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Religion and Criminal Justice - "Let's keep society safe and give murderers what they deserve - the death penalty".

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Introduction

Religion and Criminal Justice. "Let's keep society safe and give murderers what they deserve - the death penalty". Capital Punishment. In this essay I will hope to set out both sides of the argument, for and against Capital Punishment. The advantages and the disadvantages will be considered in conjunction with Christian teachings and belief. The Christian teachings, Old Testament and New Testament will also be compared with human reactions to the subject. From my research and analysis in this essay I will be able to come to a conclusion as to whether or not I feel the death penalty is ever justified Murder is a crime whether you look at the Bible - Thou shalt not kill The Sixth Commandment - or at a book of English law - Murder: an indictable crime punishable in a court of law. There are advantages to Capital Punishment and the threat of the death penalty. It is a deterrent and a clear warning that says, if you commit this crime and take a person's life your life will also be taken from you. ...read more.

Middle

The disadvantages of Capital Punishment are shown most prominently in Jesus and what he stood for, i.e. forgiveness and sanctity of life, also in the Sermon on the Mount and many other parts of the New Testament. This does give the argument against capital punishment a head start but there are also other factors to consider. By letting a murderer be put to death you will be legalising murder for the executioner. Who is then to say who can and cannot kill? If a government decides this, there is sure to be religious opposition, and if for example the Pope decides who can kill another then he would be going against his own religion. When death is made legal in any way, even in cases of war, it is encouraging violence. War should and is frequently only a last resort 'Just War'. The death penalty for murder would not be a last resort as there are alternatives and as again who is to decide which murder and in what circumstances it would warrant another death. ...read more.

Conclusion

But killing is different to murder and although the murderer has violated the sanctity of life it is still forgivable. God is the judge and to violate the sanctity of life for revenge against the murderer is as bad a crime as the initial murder itself. In non-religious terms the answer is still no. Two wrongs don't make a right. The wrong message is being taught and not the precious lesson of forgiveness. One human characteristic that cannot be relied on in this situation is opinion. Every person has an opinion whether it is voiced or not and that opinion will be influenced by the circumstances and personal involvement. It is my opinion that the death penalty can never be justified no matter how strong your feelings are for it. What a person has done does not affect the care they get. Every person is different and that is why judging others by your own standards is wrong. I hope that I have viewed this subject objectively and represented religious and non-religious feelings justly. In conclusion the death penalty can never be justified and I disagree with the title statement. ...read more.

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