# Do you believe the death penalty is unethical?

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do you believe the death penalty is wrong and should not be done? I do and I thought everyone I know agrees. I think its wrong for a couple reasons, one we don't know what kind of a punishment we are giving these criminals and another is we cant undo it. we dont know what kind of punishment these people are getting because we dont know enough about the after life. there was a study where people partially died and they all reported seeing a white light but that's all we know do far about it, they can either be getting a worse punishment in the afterlife they can be stabbed with swords for a while or they can go into another world and kill more people and get away with it again because they have the death penalty too. we don know and we cant control it. if the criminal is found not guilty based on more information then you cannot get them out of jail because you killed them. I would love to hear your thoughts and if you don't agree what are your reasons. its a very interesting topic in my opinion.

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When we accept punishment as justice, death is the final/only option.

Edited by dimreepr
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Killing killer is sinking to their level and abandoning the moral high ground.

The US might want to look at the company it is keeping by still having a death penalty.

Country
Total executed, 2007-12

CHINA THOUSANDS

IRAN 1,663

SAUDI ARABIA 423

IRAQ 256

UNITED STATES 220

PAKISTAN 171

YEMEN 152

KOREA (NORTH) 105

VIETNAM 58

These are not the great and the good.

(data from here)

http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/death-penalty-countries-world

Edited by John Cuthber
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The death penalty sometimes kills an innocent, which is unethical. There is no way to avoid mistakes; thus, it should be stopped. Moreover, in the US it costs more to execute a person than keep them in prison; should be stopped on economic grounds. Some people can't commit suicide, so force authorities to kill them; for them life would be a more appropriate punishment. It is unethical to kill, even for a government IMO, but I prefer not to kill insects. However, I protect myself, for example by killing a mosquito biting me.

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I think it depends on the moral code of a given society if it's ethical or not. I think it is too simplistic to judge from one culture's moral code upon anothers; the general consensus/consent of a participating society's population matters.

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The death penalty sometimes kills an innocent, which is unethical. There is no way to avoid mistakes; thus, it should be stopped. Moreover, in the US it costs more to execute a person than keep them in prison; should be stopped on economic grounds. Some people can't commit suicide, so force authorities to kill them; for them life would be a more appropriate punishment. It is unethical to kill, even for a government IMO, but I prefer not to kill insects. However, I protect myself, for example by killing a mosquito biting me.

I would love for you to explain to me why you claim it costs more to kill somebody than to keep them imprisoned for life. I have never heard that claim before, even by the staunchest anti DP folks. So..thanks, I'll be waiting patiently.

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Ironically, you'll probably fear it more if you're actually innocent.

edit

Then again, I'm an atheist.

Edited by MonDie
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And Im a christian, and according to the bible, aka my culture, the death penalty is wrong. No argument, its wrong according to it. Now personally, I don't really know. Maybe ethically its wrong, but then again it depends on what your ethics are. If you think that killing someone in cold blood, in a horrific way, deserves death, then your ethics are fine with it.

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And Im a christian, and according to the bible, aka my culture, the death penalty is wrong.

Really?

"He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death" Exodus 21.12

"And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death" Exodus 21.15

"And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death" Exodus 21.16

"And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death" Exodus 21.17, Matthew 15.4, Mark 7.10

"If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die" Deuteronomy 24.7

"he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death." Leviticus 24.21

(There is more, but I got a bit bored ...)

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!

Moderator Note

Let's skip the religious debate, please

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In principle I don't object to the death penalty as I feel that some crimes deserve this punishment. My primary concern with the death penalty is the manner in which it is used, at least in the United States.

Ethics is in the eye of the beholder and changes as you change time and place. I also find most arguments against the death penalty to be rather weak.

Someone bad does it, therefore it must be a bad idea? Can we assume that ALL their ideas are bad since we don't like them?

You can't undo it? You also cannot undo the 10 years someone spent in prison for a robbery charge if they were actually innocent. You can never get back lost time.

We shouldn't do it because we "don't know enough about the afterlife"? That's a non-starter IMO.

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Ethics is in the eye of the beholder and changes as you change time and place.

Concisely and eloquently put. +1

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Really?

"He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall be surely put to death[/size]" Exodus 21.12

"And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death[/size]" Exodus 21.15

"And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death[/size]" Exodus 21.16

"And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death[/size]" Exodus 21.17, Matthew 15.4, Mark 7.10

"If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die[/size]" Deuteronomy 24.7

"he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.[/size]" Leviticus 24.21

(There is more, but I got a bit bored ...)

Not to go against the moderator note, I'll let this go undefended.

I agree with zapatos on the ethics part, it depends how you look at it. There was someone on science forums saying it was un ethical to eat animals.

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I would love for you to explain to me why you claim it costs more to kill somebody than to keep them imprisoned for life. I have never heard that claim before, even by the staunchest anti DP folks. So..thanks, I'll be waiting patiently.

