The Death Penalty - Just Punishment for Murder Essay

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The Death Penalty - Just Punishment for Murder
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The death penalty has always been and continues to be a very controversial issue. People on both sides of the issue argue endlessly to gain further support for their movements. While opponents of capital punishment are quick to point out that the United States remains one of the few Western countries that continue to support the death penalty, Americans are also more likely to encounter violent crime than citizens of other countries (Brownlee 31). Justice mandates that criminals receive what they deserve. The punishment must fit the crime. If a burglar deserves imprisonment, then a murderer deserves death (Winters 168). The death penalty is necessary and the
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One of the commuted death row prisoners killed another inmate and another one killed a girl within one year of his release on parole. (21) This does not mean that every death row inmate would kill again if released, but they do tend to be repeat offenders. Winters states "Over forty percent of the persons on death row in 1992 were on probation, parole, or pretrial release at the time that they murdered" (107). Society has a right and a duty to demand a terrible punishment for a terrible crime. According to Walter Burns, an eloquent defender of the death penalty, execution is the only punishment that can remind people of the moral order that human beings alone live by (qtd in Hertzburg 4). Van Den Haag states that the desire to see crime punished is felt because the criminal gratifies his desires by means that the noncriminal has restrained from using. The punishment of the criminal is needed to justify the restraint of the noncriminal (30). Society has a moral obligation to see that civil government punishes all criminals, which includes enforcing capital punishment. Executing capital offenders helps to balance the scales of moral justice. The death penalty is religiously permissible according to certain passages in the Old Testament, particularly in the "eye for an eye" teaching advocated in Matthew 5:38. God requires capital justice for