Publicizing Execution of the Death Penalty

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"Punishment," writes McTaggart, "is pain and to inflict pain on any person obviously needs justification." But if the need to justify punishment is obvious, the manner of doing so is not. In fact, there is a wide variety of opinion on the single issue of publicizing execution. For example, Even though Sister Helen Prejean, a spiritual advisor who worked with death row inmates wrote the deeply moving novel Dead Man Walking, her ideas to make a difference may be impractical wishes to others. In addition, Prejean finds the moral cost of death penalty too damaging to tolerate, and thus she believes those death row inmates who "have died a thousand times already" deserve to die and stop suffering from "their anticipation of the final horror" when their time comes. (Dead Man Walking, Prejean) As far as Prejean's idea of "publicizing executions" go, she believes that seeing these executions may help the pro-death penalty people to understand the cruelty of such punishment. However, the affect of morality and religious beliefs on the opinion of death penalty and the "executions as entertainments" suggested in many articles questions Prejean's hypothesis: Would all people really become against the death penalty when such execution is publicized? Besides pity, what makes people change their opinions on the crucial issue of death penalty? And in the long run, would public executions violate the respect for human life by numbing the citizens? When all else is not an option and the problem boils down to the issue of life, there are rarely uneducated people who are determined about their opinion and are able to analyze their opinion with logical reasoning. Confusions and insecurity often leads people to "find out if [there's] something [they... ... middle of paper ... ...d Ewing, A.C. The Morality of Punishment with some suggestions for a general theory of ethics. Montclair: Patterson Smith, 1970. Ezorsky, Gertrude, ed. Philosophical Perspectives on Punishment. New York: the State University of New York Press, 1926. Demourva, Dasha. "By Axe, Rope and Bullet." Russian Life May/June 2004: 16-17. Goldberg, Guy, and Gena Bunn. "Balancing Fairness & Finality: A Comprehensive Review of the Texas Death Penalty." Texas Review of Law & Politics 5.1 (2000): 49-100. Knickerbocker, Brad. "Death by Firing Squad Under the Gun." Christian Science Monitor 88.42 (1996): 4. Mykkänen, Pekka, and Helsingin Sanomat. "North Korean Escapees: Public Executions Routine in Stalinist Country." (2005). Prejean, Helen. Dead Man Walking. New York: Vintage Books, a Division of Random House. Inc., 1994.

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