The Death Penalty

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The Death Penalty

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 5/9/2014, 16:00

Is the death penalty a good idea for society?
As a whole, I do support the death penalty and think that it does benefit society. Though some harm is done, to both the family of the offender and the offender himself, I think that this is infinitely better than keeping murderers and other criminals in cells, where they waste away until they die of natural causes (or prison fights). Humans should be contained only if their containment can someday benefit society. One who could receive the death penalty where it is allowed but instead has been given a life sentence or two will never rejoin society. If they do, they will likely be rejected by the common population, which will likely cause them to either return to criminal activity or lead an unhappy existence.

Does it make sense morally?
I do not think it does. I don't think that anyone is deserving of death, but morals are not much in question in this case. The death penalty exists to prevent further ruining of lives. Some criminals cannot be rehabilitated; if they could, we currently do not have the time nor money to work on this. Only the worst criminals would receive the death penalty: serial killers, terrorists, serial rapists, etc. These are the people least likely to rejoin society successfully and become functioning civilians. Effort should not be put into rehabilitating these people, but towards those who are more likely to recover quickly. In the time it would take to successfully rehabilitate one criminal worthy of the death penalty, many less harmful criminals may turn sour while they remain in prison. Efforts should be focused on helping those who want to be helped rather than those who have hurt more than they could possibly heal.

Do humans have the right to end another's life?
Morally, no, but I don't think that this is the appropriate question to ask regarding the death penalty. It is an act focused on helping society, and cannot really be treated as a question of pure morals. In question are the people who have already ended lives. Still, I don't think it is quite fair to sentence these individuals to death: I believe that anyone can be rehabilitated with enough time and effort, and killing someone who might improve a life is not right. But, what with the number of criminals both deserving and undeserving of the death penalty, "fixing" these people simply isn't possible. I think the most merciful thing to do would be to bring in the electric chair, unfortunate as this may be.
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by BandGeek on 5/9/2014, 21:51

I believe that it is not moral or just to end another life. I personally believe in Chen which is a Chinese set of sayings. One of them says that nobody should harm another living creature. The people who receive the death penalty break this rule, but so do the people who "set things right." Keeping them alive is a risk; the people might break free or be prematurely released. I have very mixed feelings on this one, because even if the penalty is wrong, the "victims" of it did inhumane things that are just as bad or worse. (Sorry if this post is too short compared to yours  Laughing Embarassed )

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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 5/10/2014, 13:59

BandGeek wrote:nobody should harm another living creature. The people who receive the death penalty break this rule, but so do the people who "set things right."

I don't think that a question of "right" or "wrong" is appropriate in this situation. It is pretty much universally agreed that hurting another is wrong. Naturally it is wrong of the criminals to hurt others, and it is also wrong for police to hurt the criminal, but overall will it benefit society? I think that, yes, the death penalty is a good thing. It should not be given lightly, and of course only to the worst of criminals, but these are criminals who will never rejoin society. They will never do anything good again. (This is not speaking of their quality as human beings, but as their potential contribution to humanity: we can assume they have a warped sense of reality or justification for what they are doing, and will not be able to stop without years of rehabilitation. With the current level of criminal activity in the world, we simply can't invest that time in these people, especially with the chance that they won't be able to rejoin society even after rehabilitation.) And prison is a horrible place--wouldn't it be worse to leave them rotting for the rest of their lives? Thus, and though it is a heavy decision, the only thing to do would be to sentence them to death.

BandGeek wrote:Keeping them alive is a risk; the people might break free or be prematurely released.

I think that anyone deserving of the death penalty would not be released at all: their only possibility of leaving prison would be to break out (which would be disastrous). Some criminals have done things so bad that they will never be allowed to interact normally again. These are the only people, I think, who would receive the death penalty.
Either way, leaving them in jail is a waste of money (since they would never leave, we would be taking care of them for no reason other than to not directly kill them), something that jails need more of. The treatment of criminals should be improved in my opinion, but why waste effort on people who, even if they were "cured", would spend their lives in prison?

I do not think it is "right" to end another's life, but for the good of society, I think it must be done.
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by Kimtonium on 5/12/2014, 11:25

Chiasm Chicken,

I agree with you saying that our efforts should be used to the people who want help. But it also seems that you don't fully agree with the death penalty. (Saying that you don't morally agree.) I would also tend to agree that morally it isn't right at all. Aren't we just fighting fire with fire? Does killing a murderer make us no better than the murderer himself?

BandGeek,

You seem like you don't agree with the death penalty. You said that you believe in "Chen." As you said, this means that one should not harm another living creature. But what if there was a serial killer, that was killing many people? Would you say that he or she was deserving of the death penalty? Is anyone?
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 5/12/2014, 12:45

You're right, Kimtonium: I don't think the death penalty is a good thing morally. I don't believe killing of any kind can be justified. Morally, I find the idea quite repellent, but society-wise I think it is absolutely necessary. Better to kill one person than let that one person kill hundreds others.
I also think that the death penalty would help offer closure to the victims' families, knowing that whoever killed your child would never hurt again.
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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by BandGeek on 5/12/2014, 18:35

Kimtonium: I do not think that killing another living creature is right, but I do think that it is necessary to keep the innocent people safe. Therefore, I do agree with it. Especially if I have to answer yes or no.

Chicken: I guess when I said they might be prematurely released I was thinking of destructive people, but not killers. (Like rapists, robbers, etc) So they aren't worthy of the death penalty, but that is going onto a different topic.

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Re: The Death Penalty

Post by Chiasm Chicken on 5/12/2014, 19:59

Ah, I would think that destructive enough people would also be deserving of the death sentence.
This site lists the states that allow the death penalty and what circumstances must pertain in order for it to take effect. A list of the combined reasons are:


  • First-degree murder
  • Treason
  • Sabotage
  • Train wrecking resulting in death
  • Capital drug trafficking
  • Capital sexual battery
  • Capital kidnapping
  • Aircraft piracy
  • Rape, kidnapping, drug crimes, arson, escape, resisting arrest, kidnapping or burglary resulting in death
  • Killing of a police officer
  • Murder for hire


A capital crime is a crime that can be punished by the death penalty, which would be decided by the circumstances surrounding it. Most of the crimes above do cause death to another individual.
Do you think these crimes should be punishable by death, or should the criminals be awarded a chance for rehabilitation?



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