Argument Against the Death Penalty Essay

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Argument Against the Death Penalty


Life is sacred. This is an ideal that the majority of people can agree upon to a certain extent. For this reason taking the life of another has always been considered the most deplorable of crimes, one worthy of the harshest available punishment. Thus arises one of the great moral dilemmas of our time. Should taking the life of one who has taken the life of others be considered an available punishment? Is a murderer's life any less sacred than the victim's is? Can capital punishment, the death penalty, execution, legal murder, or whatever a society wishes to call it, be morally justifiable? The underlying question in this issue is if any kind of killing, regardless of reason, can be accepted. In this
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Today our society is assaulted with a barrage of violent images, whether fictional or not. People no longer think twice when they see a character die in a movie or a bullet riddled high-schooler jump out of a second story window. The concept of human life has completely lost its meaning. Capital punishment contributes to this problem. A convict is not thought of as a person. All humanity associated with them is removed. This rationalization is required in order have a society where capital punishment is legal. If a society removes humanity from convicts, characters in movies, or people on the 6 o'clock news it will begin to remove humanity from people encountered in every day life.

With time violence may become such a commonplace that even seemingly sane people will see no problem murdering a store clerk, opening fire on someone that cut them off on the highway, or killing a disobedient child. "A society that chooses violent death as a solution to a social problem gives official sanction to a climate of violence." (Prejean, 57)

The next argument supporting the immorality of capital punishment is that the reality of it is hidden. The majority of Americans support the death penalty, yet a very small minority of them has actually witnessed an execution. Also, very few Americans have known an executed criminal.

These two facts contribute to the entire rationalization process. No matter how anyone looks at it, no one can deny the fact…