The Death Penalty Debate

1801 Words8 Pages
The debate on if the death penalty is ethical is something that is a long-standing debate depending on what side of the issue you are on. Both sides of this issue have their points yet there are always things about the issue that kept it in the forefront. The right to life is taken for granted without thinking twice, however, due to the laws of this country the freedom we take for granted can be taken away with the mistakes we made. Looking at both sides of the issue gives insight on why this remains a relevant and will continue being debated not only civilly, but also in many appeals in our court system today. In the past twenty years, thirty-eight of the fifty states have meted out at least one death sentence and twenty-four of those states followed through with at least one execution (Bedau, 2007, p. 3). The varying methods used in execution have changed from the firing squad to the electric chair and now the more popular use of Lethal Injection. Thirty-five of the fifty states use the lethal injection as the primary source used when putting someone to death compared to the other types of execution (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment 2006). The first death sentence historically recorded occurred in 16th Century BC Egypt where the wrongdoer, a member of nobility, was accused of magic, and ordered to take his own life. During this period, non-nobility was usually killed with an ax, while the first real reform against it started between 1833-1853 due it being considered cruel (Reggie, n.d, para. 1). Walter Berns expressed himself by saying,” If human life is to be held in awe, as it should be, the law forbidding the taking of it must be held in awe, and the only way the law can be made awe inspiring is to entitle it to inflict the penalty of death”(Berns,1980). The value of a human life varies depending on which side of the issue one’s beliefs lay. Understanding more on why the thought of taking a life instead of a life sentence in a prison is complex yet simple at the same time due to the nature of the crimes that were committed with the mentality of the punishment fits the crime. The majority of the executions of people come from the countries Vietnam, China, Iran, and the United States which is the only westernized country.

More about The Death Penalty Debate

Open Document