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...