In every society, there must be rules and strong morals that people are required to adhere to in order to live harmoniously and in good understanding with each other, failure to which there are some dire consequences put by the authority and have to be exercised to the criminals. In some cases, some people may find it hard to follow the law, and end up doing what they are not supposed to do, which obviously forces them to be punished.
In today’s society, there are the criminal justice systems that are kept in place in order to deal with the criminals, making sure they are punished and to make them pay for their mistakes. Justice in today’s society equals punishment where many of the countries have adopted a policy that states that “you do the crime, you do the time” and after doing the time, one is described as one who has paid his/her debt to the society for the crime done and justice is said to have been prevailed (Schmalleger et al. 2014). People have, however, continued to file complains of lack of dissatisfaction in the judgments and the corresponding punishments to the criminal offenders.
The punishment given to the criminals has proved not to cater for the needs of the victims in relieving their fears and to help them make sense of their tragedy by healing their wounds (Hall, 2011). In order to justify the effectiveness of the death penalty, it is first necessary to first evaluate an example of a criminal case that in my opinion, the criminals were supposed to receive a death sentence. The evil cases done by some criminals not only leave people in the zone of heartbreak and tears, but it also leaves people thinking and wondering where the criminals were really born and raised as humans since the crime they do, it doesn’t match the level of humanity in them. For instance, in the afternoon of July 23rd, 2007, in the town of Cheshire, Connecticut, two men broke in into the home of Dr. William Petit, his wife Jennifer and their two daughters (Brown-Dean, 2017).
These two men beat Dr. William with a baseball bat almost to death. One of them went forward and raped Dr. Petit’s wife and the other man sexually assaulted their eleven-year-old daughter Mackellar. They then strangled Mrs. Jennifer Petit to death, tied down the two daughters on beds poured gasoline on all their bodies, and while the girls were still alive, the men set the house on fire. This was a painful and unforgettable case for Dr. Petit whose wife and children died but luckily he survived (Brown-Dean, 2017). In the judgment of these two men, the people supporting anti-capitalism punishment would claim that these two men still have their right to live. But surely, do these men really deserve living?
Does the opinion of the people against the death sentence that killing those who have murdered is murder really apply? For me, I equate the murder of such an innocent family to the death sentence to the murderers as a justice. The perception that keeping the murderous alive sanctify human life is not quite true, however, it actually cheapens human life because it belittles murder. The criminal justice systems have been found to be broken and this is proven by the increased crime and violence in the streets which are exploding out of control (Schmalleger et al. 2014).
Therefore, finding ways to fix it is what many people have tried to do with no avail. In the struggle to try and come up with appropriate ideas of fixing this Criminal Justice Systems, a thought of bringing back the death sentence have hit the scholars and researchers minds and in the process of justifying whether it is right or wrong to carry out death sentences, many people have come up with ideas that have been seen to vary in some aspects such as the religion, level of education, victimization of injustice, among others. In my opinion, the death penalty (capital punishment) can effectively assist in fixing these criminal justice systems and in this paper, discussions about how the death penalty would be beneficial to society are discussed. Asking ourselves what the advantages of the death sentence bring to the society is important to be able to understand its impacts. The first benefit of capital punishment is that it is an ultimate deterrence (Chen, 2016). According to my personal view and experience as well, when one finds out the consequences of doing something are harmful, he/she will quit doing it, and will not even think about it.
No one will go ahead to perform a murder crime while he/she knows very well that the results may forfeit his/her own life. The theory of deterrence was established whereby it tries to explain that the more the cost of crime, the less the level of the crime will occur. Placing the death penalty as a state-sanctioned punishment will be effective. First of all, people fear death and therefore, no one will be willing to endanger his/her life for doing a crime knowingly. In this case, there are many forms of crimes that a person can do and the results could be suicide to people. Imagine that the punishment of murder could be the same as driving a vehicle over the speed limit which as per the law, it is attempted suicide, endangering human life or generally cheapening human life. It could me murder by itself. If the penalty for any kind of murder could be a death sentence, then even the car accidents could be rarely heard of.
The society teaches how bad action is by the punishment it meets out (Chen, 2016). The other benefit of the capital punishment is giving the family of the loved one a hand in easing their pain as a result of loss of their loved ones to murder (Gross, 2017). The loved ones of those murdered are inflicted immeasurable pain and suffering as they can’t even imagine the loss. I can’t stop myself from imagining the case of Dr. Petit and his family, the pain he had after the loss of his two daughters and wife. If you put yourself in his shoes, the pain that you would experience realizing that the people who actually murdered your family are alive and being cared for in prisons is obviously of a very high magnitude.
