America faces an ethically instilled dilemma on whether or not a convicted criminal of a serious crime should face the ending of his or her life as punishment. Many people argue that this form of compensation is unethical, while others believe that the punishment is justified. This immensely controversial topic leads to many states outlawing the punishment completely, while others severely restrict its boundaries. On the other hand, some legislatures are completely for the punishment. There are two distinct ways one can either diminish or justify capital punishment.
The reason why capital punishment is so controversial is because it is a question of ethics. Death penalty supporters believe that a life for a life is the correct punishment when one has committed a serious crime, such as a murder. However, those against the death penalty argue that it is stripping a person of their fourteenth amendment rights; the right to life, liberty, and property. Consequently, law makers are stuck between sides, which is why the law varies in each state. The more important question, is, whether or not capital punishment is effective in the first place.
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Death penalty supporters insist that it is a way for justice to be served to those unstable individuals. An example is the popular case of Charles Manson, where he was charged with murder, and sentenced to the death penalty. Rather conveniently for Manson, California Supreme Court issued a temporary law stating that capital punishment was illegal in the state, therefore lessening his sentence to life imprisonment. This highly unstable man became a threat to everyone around him, including fellow inmates. Had Manson been given the death penalty, those around him would not have to constantly worry about their safety.
Some supporters also argue about costs. Statistically, it costs nearly thirty-thousand dollars to keep a single prisoner incarcerated for a year. Compared to the two-hundred sixteen thousand it costs to execute a prisoner, this seems like a fair trade for a concerned tax payer. Many tax payers believe the money should go to schools, policemen, and other services that will benefit their community. However, it is quite unethical to reduce a human’s life to dollars.
Those against the death penalty feel strongly about ethicality of the topic. Whether or not it is right to decide when a human’s life shall end is a main argument, as well as a valid one. It is a religious argument, in which many sacred readings speak of how it is not in the power of humans to decide the end of another. There is also a moral aspect, in which people feel that others can change despite the severity of their actions. .
I feel that it is wrong to deprive a human being of their life, but if that same human has committed such a horrible act against humanity, they give up that right to life. I disagree that capital punishment is unconstitutional, because when a murder has been committed, the murderer should not be granted his or her natural rights. Therefore I do not believe it is wrong to “take an eye for an eye” as long as the defendant is clearly unstable and dangerous.
On contrary to that belief, I believe in second chances. Obviously murder is much more serious than failing a test in school, or cheating on a girlfriend. Retribution for murder is definitely hard to come by, and requires that only completely stable convicts should be able to make up for what they have done. I am not entirely sure how they would be able to make up such an intolerable act, but I am sure that there are ways..
In conclusion, controversial issues are entirely too complex to be solved. This is an issue that will always remain controversial. A human’s life is very valuable. It is something that can not be defined in dollar amounts, or service hours. This then sparks a controversy when an order to end a life is necessary. The question is, can it be necessary to end a life? Death penalty supporters, and those against the death penalty argue over this single question. Capital punishment may make up for the horrible act the criminal committed, and may even save a few tax dollars. However, who is to say when one should have their natural birth right revoked? Even though this thorny issue may never be settled, a compromise may be in place for such a profound topic.
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