Written By: Simon Rakei
If crimes were still punishable by death in most of society, and a seventeen year old girl had been murdered, how would you begin explaining to the mother that the man who has brutally raped and murdered her daughter is also not going to be killed, but rather, imprisoned for life “without the possibility of parole”? The truth is you would sound like an idiot if you even tried…
Before the 17th century, people had their heads slowly sliced with an axe, crushed by an elephant, suffocated in ash or boiled alive as forms of punishments for committing murder. Even cutting down trees warranted such punishment, as was seen in England. Today however, when you kill someone you get to live the rest of your days in a well-sheltered, secure facility (one hopes), with enough clothing and food, courtesy of generous taxpayers.
With increasing murders and countries such as our own having acquired flattering titles of having one of the highest murder rates in the world, not forgetting of course our recent dubbing as “the rape capital of the world”, drastic measures are needed to bring back order. But even greater than that, the justification which warrants this drastic step is there, therefore this notion is all too legitimate.
So the obvious question which arises is who are we to decide that someone’s life should be taken just because of something they did? Fortunately the answer does not require any rocket science. It’s fairly simple; who we are is a society that is fed up of crime, moreover we are fed up of a failing justice system. We are fed up of reading about criminals being released because they are suddenly terminally ill, or because of missing evidence. Moreover, people want to see justice being served in the way they best see fit, and logic suffices that death should be punishable by death.
Another added advantage (as if inflicting just punishment for a crime as atrocious as murder isn’t enough) is the inherent deterrents that come from this motion. There is nothing more threatening than the fear of death. Suddenly we have thieves thinking about how they conduct their “affirmative repossessions”, but more importantly, as Napoleon once said, “one of the uses of our system of justice is to warn others”. We are reforming, not the hanged or lethally injected individual, but everyone else.
And what if there are no deterrents? Well here’s the scenario: if we execute murderers and there is in fact no deterrent effect, we have killed a bunch of murderers. If we fail to execute murderers, and doing so would in fact have deterred other murders, we have allowed the killing of a bunch of innocent victims. I would much rather risk the former. I don’t know about you, but this, to me, is not a tough call.
Now here’s an interesting part: suddenly we are now violating human rights-the right to life in particular. Here is where we match up the rights. What the death penalty is-is a punishment for a human rights violation, not a human rights violation itself. Anyone with any amount of moral judgment and coherence would recognize and respect that difference.
And even if we were taking away one’s right, it is greatly justified; we are ensuring and protecting the rights of majority and possible violation of rights. Lastly, these murderers “earn” the right to have their lives taken, because they have violated this right. This is morally acceptable.It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life.
By now the idea of capital punishment, its legitimacy, necessity and effectiveness should have settled in quite nicely. Regardless, it’s only fitting to add the cherry on the cake by rebutting a few clichéd arguments. These are things such as “violence doesn’t solve anything; you can’t fight fire with fire” etc. Such doctrines are historically untrue and immoral. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than any other factor and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst.
The idea that the world is made up of sugar-sweet roses and wonderful reasonable people should cease to exist. Whilst it’s acceptable to raise a child with the idea of Father Christmas and the Easter bunny, there reaches a certain age where that doctrine must be done away with in that child’s life. That age for society has come.
It is only by executing a murderer that we adequately express our horror at the taking of an innocent life. Nothing else suffices.For the retribution of victims, for the protection of society and for the upholding of the values of society, the motion must stand.
Long live capital punishment! Long live humanity!