Death sentences should be ended

May 09, 2014 at 10:56 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Every now and then we hear reasons why people should not be sentenced to death, regardless of what they did. Those reasons usually have some common sense attached to their arguments.

The main reason why a death sentence is not proper is that we are not in a position to judge through a court or otherwise whether or not a person so accused deserves the death penalty. To begin with, did he commit the crime for which he is accused?

Occasionally a person is found guilty of murder and sentenced to death and after the execution it is discovered that he was not responsible for the murder. By then, it is too late to reverse the misjudgment.

Murder can be defined as the unjust killing of a human being. When we do chance upon one of those misjudgments, we end up sentencing those whom we misjudged with the offense we misjudged them for committing – killing another human being unjustly.

A case of corporal punishment in which things didn’t go quite right came to a climax just last week when Clayton Lockett, who was convicted of murder, came up for execution in Oklahoma. When officials tried to carry out the execution by giving him an injection of untested drugs, he did not become unconscious as they expected. He went into distress and tried to speak but suffered some 42 minutes of tortuous agony before he suffered a heart attack and died.

The purpose of our laws designed to prevent crime should do just that. If convicted of murder, the person should be kept under guard and put to work and taught respect for other people in this world.

Perhaps he could even lecture people about how he was wrong to take someone’s life and how his new attitude has made his life so much more meaningful. This would help make up for taking the life away from another person.

If instead it is discovered that in the first place he did not commit the crime with which he was charged, then he can be let free to help make up for the mistake that is always possible in this imperfect world.

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