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Differing Opinions on the Controversial Death Penalty Issue Essay

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The issue of capital punishment is one that has been in discussion for many years. How can anyone control the life of another human being? The accused may have taken the life of another citizen but what gives anyone the right to take his. This is the main point of the question but it gets vastly more complicated as the issue is further investigated. For instance, the psychopath who goes on a murderous rampage might have an abnormality with the frontal lobe of the cortex in his brain. Now, if this is the case this person may not be able to control his murderous impulses. So, should this person be punished, and not only should he or she be punished but should the punishment be done for retribution? After all, most punishment is based on retribution, making sure that the accused gets what he deserves and that those involved see justice. How it is that someone who simply cannot control their impulses be punished for a crime? The punishment will not deter any further crimes. If this abnormality is common amongst murderers then this will not make any other criminals look at what happened and have them stop. It may be hard-wired into their brain. And if capital punishment is done for retribution then how is it fair? The person who committed the crime may not have known any better, but the one who is pulling the switch or injecting the needle defiantly knows better. This is quite the issue and the following discussion will be started by Ernest Van Den Haag.
Deterrence is one of the main reasons for using the death penalty. However there is not a lot of data to support this claim. Although it is believed that the death penalty deters more than the fear of imprisonment alone. This here makes it rational to use the death p...


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...s as they have done unto you”. This is basically the same as the Golden Rule but put into reverse order. The suffering and punishment of a criminal should be equal to that which was done.
The original question was should a murderer be punished if he or she has been pre-disposed genetically to be a murderer. According to Haag the reason for the death penalty would be deterrence. But would this deter any others. Retribution would be gained to the family of the one murdered but this would not stop any other murders. Morris would have to say that the accused has lost moral standing. It is possible that these murderers never had moral standing and so executing them as retribution is fitting because those they hurt have more moral standing than they ever had. Reiman would say we may have a right to execute the criminal for such crimes but do not have a duty.


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