Capital Punishment2




Is Capital Punishment An Appropriate Penalty For Murder?
Legal professor Ernest van den Haag believes that the death penalty is the good as in a punishment for terrible crimes that are committed. On the other hand professor of philosophy Hugo Adam Bedau thinks that the death penalty is not appropriate, do to it takes the lives of people that can not afford a good defense. I would have to agree with Ernest van den Haag. When a person commits a serious crime like murder, the only fitting penalty is death. "Maldistribution inheres no more in capital punishment than in any other punishment." (Haag 274) Fear of the death penalty can be a good deterrent. Many people also try to abolish the death penalty by talking about the suffering a convicted murderer has to go through, but what about what the victim had to go through. Further, if we get rid of the death penalty it will show that we are not willing to impose our punishments on people who brake our laws.
Some maldistribution of the death penalty is unavoidable, but that does not mean we should throw out the death penalty. When the death penalty is imposed on an innocent person that is a serious miscarriage of justice. However, when people talk about the maldistribution of the death penalty they are not referring to when it is imposed on an innocent person rather when the death penalty is imposed on guilty minorities, or low income whites, who can not afford a good lawyer. Even if maldistribution occurs among people who should receive the death penalty that is irrelevant to the morality of the death penalty. It is really too bad that if you have money you can get your way out of the death penalty, but money talks in this country. Yes, we should change this policy, but will it ever change? It will probably never change. Still with these problems in our justice system when a person murders another he or she should receive the death penalty. "The only relevant question is: does the person to be executed deserve the punishment?" (Haag 275) It is irrelevant if people of different economic or racial group avoid the death penalty. If we only killed blacks and not whites, or vice versa that would not make the death penalty unjust. We should punish as many people as possible, regardless if others have escaped punishment. To let people escape the punishment they deserve, does not do justice to them, or our society. "Recent data reveal little direct racial discrimination in the sentencing of those arrested and convicted of murder." (Haag 275) Take the O.J. Simpson case, the majority of the American people believed O.J. to be guilty. Still He was spared the death penalty, and even jail time. O.J. was spared all this because he had millions of dollars, and he was a celebrity. However, people who kill whites are more likely to be executed then people who kill blacks. But blacks usually kill other blacks, so blacks are spared death more than white murderers. Inequality in the distribution of the death penalty is not a reason to abolish the death penalty.
Capital punishment is a very good deterrent. Should we not try to save the lives of potential victims by the fear of the death penalty? "Most abolitionists acknowledge that they would continue to favor abolition even if the death penalty were shown to deter more murders than alternatives could deter." (Haag 276) Does that mean that abolitionists care more about the rights of a murderer then they care about the rights of the victims? Yes, abolitionists seem to be more concerned about keeping killers alive in jail instead of giving them the death penalty, rather then saving the lives of potential victims, who might of been deterred away from committing murder by the fear of the death penalty. Yes, the death penalty does not deter all potential murderers, but because of its finality it is feared more than imprisonment. In prison convicts receive three square meals a day, they have cable television, and they can lift weights all day long. How is that deterring people away from murder? It may deter a few, but the fear of your life ending in a