In cold blood:death penalty

Essay by Anonymous User November 1996

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In Cold Blood: Death Penalty

Capital Punishment has been part of the criminal justice system since the

earliest of times. The Babylonian Hammurabi Code(ca. 1700 B.C.) decreed death

for crimes as minor as the fraudulent sale of beer(Flanders 3). Egyptians

could be put to death for disclosing the location of sacred burial


3). However, in recent times opponents have shown the death penalty to be

racist, barbaric, and in violation with the United States Constitution as

'...cruel and unusual punishment.' In this country, although laws governing the

application of the death penalty have

undergone many changes since biblical times, the punishment endures , and

controversy has never been greater.

A prisoner's death wish cannot grant a right not otherwise possessed.

Abolitionists maintain that the state has no right to kill anyone; . The right

to reject life imprisonment and choose death should be respected, but it

changes nothing for those who oppose the death at the hands of the state.

The death penalty is irrational- a fact that should carry considerable weight

with rationalists. As Albert Camus pointed out, ' Capital punishment....has

always been a religious punishment and is reconcilable with humanism.' In

other words, society has long since left behind the archaic and barbous'

customs' from the cruel

'eye for an eye' anti-human caves of religion- another factor that should

raise immediate misgivings for freethinkers.

State killings are morally bankrupt. Why do governments kill people to show

other people that killing people is wrong? Humanity becomes associated with

murderers when it replicate their deeds. Would society allow rape as the

penalty for rape or the burning of

arsonists' homes as the penalty for arson?

The state should never have the power to murder its subjects. To give the

state this power eliminates the individual's most effective shield against...