Various ideologies have surrounded the issue of a capital sentence regarding its morality and acceptability. Importantly, crimes are classified into different categories depending on their intensity and the level of harm that has been subjected to a person. In his essay, David Bruck holds that the utilization of the death penalty is not the best alternative to resolve the issue of serious criminal offenses. Bruck presents his argument on the basis that the state government could be making a mistake in the sentencing and lead to the execution of a wrong person (Barnet and Bedau 490). Additionally, Bruck is striving to demonstrate that the death penalty is not morally upright and the act is not justifiable. Importantly, Bruck argument is subject to the questioning of validity due to various issues that he does not highlight. This essay will focus on refuting the assumptions laid by Bruck and presenting an argument that death penalty should be upheld. The action behind execution is morally upright, provides settlement for the affected families, the cost of maintaining prisoners who have committed heinous acts is the misuse of taxpayer funds, deters the prevalence of heinous crimes, and it is constitutionally upright. Upholding capital punishment in the form of the death penalty should be advocated. Even though death penalty has been cited as a violation of human rights, engaging in capital punishment is the most viable to deal with serious criminal offenses to ensure that justice is rendered to the innocent victims.
Implementation of the death penalty is morally upright and is not surrounded by any form of immoral conduct as speculated by Bruck. The utilization of death penalty seeks to promote the respect for life. The person being executed has imposed pain to the victim and violated his or her freedom to exist as an independent entity (Cromie and Zott 137). The amount of anguish that the victims underwent before meeting their tragic death is not quantifiable to any measure due to the heinous nature of the acts undertaken. Therefore, imposing the death penalty would not only be justifiable but equally right as means of ensuring that equality is maintained. The existence of strict laws to render justice in crimes related to hardcore criminals has been in place even from a religious point of view. For instance, the incidence of Joseph Carl Shaw engaging in the murder of two innocent teenagers and was convicted of same murder charges previously. It is evident that with such individual, the imposition of death penalty is reasonable since the person is inclined towards disrupting the normal functioning of the society (Barnet and Bedau 491). The upholding of the death penalty is the moral obligation of the judiciary, legislature, and other government arms as means of ensuring that justice is rendered.
Upholding the ruling of capital offense through death penalty helps in setting free the families of the victims committed by the cold murderer. The element of losing a loved one in an indignity way is very challenging for the families left behind. The imagination on the anguish that their loved ones encountered before their death is overwhelming. Therefore, it affects them psychologically and socially due to the deep rooted scars and pain. All these suffering are brought about by choice of a person to inflict pain and ultimately lead to the death of the victims. With such perception from the families, engaging in a death sentence offers relief that the atrocious decisions made by the murderers are punished accordingly. For instance, the case of Robert Willie raping and killing a young woman is a despicable act. Families of murder victims undergo an emotional breakdown due to selfish actions of an individual (Kaufman 48). Imposing a death penalty on the murderer is the best way to set free the conscience of these families. It acts as a form of affirming that the human life is valuable and showing the culprits cannot go free of such actions.
The United States has one of the highest numbers of prisoners across the world. Therefore, the correctional facilities have been pushed to their limits due to the increasing number of convicts. The cost of maintaining these facilities requires a considerable amount of funds both directly and indirectly. Further, funds used to run the prisons are from US taxpayer who expects the optimal utilization in the right avenues including feeding the homeless and setting up hospitals. As such, spending the finances on such individuals would be wastage of public resources. Typically, jails are meant to be a corrective platform for persons with chances of transforming their character and uphold good conduct. Murderers cannot be classified as criminals who can be changed as the magnitude of their actions is too overwhelming as it involves the intentional act of taking another person’s life (Saghafi 140). Therefore, executing individuals found criminal charges would aid in reducing the government expenditure incurred in maintaining the jails. Importantly, it would assist in creating space, which would help in reducing the prevalence of prison overcrowding. Additionally, as these individuals age, the burden of the state and federal government increases due to diagnosis with terminal illnesses. Continuance on the execution law would be influential in reducing the allocation of funds to operate the persons and enhance the efforts of decongesting the prisons. The funds can then be allocated to other critical development propositions including establishing schools and other development-oriented projects.
Imposing the highest level of punishment for people committing murder is important in reducing the prevalence of capital offenses. The death penalty acts as a deterrence factor of ensuring that the individuals with similar thoughts can rethink their positions. The enhanced implementation of the death penalty would be a communication medium that the state cannot relent in the act of conveying justice accordingly. As the number of executions increased, the prevalence of murder would reduce efficiently as the death penalty is inevitable for individuals who defy the provision (Kaufman 38). Therefore, it is a form of social control as individuals’ behavior is confined to avoiding any situation that is related to murder. Deterrence would assist in ensuring that criminals are discouraged from engaging in unlawful acts.
Furthermore, the engaging death penalty is constitutional since there are laws that provide specifications regarding the way to handle different issues related to capital punishment. The presence of these statutes acts as a benchmark to ensure that every decision made regarding the execution is not erroneous. As such, the upholding of the capital punishment through death penalty would be based on following the relevant constitution clauses to support the decisions made. Notably, the law exists with a sole purpose of bringing about law and order. Engaging in murder is illustrating the sheer defiance of orderliness as it involves subjecting a person to considerable pain. The existence of execution provision would be essential in protecting the other clauses of the Constitution and abiding by the laws. The presence of guidelines in the law infers that engaging in murder is a serious crime, which ought to be punished with utmost severity. Therefore, upholding the law is a constitutional obligation, which should not be overlooked.
To sum up, through the above discussion, it is apparent that Bruck’s contentions regarding the issue of the death penalty do not take into consideration the wider picture. The death penalty should be upheld as it is morally upright as the actions undertaken by the delinquent are a clear manifestation of malice to end another person’s life. The families of the bereaved victim undergo emotional challenge as they come to terms with the indignity subjected to their loved ones. Therefore, imposing the capital punishment acts as a good platform to set them free of their anguish. The expenditure on capital offenders in the correctional facilities would be a mockery to the US taxpayers as there are more pertinent social issues, which can be met through executing the capital punishment provision. Death penalty aids in the deterrence of criminal acts prevalence, and it is constitutionally accepted.
- Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Adam Bedau. Current Issues and Enduring Questions. 10th ed., New York, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.
- Cromie, Jenny, and Lynn M Zott. The Death Penalty. 1st ed., Detroit, MI, Greenhaven Press, 2013.
- Kaufman, Sarah Beth. “Mourners in the Court: Victims in Death Penalty Trials, Through the Lens of Performance”. Law & Social Inquiry, 2016, p. 48.
- Saghafi, Kas. “The Death Penalty, In Other Words, Philosophy”. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, vol.50, 2012, pp. 136-142.