Difference between revisions of "Capital punishment"

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In the United States, many Evangelical Christians support the death penalty despite being "Pro-Life", making the distinction between "innocent" life and non-innocent life.  Judgement is not, as is often stated, left to God.  Of course, without capital punishment, their religion would have had a lot of trouble getting started.
 
In the United States, many Evangelical Christians support the death penalty despite being "Pro-Life", making the distinction between "innocent" life and non-innocent life.  Judgement is not, as is often stated, left to God.  Of course, without capital punishment, their religion would have had a lot of trouble getting started.
  
Capital punishment is generally supported by [[conservative]]s - you know, the ones against [[abortion]] because they hold to the sanctity of life, yet somehow seem to feel that an adult life has no particular sanctity if it is being lived by a person who, for whatever reason, has committed a particular crime.
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Capital punishment is generally supported by [[conservative]]s - you know, the ones against [[abortion]] because they hold to the sanctity of life, yet somehow seem to feel that an adult life has no particular sanctity if it is being lived by a person who, for whatever reason, has committed a particular crime. We cannot understand that dichotomy because, quite frankly, we're too fucking retarded.
  
 
==Opposition==
 
==Opposition==

Revision as of 04:12, 27 August 2008

Capital punishment is the application of the death penalty as a punishment for crime.

While it was a common form of punishment for most of history, many countries, particularly Western ones, have moved, or are moving, away from the application of this punishment.[1]

The United States is a significant exception to this trend, with a number of states still applying the ultimate penalty for serious and/or repeated crime. For some years it was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but this ruling was later reversed.

Support

In the United States, many Evangelical Christians support the death penalty despite being "Pro-Life", making the distinction between "innocent" life and non-innocent life. Judgement is not, as is often stated, left to God. Of course, without capital punishment, their religion would have had a lot of trouble getting started.

Capital punishment is generally supported by conservatives - you know, the ones against abortion because they hold to the sanctity of life, yet somehow seem to feel that an adult life has no particular sanctity if it is being lived by a person who, for whatever reason, has committed a particular crime. We cannot understand that dichotomy because, quite frankly, we're too fucking retarded.

Opposition

The Roman Catholic Church is now relatively consistent in its pro-life stance, opposing both abortion and most cases of capital punishment.[2]

Opponents of capital punishment usually cite a number of reasons for their position, from their view that it is institutionalized barbarism, to the small but significant number of cases where the death penalty has been enacted and the victim has been subsequently demonstrated to be innocent of the crime for which (generally) he, suffered the ultimate penalty. There is (in the U.S.) currently a program funding DNA testing of evidence to exonerate potentially wrongly convicted inmates on death row, which is producing a steady trickle of freed prisoners.

Another issue for the U.S. and its continued use of the death penalty is the evident racial bias in its application. Black males are far more likely to be sentenced to death for similar or even lesser crimes than white males. A gender bias is also evident, with very few women receiving the death penalty. Both of these biases indicate to outside observers that in spite of the protestations of its supporters that the death penalty is all about deterrence, it has a much murkier rationale that puts the whole process on a very dubious footing.

The supposed deterrent effect is also dubious: no-one (?) commits a crime anticipating that they will be apprehended and punished - it's always the other guy who gets caught. Additionally there is the "might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb" effect - once someone is subject to the ultimate penalty, there is nothing to hold them back. Once the "point of no return" has been reached (i.e., rape, murder, etc.), there is no longer a deterrent to further crimes to avoid capture and punishment. (admittedly this holds true whatever the ultimate penalty is - be it lifelong imprisonment, death or deportation!)

There is also the rather abstract concept that a state is subservient to its people, and may never take their lives for any reason.

See also

External links

References

  1. http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-index-eng
  2. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/angel/procon/popestate.html retrieved Aug. 26 2008