Justifiable Homicide at the Hands of the State
correct these complications and to possibly diminish them. Some are as minor as traffic
violations, and some are as serious as deaths. Many innocent lives are being taken due to
from happening. In other words, we, as society, need to play our part in preventing these
that, when applied in the correct context, is morally and ethically justified by the
criminal would fit the crime, and less innocent lives would be taken as well (Roark 58).
We are not the first civilization to invoke the death penalty. Both Biblically and
historically, the death penalty was found to be an effective method to end the criminal acts
stones at an adulterous woman until she died from the injuries (New Oxford Annotated
circumstances worldwide, treason is a crime punishable by death.
methods of execution. No longer will crowds of townspeople gather at the square to
witness the hanging of thieves and murderers. Instead, the United States has opted to do
the Eighth Amendment (Lowi and Ginsberg A20) This guarantees every citizens
of the United States, 1791). It is important to note that the 74 men and women that were
put to death in the United States in 1997 were not killed in such a way that could further
the possible alternatives, only three are found humane in most of the United States
(Bureau of Justice). These are the lethal injection, the gas chamber, and the electric chair.
None of these are considered to be, by many, more painful or dehumanizing than the next.
Some people still choose to oppose these methods too, citing that all form of the death
penalty are ?cruel and unusual?. Such was the case when the Supreme Court decided
to the court?s decision in this case, many death sentences given prior to 1972 were
as long as that abstraction perpetuates. Even the most devout believer in the ?Sanctity of
Life? is sure to consider the options when the victim of some heinous crime is a sibling, a
penalty, like no other form of punishment of those humanely available, has the ability to
deter potential criminals from committing such horrible acts (9-13) Any criminal, whether
or not he is a reasonable man, will consider his options when the consequence of his
actions may lead to his own finality. A finality within itself can be considered yet another
death has ever committed another crime of any degree (Leiser 222-230) The death
penalty, as a form of justifiable incapacitation, is met with no significant opposing
most recent film concerning the issue. This was based on Sr. Prejean?s novel of the same
name. The most difficult points in the debate are that both sides are strongly supported by
valid philosophical and ethical claims. Even more problematic is the idea that each
individual case has to be treated subjectively, without allusion to the events that
have occurred outside of the case context. This makes each and every case context
once again from the beginning.
people feel very strongly about their opinions and will express themselves any way they
can in order to prove a point. Often times though, people may even change their beliefs
of, which could change their whole perspective on the topic. These controversies could
and then make a decision on what they believe. Sometimes it just takes listening to other
people?s points of view and maybe a little research to make valuable judgments and
decisions that could really affect society.
Davis, Michael. Justice in the Shadow of Death. Lanham, MD: Rowan and Littlefield
Publishers Inc., 1996
Kronenwetter, Michael. Capital Punishment: A Refference Handbook Santa Barbara,
CA: ABC-CLIO Inc., 1993
MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1973
5th ed., New York: W.W. Norton and Company Inc., 1990
Roark, Anthony P.. ?Retribution, the Death Penalty, and the Limits of Human Judgement?
GPO. December 1998