Death Penalty, Revenge or Justice?

March 28, 2017 Human Rights

Death Penalty, Revenge or Justice? by: Tiffany Efni Death penalty, or also known as the capital punishment, is one of the most debated topics in the judicial system of the world. It has existed long before 2500 BC, when hammurabi (Mesopotamia civilization) created the first written law called ‘Codex Hammurabi’. The principal of the codex is generally ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’. At that time, it was most likely if a person committed a capital crime, such as murder or theft, they were executed to maintain harmony in the community and to bring solace to those who knew the victim.

Mesopotamia’s culture of killing a criminal was carried out into this modern era. But the truth is, it has basically divided the world into two groups –those who support death penalty, and those who against it. In modern world nowadays, killing a criminal is more and more being considered as a barbaric, even evil practice with revenge instead of retribution as the sole motivating factor. Some countries in the world which are against the death penalty think that death penalty does nothing to discourage crimes.

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Terrorists are still causing terror here and there without afraid of getting ambushed. Those terrorists are not afraid to die, so threatening them with the capital punishments won’t make them stop their terrors. Death penalty system also cannot be separated from the possibility of executing the innocent man. Most of the terrorists are usually using an innocent man who had an unstable mental to carry out their mission. If the legal still persists to kill them, it means they are going against the human rights.

Most countries that don’t do death penalty usually questioned the motives behind the death sentenced. The motives for the death penalty may be for revenge. Legal vengeance solidifies social solidarity against law breakers and is the alternative to the private revenge of those who feel harmed. But one argument can’t always be accepted by both parties. People who support death penalty think that the person who has taken someones life doesn’t deserve a rehabilitative treatment.

An individual taking someones life results in an imbalance in a civilized society, and this balance cannot be restored unless and until that person is given equal punishment, thus sending across a strong message that crimes such as murder are not tolerable in this society. A simple fact is written in a bold letters –a murderer has to die for the justice to prevail. Even though those who support the arguments against the death penalty cite moral and ethical reasons, they also can’t take the guarantee that a person who has committed one murder won’t commit another.

A criminal roaming freely in the society, even after he has served his term in prison, is a threat for other people, and capital punishment is the only way such threats can be eliminated. There have been cases where several criminals have continued their reign of terror, even after being exiled or imprisoned. As long as such people continue to live, we can’t say that we’re living in a secure environment. Strictly speaking, I am in the side of justice. When one person is murdered, the murderer is responsible for his death.

He has to be punished to create a balance before the justice’s eyes. People often say that execution is like the country is like doing a murder himself. But if execution is murder, than killing someone in war is a murder too. Country should stop fighting wars. On the contrary, it is the priority to protect the rights of a group of people. Hence, the death penalty is vital to protect a group of people’s right to live! Is arresting someone same as kidnapping someone? In the same context, executing someone is not murder; it is punishment by society for a deserving criminal.


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