Much has often been said about the sanctity of human life. The gift of life is a privilege bestowed upon us. Even though each life may tread different roads, encounter different experiences, there is one fact that binds all lives together - we only live once.
The quality of life, however, is a variable factor that is sometimes beyond our mortal means of control. It is undeniable, though, that everyone is entitled to an equal shot at the myriad of chances life presents to us. Out of this whole concept of the sanctity and sacredness of life arises the debate on capital punishment, or the death penalty.
There are those who despise the death penalty for its apparent cruelty and the finality that it implies, and yet others who look upon it as the ideal and only way to pay proper respect to the importance of human life. But the pertinent issue that we must examine here today is whether the death penalty is truly justified in its execution and also if it is the only, and ultimately, the most suitable means of paying homage to the value of human life.
Today, approximately ninety countries around the world still retain the death penalty. This includes China, Islamic countries, Singapore, as well as thirty seven states of the United States. The controversy surrounding this form of criminal punishment has never faltered over the years, however, as people call into question the humanity of terminating a criminal's life.
Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." It is on this basis that many anti-death penalty activists argue their case, by claiming that the government flagrantly disregards the sanctity of human life by disallowing the criminals their...