The Moral Issue of the Death Penalty

Essay by tekkeninaA-, April 2005

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The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, is a legal process of punishment for crime. The Church views capital punishment as wrong and not necessary. It also believes that it is acceptable in only certain situations, which according to the pope is "when society has no other means of defending itself" (The Gospel of Life, number 56). Even though the death penalty is believed by many to be inhuman and wrong, the Bible seems to support it in Genesis 9:6: "Whosoever shall shed man's blood, his blood shall be shed; for man was made to the image of God." God gave the Israelites who escaped from Egypt a code of law describing the death penalty.

When one human being kills another in cold blood, they are performing an act that does not naturally occur in nature. This kind of act is punishable by man, and anyone who makes the decision to commit this kind of a crime also makes the decision to accept the punishment that they deserve.

God did not make humans in his image and likeness to go and hurt others who were created for the same purpose: to love each other and God, and spread God's message to others. The death penalty gets rid of criminals who have no respect for human life. It also protects society from the danger of having that criminal around. Someone who might not support the death penalty may say that life in prison without parole could be considered a solution. But are there really that many prisons to hold so many people in them? If so, then isn't there also the possibility that they may escape and perform the same crime over again?

The death penalty is known universally as a way of punishment for those...