There are five basic reasons that society uses when imposing the punishment that Ive been able to conclude from my readings. I will discuss these societal concepts and show that the death penalty does not serve to further them.
Deterrence is basically defined as the punishment should fit the crime. Under this concept, the individual committing the crime and society are prevented from committing this action again. In the case of the death penalty, an individual kills another human and he is punished for it by death. Punishment is supposed to be a temporary penalization for a wrongful action. Death is far from temporary. One is to learn from ones mistakes. How can the person learn if they are paying for their mistakes with their life? By imposing the death penalty the individual does not learn from their mistakes and neither does society.
Under this concept, punishment should be economical. There are specific costs associated with keeping an inmate on death row such as specially built prison blocks, the need for maximum security, and costing the courts much money through many, many appeals. These costs clearly out weigh the regualr costs incurred to house a regular inmate. Deterrence is clearly not served by imposing the death penalty.
Society demands that the punishment should fix the harm it has done. By sentencing a person to death no harm has been fixed. You can not bring the murdered person back by taking the prisoners life. Punishment is not intended to revenge, offset, or compensate for the victims suffering or to be measured by it.
The community demands that justice be served. Would justice not equally be served and in fact may be better served by life imprisonment? I believe tit would be a worse punishment to go through a life sentence in prison. The individual is deprived of liberty. He will then suffer and live the rest of his or her life within three lonely walls and a set of bars. It gives the individual a chance to think and wallow in his own guilt.
Someone kills another. Then the State proceeds to kill him for doing so. This is not punishment but revenge. You know they say, two wrongs dont make a right!.
Punishment includes preparing the person to reenter society and lead a productive life. Without doubt, if you impose the death penalty there is no opportunity for rehabilitation.
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