Justice, Not Death

1019 Words5 Pages
Justice, Not Death I, Judge Brady, am sentencing Paula Pretty to a life in prison with no possibility of parole for the murder of a 16 year old female. My decision to oppose the death penalty is based on moral, practical, as well as constitutional grounds. I realize that many of my voters do not support me in my decision, however, I cannot go against my strong belief of a persons right to life. My job as a judge is to uphold the constitution and judge the actions of the accused, not the accused. I am a judge, not God, and I have not been granted the authority to judge a human life. The death penalty is immoral and places the state in the role of God, and it has no authority to take upon this role. "The author of the moral law is God," (Stace p.172) and not the state. Therefore, I, as a judge, must uphold the state's laws as well as God's moral laws, in which both prohibit murder. We live in a democracy where we all have a say in what our government can and cannot do, therefore, practicing the death penalty places all of us in the role of executioner, and brutalizes and degrades our society for doing so. I, nor anyone else, is in the position to judge a human life, nor can we select who is to die. No human being has been granted that authority. To kill someone as a punishment for murder, would be committing the same crime we were meant to punish, and that makes us all murderers. Furthermore, the only reason for the death penalty is vengeance, and vengeance is not only immoral but it has no place in a civilized society. A civilized society should seek justice, not revenge. I refuse to meet hate with hate and violence with violence. On a more practical level, the death penalty wastes resources and is counterproductive in its results. The death penalty actually costs more than keeping someone in prison for an entire lifetime. The threat of the death penalty has also been proven not to deter crime. In fact, executions give society the message that human life does not deserve respect, and that murder is legitimate when it is justified by revenge. Therefore, the death penalty actually makes our society more violent. Because of such high costs and the proven fact that it does not deter crime,
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