Comparing Two Arguments on Capital Punishment

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Comparing Two Arguments on Capital Punishment In these two short essays, one by Anthony G. Amsterdam and another by Ernest Van Den Haag both authors make two very important views. Although one supports capital punishment and one is against capital punishment, both authors have good reasons to support their case. Amsterdam believes that capital punishment is a brutal process that a murderer has to go through. Amsterdam believes that the murderer should be punished for their actions, but should not go through capital punishment. Although Ven Den Haag agrees that capital punishment is one of the harshest penalties, it should nevertheless be used. Ven Den Haag believes that a murderer should take responsibility for their actions, and they should have no mercy. In the short essay “Capital Punishment” by Amsterdam, he states that capital punishment is a brutal way of punishing a convict. Amsterdam makes a comparison to war, “Some evils, like war, are occasionally necessary, and perhaps capital punishment is one of them.” (pg. 325) Amsterdam implies that even though something “evil” was done, people should not be legally killed because of their actions. Killing a person because he/she killed someone else is kind of contradicting the law. The law states that it is illegal to kill someone, but in return the law is allowing them to be killed. Amsterdam also writes that if killing someone is really necessary then there should be a “very good and solid reason with sufficient evidence” (pg. 325). Amsterdam also references errors that may occur. He states that “Capital punishment not merely kills people, it also kills some of them in error, and these errors which we can never correct.” There are many times ... ... middle of paper ... ...cussed. I agree with both sides on different levels. I especially agree with Ernest Van Dan Haag about the guilty party knowing his or her consequence when they commit the crime. As a child, everyone grew up with punishments when they committed a wrongful action. For example, when a child draws on the wall, they are punished by their parents because they did something that isn’t right. This was a way to teach their child, the parents punish their child so they will not make the same mistake again. Murderers who are guilty should obviously know the severe punishment when taking a life and committing wrongful actions. If someone suffers because of you, it is only morally right for you to suffer as much and possibly more. And with Amsterdam, I believe that once someone is dead it is hard to prove their innocence. At the end, both authors make very good points.
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