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The main purpose of 'punishment' is that it provides some form of deterrence, whether it be a general or specific deterrence , it must prevent the act from being further committed. While you and I may choose not to murder someone, it has nothing to do with the fact that we will be put to death, its because it's wrong. No matter who tries to say otherwise, the 'proof' is just not in the pudding.
The Bible says thou shall not kill, which is in direct conflict with core American values. Off the top of my head, I would have to say that a significant portion of American citizens consider themselves Catholic or Christian, and capital punishment is in direct conflict with the ten commandments.
Capital punishment basically allows the government to decide to end a person's life. What's the point of having a democracy if a judge and a jury can decide to murder a person? No one should be forced to submit to lethal injection, no matter how much they deserve death. American values supporting freedom, but capital punishment removes it completely. If Americans truly want justice, it's best to consider how many death row inmates have been wrongly executed.
Not only does capital punishment constitute cruel and unusual punishment, it obviously violates the right to life. Although, arguably, criminals at least temporarily forfeit that right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Most of all, capital punishment eliminates the chance for redemption and a second chance, which I think of as essential American principles.
American law grants that criminals not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Capital punishment involves one human killing another through the use of suffocation, electrocution or a drug overdose. If we as a society find killing other human beings heinous enough to warrant death as punishment, then how can we possibly justify sanctioning another person to cause that death in cold blood? Murder is murder, and to require a person as a condition of employment to kill another human being is cruel and unusual for both the prisoner and the executioner.
Capital punishment completely overlooks the concept or value of forgiveness for one's sins, which so many Americans believe in. Nowhere does it say that for greater sins, one should be murdered, and for smaller sins, one can be absolved. I understand that church and state, or religion and politics, should be separate, but even if you take that concept into account, the state is committing murder by killing another individual and in anyone's eyes that would be considered illegal, unjust and immoral.
I am opposed to taking the life of a criminal who has committed a crime (no matter how severe) for several reasons. First and foremost, I do not believe that anyone on this earth has the right to pass the final judgment of life or death on anyone. I believe that decision should be left up to a higher power.
I also believe that by being confined to prison for life, a criminal will have to reflect on the crime(s) committed, and perhaps in someway can benefit society by contributing to the community (through work within the institution, etc).
America preaches forgiveness and second chances all day. There are programs which are created just for the sake of allowing the victim's family to gain some closure from speaking to the offender. Rehabs and the message of rehabilitation runs strongly through the nation. And, Americans value every human life - affording each individual with the same, exact rights - no matter how bad that individual may be thought to be. The accused have just as many rights as the ones doing the accusing - until we decide that they don't have the right to live. We pride ourselves on being humane towards all living things. Since when is it humane to take someone's life - especially when there are other options.
I believe that American values conflict with the idea of Capitol Punishment. Capitol Punishment can be considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment. The idea of protection against cruel and unusual punishment was important enough to become an amendment in the constitution, which I believe represents the core beliefs of America. If this type of punishment is allowed to persist, it will affect those who believe in the constitution.
Yeah, I've heard it before, the death penalty is "cruel and unusual punishment." Oh, cry me a river. What's cruel and unusual is a family deprived of a loved one because some criminal ended the life of a valuable, loved person. It's only right that we exercise our moral imperative to remove such people from the world to make it better.
I am a big believer that some crimes are so terrible that the criminal should never have the right of parole. Some crimes are so terrible that justice requires that the perpetrator pay for their action with their own life. Cold blooded murder is about the only crime that I can see that would justify capital punishment.
If capital punishment was in conflict with core American values, then it would not have been the go-to punishment for heinous crimes since the beginning of the country. In fact, I believe that the existence of capital punishment is important in order to uphold the other core values, and to send a clear message that people that do not respect and, likewise, uphold those values will be removed from a society that does.
One of the most important values in the United States is justice. The founding fathers and every generation of Americans since then has found that justice includes the ultimate punishment for the ultimate crimes. In extreme cases, such as Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, capital punishment is very just. Therefore, it cannot be argued that capital punishment conflicts with American values.
There are some criminals who cannot be rehabilitated, and they pose a significant threat to others, should they ever be released. These crimes would not include a one-time, spur of the moment action, such as unplanned murder, but rather the well thought out and planned crimes, such as habitual child rape, spree-killing, or serial murderers. These people do not deserve to live off the state. They will never be normal, safe, productive citizens. The states should not be forced to support these people. A swift execution is more beneficial to our nation.
Because of the way society operates today, it cannot be said that America has any cohesive core values. It is tough to find a majority on any issue, as there are so many voices being heard. In terms of the death penalty, it may coincide with views held by large political groups, like Republicans, or age groups, like Baby Boomers. But, it cannot be said that any one idea conflicts or coincides with America as a whole.
Since capital punishment is the only way to give your life for the life or lives that you have willfully taken, it is not in conflict with the core values. The core values of American life are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. When one takes the life of another, you are destroying their ability to have these core values. Thus, you are not creating the life that America was created for to prosper, and you should be removed from that life.
In a perfect world, I would be against capitol punishment, but in certain instances (such as Charles Manson). Most of the time, I think it's best to make the worst criminals spend their entire lives in prison, but in some extreme instances, I think the death penalty is the only really viable option. Some just don't deserve to live and breathe after they have done. So, in short, my answer is sometimes, yes, most of the time, no.
Capital punishment is not in conflict with any core American value. The fact is people who commit violent acts are the ones that are in conflict with core American values. Respecting life, differences of opinion, and decency and order in society are all core American values. Extreme violence that ends in death requires a proper response and capital punishment is a correct response.
A person who commits a murder or a malicious crime does it with full knowledge of the law. They know full well that if they "pull the trigger?" So to speak, they will pay with their life. When they make that choice, it is not a moral issue; it is a consequence issue. If we do not uphold capitol punishment, more would-be criminals will think that they can kill and get away with it. The safety of the general population will therefore be more compromised.