Wednesday, July 2, 2008
When is the death penalty justified?
Heavy topic I know, but this article seemed to be a tough subject for me. On one hand I agree that the punishment must fit the crime and that the death penalty is not the answer to every crime. I also believe that the spirit of repentance calls for, in part, a restitution for the wrongs that were committed which becomes justification for the death penalty where another life has been taken. In the case of murder it is much clearer. However, is Rape equal to murder? or more poignantly, "Is raping someone taking away their life wherewith the death penalty is justified?"
The quote from article that states, "There has not been an execution in the United States for a crime that did not also involve the death of the victim in 44 years" seems to allude that 44 years ago there was some common rationale that changed the way things were done in this country with regard to the death penalty. Was this a case where the liberal supreme court justices were right in keeping rapists from the death penalty? Perhaps we should consider if it is justified in repeat cases or when it involves rape of a child?
You tell me because I am still making up my mind on this one. Obama had a surprising stance that you can read here. As well the New York Times posted an interesting question in this article, "Does the death penalty save lives?" My answer is, there is more to the death penalty than saving lives or detering crime. Sometimes it serves as part of the repentance process, other times it serves as closure for the families for those who are suffering loss from the crime committed. I am leaning towards the stance that the death penalty is justified when done in repeat convictions or when it involves a child. But I could really use your help on this one.