One of the roles of the state is to punish criminals. In the case of capital offenders, these should suffer more less the same fate by being condemned to death. Philosophically life is comes inform of a contract which not only seeks to safeguard an individual’s life, but the well being of others. The contract mandates individuals to do whatever they want with their life as far as these actions do not affect the well being of others (Petrezselyem 25). Affecting the well being of others may mean hurting them emotionally or physically. The latter requires intervention of the State as it represents damage to body or termination of life. In case of the latter, we forfeit the right to our own life by exceeding the mandate given by the contract.
The other support for the death penalty is deterrence; this was mentioned earlier and has been accepted as one of the main reason sin support of death penalty. A study by Utah from 1976 to 1988 indicated that cases of homicide and general murder cases reduced considerably in the months directly following any execution (Gaita and Sather 256). One of the studies came to the conclusion that for every execution deterred an average of eighteen homicides. Supporting data also indicate that after the abolishment of the death penalty in UK in the year 1965 for all crimes except treason the number of murders has more than doubled. Death penalty is the only way to prevent repeated crime; though opponents argue that rehabilitation ensures chances of the crime repeat reduce research has shown otherwise. Borrowing again from British data it is evident that since 1965 when capital punishment was abolished seventy five murders have been carried out by released killers (Gaita and Sather 256). In the absence of the death penalty then there is no motivation for death convicts to life without parole not to commit similar crimes in prison. These maybe in the form of killing fellow prisoners, warders or attempting escapes to kill again this is because there is no further punishment. The death penalties maybe a harsh sentence but it is a fair one and the best deterrent. The efficiency of this is evident from the high number of criminals who constantly argue for life imprisonment, as opposed to the death penalty. This shows that they do not fear life imprisonment thus this may not act as a deterrent for criminals. Besides, it is always fair to punish with equal measure appropriate punishment for murder is execution, not life imprisonment (Gaita and Sather 257). Lastly, a decision to execute a criminal is only arrived upon when the facts are crystal clear, and any doubt is wiped out on the criminal guilt. Besides, decision on committing one to a death penalty is arrived at by a jury which incorporates views of several people. More to this those condemned have a chance of appeal which is not limited until they prove or unable to prove their guilt. Though there are still case where the death penalty has been passed to innocent people, the chances of such a sentence are minimal. Besides, deaths resulting from such sentences are negligible when compared to the number of murders prevented by the sentence. “The discrimination between various degrees of homicide or manslaughter allows the jury plenty of opportunity for clemency, and insane murderers are never executed” (Gaita and Sather 257).
In conclusion, the death penalty is a fair sentence for capital offenders, the best summation being the philosophical view of life as a contract. In this view, denying a person life through ones selfish or through ill motive action denies a person the right to live, as well. Of course, the challenge is getting to prove the guilt of individuals and their reason for taking away life. If this can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, then there is little doubt on the fairness of the death penalty. Use of juries and incorporation of technology such as use of DNA prove boosts chances of proving a person guilt and innocence. Incase these are guilty then it is just fair that a proportionate sentence should be administered, this is the death penalty.
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