A Moral Issue – Capital Punishment

The debate over Capital Punishment has been going on ever since it was thought of. Many believe it is wrong but increasingly today polls show that the majority are in favour of the death penalty.

  • Can capital punishment ever be justified, or is it simply ‘murder by the state’?

Many believe that Capital Punishment can never be justified the case study of Timothy McVeigh, the bomber of the federal building in Oklahoma city on 19th of April 1995, killing 168 people including 19 children, shows that even when he was executed by lethal injection the friends and family of those who died did not get any closure by seeing him die. The sixth commandment says that ‘Thou shalt not kill’, this is the Christian belief that is morally wrong and inexcusable to kill anyone regardless of the circumstances. The five aims of punishment are Protection, Deterrence, Vindication, Retribution and Reform. Evidence shows that the death penalty does not fulfil all of these aims such as deterrence. Scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments Amnesty International say, ‘the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It violates the right to life’. Showing that they believe it can never be justified as will be explored later in the essay.

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  • Can capital punishment carried out humanely?

 Is the question many ask about the death penalty.  In the case study of Kenny Richey, convicted for the murder of a two-year old girl and his ex-girlfriend and for burning her flat, he was kept on death row for twenty years before he was executed. This is horrible, as he would have had the execution looming over him for twenty years and the fact that twice he came within hours of being executed having said all of his goodbyes and getting a reprieve. Imagine you’ve been sentenced to death and had to ...

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