Is death penalty dying a slow death?

December 20, 2007 at 9:21 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

The State of New Jersey has just abolished the death penalty. And it appears that other states may follow suit.
There are several reasons for eliminating capital punishment.

One is that we are sometimes not absolutely sure who committed the crime for which the penalty is pronounced. It has been proven that the wrong person has been executed for murders many times in the past. If a person is sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime and we later find out he was not responsible for it, we can let him out of jail and make up somewhat for the error. But if he is executed, he is gone forever and justice cannot be done.

Also, the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth doctrine of punishment went out of style long ago. It does not fit into a civilized society. If a person’s crime is that bad, he should be put away so he cannot do it again, not commit the same gorish action against him.

Of course, there are countries in the world where executions are common place, legally and illegally. If we eliminate death as a punishment here, we could be giving them second thoughts about their attrocious actions. It could spread through the social fabric of the world and make killing for any reason the heinous action it is.

Already, there are many countries in the world that have abolished the death penalty. The United States is not one of them but perhaps in 50 years it will be.

Obviously, some people who kill deserve to die. But who is qualified to decide?

Certainly, there is no jury so perfect as to be able to lay judgement without any doubt. And if a murderer is convicted, he can be sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison without the freedom to kill again. That is the main purpose in sending him to trial, not to get even with him.
If no one is allowed to legally kill another human being, either as a murderer or executioner, we will be spreading the message that human life is valuable and should be preserved whenever possible. And perhaps it could lead to countries settling their differences without going to war.

What an extra benefit that would be.

View other articles written Allen Lottinger

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