On Death Penalty

The death penalty is one of the most controversial punishments for a crime. Some, most especially the church, are on the opinion that it isn’t humane and is rather a crime,  it’s just not right. While some say that it is only fitting to have those criminals executed.

A few years ago, the Philippines abolished the death penalty. All those who were on the death row were, instead, given a life sentence. Today, after the consecutive killings and burnings of some used car dealers, some people are petitioning for it to put back on the law. But what exactly are the merits, if any, of this kind of punishment?

The way I see it, the only good thing that can come out of it is that there will be less people in the prisons. However, some people think that the death penalty is a good way of scaring criminals and, therefore, there will be less of them. How true is that?

Anyway, if I were cruel enough and am sympathetic about someone who’s been murdered, I’d rather have that criminal rot away and suffer in prison. If I were so kind, I’d rather let that criminal live and think that maybe he can change and become a good person later. I do believe people are either one of two: one who sees evil in everybody else and one who sees good in every person.

But, lets go back to the question above. What are the merits of this thing in question? If I were to see it as a merit, then I should cite that, indeed, there will be a slightly smaller number of prisoners in jail. And, in consequence to that, there’ll be a smaller number of people to feed and secure. Second, maybe, just maybe, it is a form of kindness to end someone’s suffering. There was always that thing about death not being the worst thing that can happen to a person.

I guess, those are the only rather good things I can see about it. Do I have to look further? I don’t think so. I definitely cannot see it as a way to lessen possible crimes. “If there’s a will, there’s a way.” Most especially, if we are to speak of the hardened criminals. Or so, I think.

How about the demerits? Quite a few, I think. First, to counter one the so-called “merits” above, it will still cost to execute the people in the death row. No matter what method the forces will choose to use, there will always be expenditures.

Second, there is always the moral issue about it. Even if those are criminals who are sitting on the death row, those are still human lives which would have to be taken away by another human, be it by machine or poison. Someone’s death will still have to be in the hands of another person. I don’t think that the role of the executioner is such a sought-after job.

Another thing would be the possibility of an error. In every investigation –  hypotheses, deductions, conclusions – there is always a margin of error, isn’t there? Besides that, there will always exist the ministrations of the powerful and the influential. And how many innocent people have died for the crimes of others? I couldn’t tell.

Lives are always wasted for the wrong reasons everyday. This only alters the state of the minds of people in varying degrees. There was that time when the death penalty was in place. Then, people wished for it to be gone – for various reasons. Now, they want it back. Clearly, people are looking for the ‘perfect” justice system. Unfortunately, wherever you go in this world, such a thing does not exist.

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