The Death Penalty has been a hotly debated topic in recent years. In the USA, Capital Punishment still exists in about 30 states. People are still killed for their crimes in what is supposedly one of the most advanced and free countries in the world. That seems shocking at least to me in the 21st century, and I assume to other people as well. There are strong feelings on both sides of this argument, and I will attempt to approach the topic with an objective and open mind.
I once heard a student say that if a person kills someone else he too should be killed. In his mind, death is the proper punishment for murder. A multitude of humans from history would agree with him. Some cultures were based on this very idea (officially known as the law of retaliation). Humans’ feelings towards the death penalty are largely based on what they believe to be right and wrong. In cultures based on the law of retaliation, mirror punishment is considered acceptable, good, and even morally right. If someone kills someone else and gets caught, what do they deserve? Do they deserve anything less than the atrocity they committed?
Quite a few people believe in Capital Punishment, but quite a few people also believe that Capital Punishment should be done away with. Most human’s moral arguments go something like this, “It’s never right to kill another human being regardless of what they’ve done.” It’s hard to make an objective decision on law based solely on morals. Luckily, some facts have been collected by Amnestyusa arguing against the Death Penalty. They discovered that the Death Penalty is largely delivered when a white person has been killed. Over 77% of Death Penalty cases are over a white person being murder even though half of all homicide victims are African Americans. This is just one statistic that shows that when specific parameters are not given for issuing Capital Punishment, racism can seep into the decision making process.
I personally feel that people should not be executed by the government unless they choose so. I think that the proper way to approach homicides and the like is to give the criminal an option between life in solitary confinement or death. Life in solitary confinement really does mean for life. Therefore, people are called to choose what they believe to be the lesser of two evils. One can choose to die or live by themselves and die of old age? It is not a perfect solution, but it is an option to consider that is not currently on the table.