I'm only reporting what I've read.

AmnestyUSA

Recent Cost Studies

A 2003 legislative audit in Kansas found that the estimated cost of a death penalty case was 70% more than the cost of a comparable non-death penalty case. Death penalty case costs were counted through to execution (median cost $1.26 million). Non-death penalty case costs were counted through to the end of incarceration (median cost$740,000). (December 2003 Survey by the Kansas Legislative Post Audit)

In Tennessee, death penalty trials cost an average of 48% more than the average cost of trials in which prosecutors seek life imprisonment.

(2004 Report from Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Office of Research)

In Maryland death penalty cases cost 3 times more than non-death penalty cases, or $3 million for a single case. (Urban Institute, The Cost of the Death Penalty in Maryland, March 2008) In California the current sytem costs$137 million per year; it would cost $11.5 million for a system without the death penalty. (California Commission for the Fair Administration of Justice, July 2008) The greatest costs associated with the death penalty occur prior to and during trial, not in post-conviction proceedings. Even if all post-conviction proceedings (appeals) were abolished, the death penalty would still be more expensive than alternative sentences. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites The objective is to prevent murders. It's ineffective at that. It's far more expensive than other forms of punishment. It's fiscally irresponsible. The justice system often convicts and kills the innocent. That's a problem. It's cruel and unusual, especially when terminating the life of the innocent. That's unconstitutional. It tries to teach people that killing is wrong by killing them. That's just dumb. We want to exist in a better society. We employ tools of the state to achieve that end. Allowing the state to murder its citizens, even those that are frequently innocent and wrongly convicted, hinders that goal. Yeah, there are moral and ethical and religious arguments against the death penalty. They play a role here, too, but we simply don't need those. The death penalty is a self-evidently misguided approach toward societal improvement on essentially every relevant and meaningful metric. AFAICT, the death penalty simply helps some people to feel better about situations that caused victimhood folks they loved, but if we're honest with ourselves we must acknowledge that there are far more intelligent, effective, and humanistically advanced approaches to realizing that goal. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites if a judicial system doesn't have the consent and respect of of the majority of it's populace it won't work. Whilst a society has guns for the purposes of 'self-defence', I think the death penalty needs to remain. If the individual has the right to take a life (in the name of self-defence; innocents get massascred as a byproduct/ then the system should have at least the same power to defend societal stability and express outrage, as an option. The tacit contract between the state and the its citizens is that it will apply mutually consensual justice; whatever that maybe. Democracy is the expression of the majority; call it 'mob justice' but that's whatever holds a society's population together in some sort of social harmony. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites if a judicial system doesn't have the consent and respect of of the majority of it's populace it won't work. Whilst a society has guns for the purposes of 'self-defence', I think the death penalty needs to remain. If the individual has the right to take a life (in the name of self-defence; innocents get massascred as a byproduct/ then the system should have at least the same power to defend societal stability and express outrage, as an option. The tacit contract between the state and the its citizens is that it will apply mutually consensual justice; whatever that maybe. Democracy is the expression of the majority; call it 'mob justice' but that's whatever holds a society's population together in some sort of social harmony. Are you saying that two wrongs make a right? ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Are you saying that two wrongs make a right? Depends on your society. You are using your own cultural value system to judge, by the sound of it, by asking that question. Note this, and I said this myself, in other words: Ethics is in the eye of the beholder and changes as you change time and place. Edited by StringJunky ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites The contemporary viewpoint among behavioural scientists suggests that behaviour in general, including criminal behaviour, results from a specific interaction between genes and the environment. This is equally applicable to psychopaths. There is substantive evidence to support this. Here is one such scientific research paper entitled: Genetic and Environmental Influences on Criminal Behavior. The implications thereof raise the question of free will, conscious behaviour and how it influences the legal premises of among others actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means "the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty" and non compos mentis or "not master of one's own mind". Can the mind be guilty or culpable if it "automatically" reacted (in a criminal manner) as a result of a specific gene/environment interaction? Is anyone master of his/her own "mind"? Obviously the legal system will not easily adapt to this line of reasoning (apart from the prevailing criteria surrounding non compos mentis) and rightly so as people who commit serious criminal crimes will remain susceptible (due to the presence of a certain genetic make-up) and will thus continue to present a high risk to society given a "wrong" set of environmental triggers. It would therefore be preferable to remove high-risk individuals from society. Removing them from society (and possibly for them to undergo therapeutic treatment) would thus be ethical, but killing them..? Edited by Memammal ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites The contemporary viewpoint among behavioural scientists suggests that behaviour in general, including criminal behaviour, results from a specific interaction between genes and the environment. This is equally applicable to psychopaths. There is substantive evidence to support this. Here is one such scientific research paper entitled: Genetic and Environmental Influences on Criminal Behavior. The implications thereof raise the question of free will, conscious behaviour and how it influences the legal premises of among others actus reus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means "the act is not culpable unless the mind is guilty" and non compos mentis or "not master of one's own mind". Can the mind be guilty or culpable if it "automatically" reacted (in a criminal manner) as a result of a specific gene/environment interaction? Is anyone master of his/her own "mind"? Obviously the legal system will not easily adapt to this line of reasoning (apart from the prevailing criteria surrounding non compos mentis) and rightly so as people who commit serious criminal crimes will remain susceptible (due to the presence of a certain genetic make-up) and will thus continue to present a high risk to society given a "wrong" set of environmental triggers. It would therefore be preferable to remove high-risk individuals from society. Removing them from society (and possibly for them to undergo therapeutic treatment) would thus be ethical, but killing them..? Killing them would effectively remove them from the equation. In oblder times, if a city was about to fall from enemy forces, they would kill all enemy prisoners if the enemy didnt allow anyone to survive. In doing this they guaranteed they weren't going to join the enemy again and help conquer another city. Now is this logical, and is this ethical? They knew for a FACT they were the enemy. No innocents here, and they also gave them the death penalty without a trial. You decide. Edited by Raider5678 ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites AFAICT, the death penalty simply helps some people to feel better about situations that caused victimhood folks they loved, but if we're honest with ourselves we must acknowledge that there are far more intelligent, effective, and humanistically advanced approaches to realizing that goal. Do the hurt victims always prefer death to a life sentence? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/06/03/he-mutilated-my-child-says-father-who-attacked-grinning-serial-killer-in-court/ And when Madison — who couldn’t remember killing Terry’s daughter — smiled at the grieving father, Terry snapped. He charged across the room and dove at the murderer. [...] Her decision will be little comfort for Van Terry, however. Before the trial, he said he didn’t want Madison to get the death penalty. “Release him inside the [prison] population and let him deal with it every day of his life,” he told ABC5 in 2013. “That’s what I think; I think he should suffer like we suffered.” Maybe it's a natural instinct, wanting the bad person dead and gone permanently, rather than a sense of just punishment. ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites Killing them would effectively remove them from the equation. In oblder times... What is ethical or not relates to our present moral philosophy of what is right and what is wrong. Medieval ethics, for example, are far removed from the prevailing ethics of today's western society. Why do you think imprisonment would be less effective in order to "remove them from the equation"? You previously argued that the death penalty is wrong, but you now seem to condone it as being a more effective tool. Given my argument that a perpetrator (let's say a murderer) might not be consciously or mentally blameworthy for his/her actions, do you think it will be ethical to kill him/her? ##### Link to comment ##### Share on other sites I'm only reporting what I've read. That refers to the case, otherwise the trial. In reality, when your not tricking people into thinking it costs more to kill someone then to supply all the basic needs for the next 50+ years, it costs 1.5 million if you clock in at about 30k per year per prisoner. That's assuming they only live in jail for 50 years, and that they have far below average cost per prisoner. That's quite large. The lethal injection costs?$86.08

