harmed.

You want to talk cruelty? Let's talk about that last statement. The criminal kills an innocent, we pay for his trial and defense, and then for the rest of his life we pay for his room, board and medical expenses. In fact, he can even write children's books and get nominated for a Nobel Prize. Or perhaps he can sell his story to a movie studio or get on TV; the materials he uses for those endeavors of course are also paid for by you.

All of this because some of us who never even met this lowlife nor had to lose a loved one to his lust for blood, need to feel good about their morality and help the unfortunate. I tell you that person is not an unfortunate soul, persecuted and forced into this terrible situation, but a human being no more, no less. A human being just like you and I, and just as responsible for his actions and deeds as you and I are. Just as you may feel the moral responsibility to turn the other cheek and forgive those that trespass against you; he must also feel the same when he commits his crimes, otherwise its meaning is lost.

It is my belief that repeat offenders are a result of the way society has become more lenient on criminals. They have TV, computers with access to the internet, and vast libraries that can be used to gain an education. They can write books, and become famous while on death row for slaying the innocent. Some may even find prison to be a viable alternative to living in their former conditions. They can be somebody important in a prison gang just for being the sociopath they were on the outside. When you have a sociopath and give him an education he does not have to earn; you have an educated sociopath, not a productive member of a society.

The moral high ground is only a perception of man and not an absolute fact. It exists only within the societies of man and at this point in time nowhere else. In that alone we must realize that it is only as true as the men that abide by it. A sense of goodwill for fellow members in a society cannot be extended to those that do not live by the same moral values as the people that make that society function. Love cannot be given if it is not accepted nor believed in.

Despite what we may like to believe, the realities are irrefutable and must take precedence. We must protect the moral members of our society before considering the protection of our criminals. Otherwise, despite all our good intentions society will suffer a rot from within. When those that live by laws of society continually suffer so that the social parasites can continue to prey upon them, morality and decency will lose its value.

When there is a proven way to cure those that prey upon good people and believe them to be weaker therefore prey; I will change my position. But for now, with no other viable alternative I must stand with capital punishment. You cannot cure those that neither believe themselves sick nor want to be cured.

Despite all the hand holding and excuses we can make up for sociopaths, the reality is they; whether it be by disease, social-economic strife, or genetic predisposition, do not care for our sympathy, kindness, nor understanding until they have no other alternative.

Even though there may be a select few instances to the contrary, they will never view decency as good and right, but rather signs of weakness, ignorance, and conceit. In prison most convicts have extenuating circumstances that led them to this point; things that could not be helped. It was almost never their fault, either a poor defense attorney (which we pay for), they were framed, or an invisible being that oversees their life put them there. Not to mention the age old excuses of racism, reverse racism, social-economic hardships, and temporary insanity.

By law people are innocent until proven guilty: I see that line used all the time. Once they are proven guilty by a preponderance of evidence before a jury of their peers and presided by a Judge, they are accountable for the actions they are found guilty of. I have never understood how a right to fair trial by impartial jury can be so infallible in matters of little consequence, but deemed not trustworthy when the stakes are higher. We either believe in the courts or not, it is not something we can afford a double standard on.

You want to end capital punishment; find a better, more humane and just way to deal with the criminals, and still ensure the safety of society and I'll support it wholeheartedly. Until then I will continue to live in the current realities of the world, and not by the assumption that others given the right education, opportunities, and motivation will deem my life as precious as their own.

More about this author: Greg Slack

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