The effects of the death penalty on the societal order
The relationship between capital punishment and society
Much had been said about the imposition of death penalty on perpetrators of heinous crimes. Proponents argue that is it a deterrent against the further commission of said crimes while those against it rely on the basic issue that it is, simply, murder. Yet, all of these boil down to the issue of human life – the sanctity of life.
Capital punishment is carried out in different forms; otherwise called as death penalty, "it is the execution of a convicted criminal by the state as punishment for crimes known as capital crimes or capital offences (Wikipedia.org, 2006).
Now, in the imposition of the death penalty in order to deter the commission of a crime, specifically murder, a crime is also committed against life, though sanctioned by the state. There is none which is called "righteous" killing of a person; it is still called cold-blooded murder. The proponents' contention that capital punishment is a deterrent is a reason flawed and futile if placed alongside the fact that "infliction of the death penalty extinguishes possibilities for reform and rehabilitation for the person executed as well as the opportunity for the criminal to make some creative compensation for the evil he or she has done. It also cuts off the possibility for a new beginning and of moral growth in a human life which has been seriously deformed.
A predictable scenario would be created wherein a criminal murders an innocent person and, in turn, is put into an electric chair or killed by lethal injection. The state-sanctioned punishment would, somehow, make the citizens indirectly responsible for the killing of the convicted criminal, the state being the instrumentality through which the will of the people is expressed and realized.
The human nature is sometimes frail that we tend to lose our reasoning when faced with abhorrent acts of cruelty. The impulse, then, to vindicate the person wronged or the victim would immediately come into our minds that it has been suggested that a person's position on the issue of capital punishment is not determined by a rationale evaluation of the arguments for and against the death penalty, but is an emotionally based, moral opinion, that may be based on vengeance. Capital punishment must be stopped for it is replete with error, injustice and discrimination. Capital punishment is not necessary for an effective system of criminal justice: there is no evidence that the many nations or the 12 American states that have no death penalty are any less just or less effective in dealing with crime than nations or states that execute criminals.
The indiscriminate killing of a person cannot be vindicated by taking away another person's life because "the right to life is a human right or natural right that exists independently of laws made by people (Wikipedia.org, 2006)." We may add that it is a divine right; a God-given life that he can only take away from us. These reasons are enough for me to oppose capital punishment. It erodes our society into an uncivilized one, sanctioning Death to wield its powers at every opportunity.