Do you support Capital Punishment? Why or why not (Higgins #1)?
A famous Catholic theologian named Thomas Aquinas said….” Just as a diseased portion of the body may be removed in order to restore health to the body, a capital offender may be executed in order to restore stability to the state” (Higgins p.103). I found this very thought provoking as well as parallel with my own beliefs on Capital Punishment. I am for Capital Punishment. Not as a deterrent necessarily, but as means of removing certain “stains” upon society. I agree with most who say that all life is sacred, but there are some people, due to the heinousness of their crimes, who I believe have deigned to disrespect that sanctity and therefore forfeit their right to the sanctity of life in return. I’m not saying that all criminals should die, but that according to the crime, they forfeit their right EXPECT to live.
Jeremy Irons talks about how it is cruel and unusual punishment to leave convicts on death row awaiting their sentence. He says how it is torturous for them to have to agonize over if they will die or when they will die. I believe that this is outrageous to even suggest. They should have thought about all that before they even committed the crime. In our book, Jeffrey Reinman speaks about Imannuel Kant’s belief that if a rational person believes in lex talionis, or “eye for an eye”, he believes that if he kills another, then he too will be killed, and he thereby authorizes his own death, thereby absolving his executioner of injustice (Hinman p.156). I tend to agree with this theory. I don’t think that “eye for an eye” is always appropriate, but more with the sentiment that, although no one can take your right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, when you commit a crime against another, in my opinion, you have, in essence chosen to alienate yourself from said rights with the exception of a few. I don’t think that every murder should die and I don’t think that anyone needs to be tortured, period. I think that our justice system as a whole needs a huge facelift along with our education system. The problem of crime and punishment is far deeper routed than just our capital punishment. Simply put, as a parent, I give my child guidelines and consequences for not following these rules. If I don’t teach them rules (education) or consistently enforce whatever consequence (justice system) I have laid out for disobeying, my child will eventually do what he wants to because he knows for whatever reason, he can get away with it or that whatever punishment I do mete out, will be trivial. Until we fix our systems innocents are going to be unjustly convicted and criminals will get away with their deviant behavior, and kids who would not grow up to be criminals if they were given a chance will continue on their path alone, straight into the system as predicted. Once in the system we should have programs in place to try and rehabilitate prisoners from their path of destruction. The prison system was not meant to be a permanent solution.
As for the discussion on cost of the death penalty over life in prison, I honestly believe that most of these costs lie with the appeals process. I’m