Punishment or death penalty is the punishment given by the court of law to the offender whose offenses are deemed to be dangerous to the life of other citizens, for instance brutally killing innocent people. Capital punishment has been used from the ancient times and it is still h used as a punishment for various offenses. When the word capital punishment of death penalty is mentioned, there comes yelling and screaming from both its proponents and opponents. What is worrying is that, although the death penalty is being used as the deterrence to crimes, it has not achieved its purpose (van Den Haag, 361).
According to John Locke (quoted by Bright on p3), when an individual commits a crime, even if it is a minor crime like theft, that criminal has forfeited his right to life and that the society has a right to kill him/her the same way it may do to a dangerous animal. According to this argument, every individual has the right to life or liberty and when a person denies another their rights; it means that the offender has forfeited his/her rights thereby making it justifiable for the community to strip them of their personal rights. The death penalty was being used for various crimes although it is now being used only for murder cases.
Even though Locke’s arguments seemed to be useful and based on concrete facts and reasoning, one thing needs to be well understood: the concept of natural rights is fuzzy according to Bright (P. 3). People use these natural rights to demand what they want thereby making these rights a mere rhetorical device. The author continues to say that the notion of natural rights does not have any real meaning or substance, and the idea of rights forfeiture is all but meaningless. The right to life is also not negotiable, and it cannot be meaningful if there are exceptions regarding the same.
In this paper, I examined the death penalty and provided some arguments to oppose this penalty. The idea that came up during the discussion was that there is no person who has the natural right to determine the life and death of another person except God. It can also be said that no one is entitled the right to kill. The death penalty is aimed at deterring crimes, but the trends as per the Death Penalty Information Center show that the murder crimes are still increasing at alarming rates. I propose that a better way of punishing the offenders should be devised so as to show that they are also human beings and deserve to live however much they have wronged others.
Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at Melda Research in help writing nursing research paper if you need a similar paper you can place your order for customized papers.