Friday, July 19, 2019

Capital Punishment Essay - Justice in Retribution -- Argumentative Per

Capital Punishment: Justice in Retribution       The American government operates in the fashion of an indirect democracy. Citizens live under a social contract whereby individuals agree to forfeit certain rights for the good of the whole. Punishments for crimes against the state are carried out via due process, guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment. The use of capital punishment is decided by the state, which is legal in thirty-seven states. It is a moral imperative to protect the states' rights to decide their own position on the use of capital punishment.    Capital punishment is a method of retributive punishment as old as civilization itself. Both the Greeks and the Romans invoked the death penalty for a wide variety of offenses. Socrates and Jesus were perhaps the most famous people ever condemned for a capital crime in the ancient period. Hammurabi's Code, a code of laws developed by the king of one of the first empires, dates back from the third or second millennium before Christ. This code claims that retribution, an eye for an eye and a life for a life, is justice. In Anglo-American law the death penalty has been a customary response to certain kinds of offenses. The movement in America to have the death penalty declared unconstitutional received paramount attention during the landmark case of 'Furman v. Georgia,' rendered on June 29, 1972, which declared the death penalty cruel and unusual punishment. No executions took place between 1967 and 1977 (Bedau, 1992). However, after a supreme court decision in 1975 'Gregg v. Georgia', which stated capital punishment did not violate the Eighth Amendment, executions commenced again under state supervision. Should capital punishment be continued? Retribution is a ju... ...nal awaits the sentence to be carried out. This lesson may be said not to benefit society since it is too late for the criminal. It is also too late for the victim who was murdered in cold blood. To look at this as "bloodthirsty revenge" would be saying that capital punishment is itself the injustice. Is it not an injustice to let a cold-blooded killer escape the consequences of a crime? A society that tolerates injustice can by no means be called just.    Works Cited Bedau, Hugo Adam. In Spite of Innocence. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992. Block, Eugene B.. When Men Play God: The Fallacy of Capital Punishment. San Francisco: Cragmont Publications, 1983. Locke, John. Second Treatise of Civil Government. Ch 2, Sec 6. Meltser, Michael. Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment. New York: Random House, 1973.   

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