Against Death Penalty

Essay by dutchmenpoocha123College, UndergraduateA+, April 2008

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The Death Penalty is basically the execution of a criminal. It is the highest of all punishments - hence it is called Capital Punishment politically - for persons convicted of capital crimes or offenses. A person may commit an act so vile, so atrocious that the only way there can be justice is for the death of that person, according to some sentiments. However, the ethical concern that arises in everyone's mind is whether it is up to us to decide if we can grant or deny the life of a criminal. Personally, I believe no individual has the right to take away a life, even if it is to punish the most severe offenses.

Capital Punishment has existed in the world for centuries. In tribal countries, inflicting murder was not done by a community, but by individuals, especially in blood feuds or vendettas ( As nations began to form, and as legal systems developed, a greater need arose to determine punishments and consequently the death penalty had become one of the forms.

However, as the years progressed, so had nations' legal systems and mindsets. When the Enlightenment swept Europe in the 18th Century, the emergence of the concept of equality, individuality, and "natural rights" arose ( Calls for reform of the manner in execution were made - not for the end of the punishment, unfortunately - but for a more "humane" type of punishment as opposed to the conventional, crueler ways during the Middle Ages. Being slowly hanged, broken by the wheel, burnt at the stake name a few of those horrendous forms of capital punishment ( The axe or the sword, however, executed the wealthy. These forms of punishment, based on social status, for the death penalty were not in line with Enlightenment ideals. For ideals such as...