The Right to take a Life

There is no gray area with the Death Penalty. Death or life. Nothing in-between. After decades of thought I am yet to reach a decision as to how I feel about capital punishment.

Does society have the right to take the life of a fellow human? Or are some acts so evil that death for the perpetrator is just? This is the nub of the issue, but deeper consideration only makes the dilemma more complicated.

  • There is the question of what offenses should warrant the death penalty.
  • The chances are that, over time, innocent persons are mistakenly executed.
  • More chillingly there is also the possibility of innocent persons being deliberately executed.
  • It takes a great deal of tax-payers’ money to keep a prisoner for life, money which could well be spent on keeping other people alive.
  • Without the death penalty would the deterrent for serious crime be eroded?
  • In the case of murderous dictators, for example, would it not be preferable to execute them, rather than leave the possibility open for their influence to remain and fester, perhaps causing more hardship and death.
  • What about euthanasia?

Is there any evidence to suggest that countries with the death penalty experience less serious crime than those with? Sadly there appears to be no compelling evidence either way, there are too many other factors involved. However it could perhaps be argued that countries without the death penalty do not experience significantly higher rates of serious crime.


4 thoughts on “The Right to take a Life

  1. The case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a rare one that leaves little room for debate. His guilt is undeniable. He was only perhaps one more bullet away from being killed the night he was captured, so not much would change in the justice system taking his life at a later time. He killed his brother to keep him from being captured, and his brother probably would have done the same for him. In my mind and heart, this guy killed himself the day he committed his crime. The rest is just formality, bureaucracy.


    • Thanks Rainman. You raise a couple of extremely salient points. I believe the jury is restricted to two choices, life imprisonment or the death penalty. We await their decision.


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