Capital Punishment: Ethical or Not

Essay by tbrown28College, UndergraduateA, November 2013

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Brown 1

Taylor Brown


25 April 2013

Capital Punishment: Ethical or Not

In today's world of what is right and what is a wrong, violent crime such as murder, should carry some sort of stiffer punishment than that of other, lesser crimes. What is unclear is what that punishment should be. One punishment that is a constant source of debate is the death penalty. This paper examines whether the death penalty is ethical or not. Both sides of the issue will be explained, through examination of various aspects of it, which include religious and financial considerations, whether the death penalty is a deterrent or not, and whether or not it can be regarded as justice.

The greatest amount of debate over the death penalty comes from the Bible. Depending on whose interpretation one hears the Bible is for or against capital punishment. Both sides of the argument to support their own beliefs use verses from The Bible.

The United States is made up of numerous different religious cultures. A sample of a few official policies from some denominations' web sites shows an almost fifty-fifty split for and against. For example, the Assemblies of God do not take a stance for or against the death penalty. The same is true for the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, who says that it should be left to "…the prescribed processes of civil law."(Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). The Catholic catechism posted on their web site shows support only if non-lethal methods will not serve to preserve human life. In other words, if there is absolutely no way to stop a person from killing another person, then execution is acceptable. Opponents of the death penalty include the Presbyterian Church, which states on its web site "The use of...