Do you think the Death Penalty should be illegal?I do, mainly because I go to church and the bible has ten commandments and one of the commandments says "thou shalt not kill". And I think if you...

Do you think the Death Penalty should be illegal?

I do, mainly because I go to church and the bible has ten commandments and one of the commandments says "thou shalt not kill". And I think if you claim to be a Christian you are breaking one of the ten commandments by being a Judge and sentencing a man or a woman to the death penalty

Asked on by sfg13165

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mrtoad's profile pic

mrtoad | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

God gave the fifth commandment to protect human life and well-being.  The same God who commands, "Thou shalt not kill," also declares of the civil government,   "But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil" (Romans 13:4).  Among God's chosen people, the Children of Israel, the death penalty was required for breaking the sabbath, offering their children to the Idol Molech, committing adultry, bestiality, blasphemy, and many more offenses (see Leviticus chapters 19 and 20).

For Christians, who believe that the Bible is without error and without contradiction, the question is not one of whether the death penalty should be illegal or not, but to what extent the death penalty ought to be used in pursuit of the public good.

In conclusion, it must be emphasized that the civil government needs to be held accountable for responsible use of such awesome power so that the innocent are not condemned together with the guilty and the purpose of the fifth commandment ends up being set aside by those who ought to be most concerned with protecting human life and well-being.

 

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

No way. I'm fairly liberal minded in most aspects, but this ancient punishment is suitable for many people. Mass murderers (such as the D.C. snipers) deserve no less. I don't believe the death sentence should be restricted to murder, either. Multiple and repeat rapists should also be considered. Lethal injection is a humane punishment and a way to lessen overcrowded prisons. Prisoners serving lesser crimes should not have to worry about these unrepentant monsters any more than law-abiding citizens should.

ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

There are a couple of issues that most of the posts seem to be honing in on. Capital punishment as a means of deterrent and capital punishment as a means of punishment or retribution. Research, including a 1995 survey of city and county law enforcement officials found that in their opinion the death penalty was the last choice as a means of deterring violent crime. Eliminating drug abuse and improving socio/economic issues were the top two deterrents. No doubt there are many other studies that will bear out the fact that the death penalty doesn't appear to be a deterrent to violent crime.

That being said, one must then look at the death penalty as a means of retribution, and there are many perspectives in this debate. Some will reference "an eye for an eye" as is the Old Testament biblical perspective. It seems surprising that a country which was founded on Christian principals has, since 2005 been surpassed by several other countries in terms of confirmed death penalty executions.

Some like jseligmann will claim the death penalty as "cruel and unusual punishment", but when we look at how some describe life in prison as a means of retribution, "Life in prison, with all the solitude, hopelessness, brutality, boredom, danger and daily dehumanization is plenty deterrent enough," well that seems cruel and unusual as well.

There is also the financial argument against the death penalty. Any number of resources can support the understanding, that all things being considered, it COSTS more to keep a person on death row than it does to support them life in prison. What then is there to consider?

It seems there are two likely issues left to discuss. Prison populations and nature of crimes. These issues out of necessity go hand in hand. We live in a society where levels of heinous crimes ebb and flow. If we consider the option that some crimes (criminals) are so heinous that they warrant the immediate and permanent loss of personal freedom, than we have only two legal recourses--life in prison or the death penalty. Life in prison for these criminals will incrementally lead to more and more prison overcrowding. It's common knowledge that many prison systems in the United States are at maximum capacity. Which still leaves the death penalty as a valid (if personally repugnant)option until better and more effective alternatives are acquired.

http://uspolitics.about.com/od/deathpenalty/i/death_penalty.htm

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/death-penalty-international-perspective

jseligmann's profile pic

jseligmann | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

There should be no institutionalized killing. A country or a state should not be involved in the taking of human life.

There is no question that the emotions of a relative or a loved one of someone who is horribly murdered would prompt the aggrieved individual to revenge... an eye for an eye... but such an action, while understandable, should not be the business of any arm of government. It is cruel and unusual punishment.

In cases of murder and other egregious crimes, life imprisonment without the hope for parole is sufficient punishment. It is more than enough revenge, if revenge is sought, and it is more than enough assurance to the public at large that the perpetrator will not ever again be a danger to society.

As to whether or not the death penalty is a deterrent to the commission of murder and equally unthinkable crimes, there is no way of knowing this with any assurance. Life in prison, with all the solitude, hopelessness, brutality, boredom, danger and daily dehumanization is plenty deterrent enough.

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

Giving the government the absolute power of life and death is always a bad idea.  The Death Penalty is irreversible, and no system of justice, whatever the level of scientific technology, is infallible.  If, in the the US, the much-ignored but basic tenet of justice that 100 guilty should go free rather than 1 innocent be hanged, by extension, no crime, no matter how heinous, should ever merit death.

drmonica's profile pic

drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

There are certain crimes that are so heinous and so vicious that the only appropriate response by society is to execute the perpetrator. Now that we have DNA evidence testing and other capabilities that remove the unreliability of eyewitnesses, there is little room to permit an innocent person to be executed for a capital crime. Before DNA evidence, I used to think that it was too difficult to ensure that an innocent person did not suffer the ultimate penalty. For this reason, I now believe that the death penalty can be applied in extremely limited circumstances without risking the innocent.

Chantelm's profile pic

Chantelm | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

It should not be up to any man to decide if someone should be killed. The only righteous person that should make that decision is God. No one deserves to be killed no matter what crime they committed. If God wants to take that person off this earth he can do it at any moment. The death penalty should be illegal.

sfg13165's profile pic

sfg13165 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

There should be no institutionalized killing. A country or a state should not be involved in the taking of human life.

There is no question that the emotions of a relative or a loved one of someone who is horribly murdered would prompt the aggrieved individual to revenge... an eye for an eye... but such an action, while understandable, should not be the business of any arm of government. It is cruel and unusual punishment.

In cases of murder and other egregious crimes, life imprisonment without the hope for parole is sufficient punishment. It is more than enough revenge, if revenge is sought, and it is more than enough assurance to the public at large that the perpetrator will not ever again be a danger to society.

As to whether or not the death penalty is a deterrent to the commission of murder and equally unthinkable crimes, there is no way of knowing this with any assurance. Life in prison, with all the solitude, hopelessness, brutality, boredom, danger and daily dehumanization is plenty deterrent enough.

I think you are wrong, no country or state should take part in taking a human life only GOD himself. Life in prison for me personally would be better because after 7 to 8yrs. they can file for parole. I know the bible says and eye for and eye but if they killed someone let god do the punishing.

animallover's profile pic

animallover | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted on

I think that the death penalty should be illegal because if you're a religious person, you've been taught that in the ten commandments, it plainly says that we shouldn't kill. No matter how malicious a crime is that someone commits, they DON'T deserve to be put to death. We would be no better than the person that committed the crime if we kill them in cold blood.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

The amount of killing USA does in form of death penalty is negligible is as compared to the killing in form of various wars it has waged in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. If we accept the commandment "thou shalt not kill" as the final guiding principle in all matters causing death, we will also have to refrain from waging all kind of war. This may be something very noble, but perhaps not very practical measure for ensuring peace and prosperity for common people.

I see only one criteria to decide if society should award death penalty to some of the criminals. My personal belief is that some criminal and anti social actions should attract death penalty. However death penalty must be reserved for rarest of the rare cases. Also, the guilt justifying death penalty should be established beyond any doubt.

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