Now, it still costs some more to house the prisoner until hes executed, but if we didn't take 5 years to kill them, it would cost a lot less.

What is ethical or not relates to our present moral philosophy of what is right and what is wrong. Medieval ethics, for example, are far removed from the prevailing ethics of today's western society. Why do you think imprisonment would be less effective in order to "remove them from the equation"? You previously argued that the death penalty is wrong, but you now seem to condone it as being a more effective tool. Given my argument that a perpetrator (let's say a murderer) might not be consciously or mentally blameworthy for his/her actions, do you think it will be ethical to kill him/her?

So your saying it would be ethical to lock him/her up for life? Or ethical to release a dangerous person just because you cant blame him? Or locking him in a straight jacket for the rest of his life would solve the problem? Mentally insane people, are insane. its very simple. Whether you can blame them or not doesn't matter, should others suffer because of it? Already someone has if your even thinking about punishing them. Also, when your mentally insane, your quite often tortured mentally. Should you put them in jail so that's the ONLY thing they can think about? And I already explained why simply putting them in jail doesn't effectively remove them from the equation, reread my post.

Edited by Raider5678
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So your saying it would be ethical to lock him/her up for life? ...Mentally insane people, are insane. its very simple. Whether you can blame them or not doesn't matter, should others suffer because of it?

Yes, if they cannot be treated (which remains an option), locking them up would be a higher order of ethics than killing, don't you think? You wanna kill mentally insane people..? Why would the level of others' suffering rely on whether you can blame-, or put somebody to death?

You wrote: Killing them would effectively remove them from the equation. No explanation as far as I can see.

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When we accept punishment as justice, death is the final/only option.

The death penalty is neither punishment nor justice, it's vengeance and, honestly, I am not above vengeance given the nature of the provocation.

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