Essay by Ronald PrestenbackUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 1997

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'And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they

were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his

brother, and slew him.' (Genesis 4:8)

Back in those days, murder was pretty clear cut. If you killed someone, it was called murder. Of course, if you had a         reason, then it was justifiable. Back then, it was an eye

for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Or a life for a life. But in these fast paced and politically correct times, is there justifiable murder?

Webster's Dictionary says that murder is 'the unlawful killing of another human being, especially with premeditated malice.' Unlawful killing of another human being. And most people would tend to agree, that there are circumstances in which killing someone else is just fine, and even desirable. But what are those circumstances? What exactly is justifiable killing? Is abortion OK? How about war? Euthanasia? These are topics that are in hot controversy these days, as civil rights groups battle         political

standings that have been around for dozens of years.

Capital punishment is among those instances of justified killing that has been debated for years, and continues to be an extremely indecisive and complicated issue. Adversaries of capital punishment point to the Marshalls and the Millgards, while proponents point to the Dahmers and Gacys. Society must be kept safe from the monstrous barbaric acts of these individuals and other killers by taking their ability to function and perform in our society away from them. At the same time, we must insure that innocent people such as Marshall and Millgard are never convicted or sentenced to death for a crime that they did not commit.

In February 1963, Gary McCorkell, a 19 year old sex offender, was scheduled to hang. But...