Reward or punishment?

Decent Essays
Adriana Quintanilla Professor Woods English 1301 9 November 2012 Reward or Punishment? "The right to life and dignity are the most important of all human rights and this must be demonstrated by the state in everything that it does, including the way it punishes criminals.” - Justice Arthur Chaskalson. The death penalty is considered, “the legal” punishment for a criminal. Although the death penalty has been used for many years, the thought of it continues to bring shivers down the back of most of society. Even though there has been an abundant of debates whether it should be abolished or not, citizens do not really know the facts behind it. Most of the society assumes that the death penalty is less expensive than life in jail…show more content…
Taking away their freedom is a way of restraining their moral behavior in society. “Because the wrongdoers had unfairly gained an extra measure of freedom from moral restraint, the natural way to restore a fair balance is to reduce the protection he ordinarily would have gained through moral restraints on the conduct of others. By treating the wrongdoer in what is ordinarily a forbidden way, we strip away part of the protection that moral restraints on behavior would ordinarily have afforded him. Thus, we remove precisely the sort of advantages he has gained.” (Roberts- Cady 3). A punishment is supposed to make the criminal reflect on their wrongdoing and get them on the right path. But why give the criminal the easy way out. Although many citizens believe in the saying “an eye for an eye...” the death penalty does not necessarily bring closure to the victims’ family. “Because of the extensive constitutional due process requirements in death penalty litigation, trials are lengthy, and appeals can go on for decades, for families of victims, there is no closure.”(Dellapiana 5). Life sentencing with no parole is a much faster process and ensures closure to the victims’ family. For most of the victims’ families, the death penalty is a “punishment that is justified because it is a reward [or an easy way out] for wrongdoing” (Roberts – Cady 2). Not only does it lack closure to the victims’ families but it isn’t morally acceptable. This is because “if
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