Of course the death sentence to the murderers will not bring back their loved one but it provides a sense of lightening of heart, inner joy and gives justice. Dr. Putit proves that, since, despite the fact that he is a physician and devoted in caring and saving people’s lives, he wants the murderers of his children and wife put to death and in his words, “death is really the only true just punishment for certain heinous and depraved murders.” In my opinion, the doctor was not immoral at all, it was the justice required for such people with no mercy to the innocent human lives (Gross, 2017).
The claims that the death penalty can cause death to innocent people is not true at all and is hard to understand how that could occur. Before making the dire step to execute someone due to his/her crime, a proper and tangible investigation should be carried out. Dr. Putit’s case is also a good example of this since an absolute proof of a video of these two men burning the family alive was recovered. Moreover, by keeping more murderers alive, more people are murdered and in case of prison escapes or fights in the prisons, the workers and fellow prisoners are endangered. In the today’s technological advancement and inventions, it is virtually impossible to execute an innocent person. The DNA testing and other forensic tools have made it easier to carry out investigations, making the results to be 100% with no doubts (Hood, 2015).
The Christian society has gone on to declare that the death penalty is against the scriptures and have in great intense discouraged the capital punishment. However, it is from the scripture that people (including I) have read, have read and seen that the death sentence is actually permitted in the scriptures (Recinella, 2015). In summary, there are cases where the scripture gives the mandate for the death penalty, however, there are some conditions in which the executors should follow. They include proportionality whereby the death sentence is required to be proportional to the crime committed. The scripture explains clearly that death should be considered only in serious offenses such as premeditated murder.
The certainty of guilty is the other condition to take to account before the execution is done. The scripture, states that before a murderer is executed, two witnesses had to confirm his/her guilt (Recinella, 2015). As stated above, in today’s time, the technological advancement has really assisted in the investigation and provision of sustainable evidence in the courtrooms by the detectives and investigative bodies. The other principle to consider before performing an execution to a murderer is the intent. This is where the evaluation of whether the murder was intentional or not.
The premeditated murder is the intentional murder whereby one plans to kill someone and according to the scriptures, this type of murder is punishable by death. The unintentional murder is whereby the murderer has no intention to kill, but due to bad luck, it happens. The unintentional type of murder should not be punished through death. The other principle to consider before execution as stated in the scripture is ensuring that the culprits are given a chance to redeem themselves. This is the period given to the murderer to prove themselves innocence, therefore, the execution process should not be immediately after he/she is caught, sometime should be offered.
Capital punishment is in some cases referred to as more humane and merciful act to perform to the murderers, relieving them of the suffering they are likely to face in the prison. Being imprisoned for life and being subjected to ruthless whipping and work, shame from all the members of the society. The committees of crimes such as murder can never be accepted back in society whatsoever. Many of the prisoners of murder have confessed to being haunted by the dead people’s spirits and they will never give them peace. In order to relieve them of this haunt that to others even bring about mental disabilities, death sentence to these people will be the only option for them to escape this (Recinella, 2015).
In conclusion, although capital punishment also has some disadvantages, they are more important in today’s society. The solution to the challenges of increased criminal cases and the large capacity of inmates in the prisons, (costing the government millions and billions of dollars over years that could be used in development, charitable services and education of young people), the fear of walking on streets due to criminal activities and the fearless criminals in today’s world who in the name of ethics and humanity claim to be used to the prisons is the return of the death sentence. This will assist in exerting fear of crime to all and as a result, few prisoners will be in prisons, revenue from the government will be saved, the number of crime will be minimal and as a result, the world will become a better place.
- Schmalleger, F., Donaldson, S., Kashiwahara, K., Koppal, T., Chase, S., Brown, A., … & Marash, D. (2014). Criminal justice today. Prentice Hall.
- Hall, M. (2017). Victim Compensation, Restitution and Restorative Justice. In Victims of Crime (pp. 199-240). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
- Brown-Dean, K., & Jones, B. (2017). Building authentic power: a study of the campaign to repeal Connecticut’s death penalty. Politics, Groups, and Identities, 5(2), 321-342.
- Chen, D. L. (2016). The deterrent effect of the death penalty? Evidence from British commutations during World War I.
- Gross, S. R. (2017). The Death Penalty, Public Opinion, and Politics in the United States. . Louis ULJ, 62, 763.
- Hood, R., & Hoyle, C. (2015). The death penalty: A worldwide perspective. OUP Oxford.
- Recinella, D. S. (2015). The Biblical Truth about America’s Death Penalty. Northeastern University Press.