Do People Need To Be Punished For Their Wrongdoings?

The million dollar question, "Is it morally permissible for the state to execute any of it's citizens and if so, under what circumstances?" This subject has been debated ever since the dawn of time by philosophers, sociologists and politicians around the world.

Arguments that support capital punishment are based on justice. Simply put, justice means retribution and usually takes the following form; people deserve to suffer for their wrongdoings. When the intention is criminal the sufferer takes on a legal form of punishment; and justice requires that in most severe crimes like murder, death is the severest of all penalties. This is in no way related to the principle of an "eye for an eye."

There are many arguments favouring the death penalty, here are four:

1.  It stops repeating offenders.

2.  It is less cruel than life in prison. (Hence should be welcomed by the criminal)

3.  It brings a measure of satisfaction to the family of the victims.

4.  It brings relief to other citizens outraged by the crime.

On the other hand, opponents of the death penalty say that sooner or later an innocent person is going to be executed for a crime he did not commit and the only way to avoid such a calamity would be to abolish capital punishment altogether. They say it's not fair, the person being executed goes through "anticipatory suffering" which his victim did not.

Statistics prove that capital punishment does no better than life in prison in deterring murder. In fact, capital punishment incites certain disturbed individuals to kill and since witnesses and juries can sometimes be wrong and there is a possibility that prosecutors can be corrupt; intelligent and educated people around the world, regardless of their politics agree, there is no place for capital punishment in our civilized society today.

So, to answer the question on whether it is morally permissible to execute a person, the answer will have to be a definite Canadian, No, eh?

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