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Against Capital Punishment

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Essay title: Against Capital Punishment

The Death Penalty is, undeniably, one of the most controversial issues of our day. Emotional tensions are high between those who hold human life above justice and those who hold justice above all human life. The Death Penalty, along with all other forms of criminal punishment, is barbaric. This form of punishment, indeed all forms of criminal justice, truly shows the level to which society has sunk. When people stand outside prisons and cheer as prisoners are murdered, there is a problem. When personal bloodlust is held above moral ideologies, there is a problem. When human life is assigned a value and weighed against other alternatives, there is a problem. The state speaks of Justice, but this word is only a reflection of the confusion, anger, and hatred that has fermented within this country, indeed within the very foundations of human society itself.

Truly there is no purpose to the Death Penalty other than vengeance, yet it seems that our society has sunk to such a level that even vengeance is acceptable to most. The state, though, mimics every abhorrent quality of a punishable act of murder; a murder committed in anger is punished with an execution committed in anger; a cold, calculated, murder committed with pleasure is met with the same form of execution. The end result is the same and the feeling with which it is carried out is the same. There are, even, many qualities of the death penalty that surpass the moral obscenity of a criminal act of murder. Where then is the difference between a murder and an execution? How can one form of murder be right and another be wrong? How can the same deed, carried out by two different people, be one time evil and another time divine? How, furthermore, can a morally adverse action promote the morality, let alone the continued existence, of human society? If we feel bad about explaining the Death Penalty to our children then we should not have to explain it at all.

There is a large majority of Christians in this country, yet such a small number of them actually come up in opposition to the Death Penalty; oftentimes, in fact, they are its most avid supporters. How can this be? All the teachings of Christ, save for those which have been horribly twisted by his followers, are opposed to any form of criminal justice. It seems that the modern Christian has begun to accept only those teachings which feel convenient. It is, indeed, sickening to see mock-Christians and self-styled "christian conservatives" speak in support of something that their religion expressly opposes. They speak of Justice, but what of morality? They speak of punishment, but what of forgiveness? They speak hatred, but what of love? How can they appoint themselves judges of another human being when they, themselves, are the ones who should be, supposedly, judged; how are they qualified to determine the fate of another man's life when their fate is still in question and their status undetermined? There is one stunning question that must be asked of these people: If you were standing before Jesus Christ himself, could you possibly tell him how and why you support the death penalty; do you think you could make Christ believe and support such ideals?

Unfortunately religion is too often devoid of reason; that, though, is more often the fault of those who follow the religion than with the religion itself. The answer to the death penalty does not lie in finding out what "God" wants but, rather, in determining what is right. Where is the reason behind the Death Penalty then? It cannot "rehabilitate" (I, of course, use the word only to display the endemic hypocrisy in the justice system, indeed in much of present ideology both religious and political. The word itself is nothing more than a cosmetic euphemism.). It cannot, and, as we have clearly seen, does not prevent crime outside of insultingly simple models of human behavioral response. Where is the purpose? The purpose of the Death Penalty lies in anger and hatred. Often has it been said that anyone who would not want a murderer of a relative to die is "sick." Is not such a statement, and its advocate, sick though; sick with anger, hatred, and confusion; sick from the pain of loss? This practice finds its roots in rage, the consuming rage experienced when a loved one is murdered and the fabricated rage every citizen is conditioned to hold against enemies of the state. Where, though, is the rage when another dies? What happens to the professed sentiment for human life we all claim to hold so dearly when anger clouds the mind? How can one find reason and logic in a purely emotional deed; one whose very nature defies the moral status of reason? How can one justify something through anger and hatred? One might argue a disbelief in this ideology, but it's advocate must reply that he lacks a belief in the ideology of this form of justice; an ideology of hatred;

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