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Point of View

Is Capital Punishment The Way?
Posted by Trevor Roberts on Jun 15, 2014 - 6:19:35 PM

UNITED STATES—I saw an interesting report from journalist Charlie LeDuff from FOX 2 News in Detroit, and it literally had me thinking about the death penalty/capital punishment depending on who you ask in America. We’ve all heard the saying “An eye for an eye,” but does that analogy truly hold true and if so, to what degree does it impact us as Americans. 

 

Death is a frightening thing; most of us fear it,  most of us hope to never encounter it. Its one thing to have a loved one die of natural causes, but when someone you love has their life taken away, it changes everything. There may exist a rage in you, a fire to be exact and it wants justice to be served.

 

That’s the tricky notion; there is indeed a difference between justice and revenge. They are not the same thing, even though we’d like to equate them as being equal. Revenge is something that appeases a particular individual, while justice is the legal system's ideology of what is fair in the midst of certain crimes being committed. The murder capital as some would like to call it when it comes to capital punishment is Texas, but my concern is what message the nation sends when we endorse such a form of punishment.

 

Is capital punishment a suitable form of justice for those who have committed heinous crimes?  God forbid something happens to a member of my family, as much as I would want to enact some sort of vengeance that does not necessarily equate to justice because the pain, the emotions are still evident. People talk of the death penalty as if it’s this glorious thing that should be praised.

 

We are talking about taking someone’s life. I totally understand the perspective of wanting the criminal to feel the exact same pain that you felt dealing with the loss of your loved one, but does that soothe you to watch someone else die. That is something quite troubling in my eyes. I could never sit and watch a person being murdered; this is what capital punishment is.

 

To me to view such an act is twisted and sick in my mind; I just can’t sit in a room and watch someone die, even if they deserve it, so to speak. That scene would likely haunt me more than I can imagine because I’m watching someone take their last breathe. Could the government intervene and perhaps pass legislation against states having the right to determine if capital punishment is a suitable form of justice for guilty parties?

 

What about the fact that the government could be responsible for killing innocent people? That’s a very strong possibility, the legal system has flaws and we’re sometimes oblivious about that notion. How would you feel if you discovered that you were responsible for the death of an innocent person? That would be extremely haunting in my opinion. If someone were to ask me today, if I endorse capital punishment I’m not sure if I can give a straight answer.

 

I see the pros and cons of both sides of the argument. It’s considered a form of punishment suitable for criminals that have committed heinous crimes, it also frees up space to some degree in prisons for more inmates. On the other side of the coin, its taking someone’s life; does taking someone’s life equate to justice as so many of us would like to believe? I guess it depends on who you ask. The argument is open for further discussion, but we must consider the possibility that the idea of capital punishment is not as cut and dry as so many of us would like to believe.



 

Cliffside Malibu

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