Capital Disgrace Essay, Research Paper
How often have we heard the statement ?Two wrongs don?t make a right?? Yet, is this saying ever really applied to our lives? When do we ever turn the other cheek? As far as history is concerned, the human race has never felt the sting of a hand consecutively on both sides.
Evidence to this can be found anywhere. Soldiers kill the enemy to win the war. Athletes become violent in order to obtain a trophy. And, in the judicial system, the ultimate crime of murder is dealt with the ultimate punishment of death. Yet, it poses the question does the end really justify the means? Can society?s practice of the death penalty be considered a moral disgrace?
Justice is not without faults. Canadians Guy Paul Morin and David Milgaard were both wrongfully accused of murder. Both men spent many years serving out a penalty which should have never been bestowed upon them. Although, if the death penalty was common practice in Canada, these innocent victims may have been executed. They may have been killed. Murdered. All because of a guilty verdict and society?s desire to extinguish the flame of violence. The desire to have revenge. Yet, does the elimination of an offender bring back their victims or heal the wounds of the families? Should we consent to causing pain for another family by killing their child? If the offender was your child, would you want to watch them die?
Of course, there is always the argument that the threat of death acts as a deterrent to threatening offenders. However, the claim that this act really does deter violent crime is inconclusive, not proven, and extremely difficult to disprove. For every set of statistics saying that it lowers the amount of violent crime, there is another to say it doesn?t and another that states it does both. Using such an ambiguous argument to support a controversial act is not only unacceptable, but it is irresponsible. If there is any validity to this argument, it is negated by the actual amount of time an offender spends on death row.
Endless appeals, delays, technicalities, and retrials keep those condemned to death waiting for execution for years on end. If the majority of death row residents live to an old age anyway, why would anyone be afraid of capital punishment? It would be just as easy to sentence offenders to life of captivity and work in a prison. That is undisputably a more humane sentence then strapping them to a wooden frame, and throwing a switch that sends ten thousand volts of electricity pulsing through their God-given body. It would not only eliminate the uncertainty of the sentence, but excess stress put on the judicial system when it is flooded with the paper work of prisoners fighting for their own right to live. However, the question must be posed, does society even have the right, morally or otherwise, to execute its violent offenders?
It is a well-known fact that persons who commit vicious crimes often suffered from neglect, emotional trauma, violence, cruelty, and a host of destructive social conditions. These circumstances may have damaged their conscience and humanity to the point where it becomes an injustice to hold them accountable for their actions. To execute them when it is partly society itself which has lead them to crime is a passive way to deal with a larger problem. Instead of attempting to help the emotionally scarred and confused, justice gives up and disposes of a human being. Society is merely side stepping a dilemma which they have aided in causing, and arguing that it is for the good of the people. One day, our legs will be knocked from beneath us, and we will finally have to answer for our actions.
The fact of the matter is that, yes, the practice of capital punishment is a moral disgrace. The cultural diseases in society contribute to the violence that makes it necessary to unleash more ruthlessness. This is used in a desperate attempt to maintain order in an already corrupt world. To be honest, it isn?t even working. The overcrowding of our prisons, the growing numbers of murder victims, and the omnipresent threat of being a victim of crime are all testimonies to our failure to create a good society. And, all the while, leaders deflect attention with the alluring illusion that capital punishment will make citizens more secure against violent crime. This leaves us with one question – has the human thirst for blood and revenge made us blind to the injustices and moral disgraces which we create?