The moral acceptability of the capital punishment

Slavery is a human invention and not found in nature.

The moral acceptability of the capital punishment

This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal, volume 17, number 1 For further information or to subscribe to the Christian Research Journal go to: Contemporary culture, in contrast, is permeated with arguments against capital punishment.

Even among those professing Christian faith, there is widespread opposition to the death penalty. As a trend, the ever-increasing role of the media in manipulating public sentiment in the face of pressing ethical debates promises not to subside.

While we may grant that the Christian community is divided over this issue and while we take no delight in its clarification, the church — in keeping with its earthly mandate — is to instruct the state in matters of justice.

The highly publicized executions of Robert Alton Harris California and Roger Keith Coleman Virginiafor better or worse, injected a new level of urgency into the debate over capital punishment.

In both cases the extent to which the American public was treated to a numbing display of sentimentality by media pundits was nothing short of breathtaking.

A more recent case involving a disabled murderer, Charles Sylvester Stamper, further fueled the death penalty debate on a national level. Stamper, who killed three people in a restaurant robbery, became the first person in a wheelchair to be put to death since the Gregg v.

Georgia Supreme Court ruling in that reinstated capital punishment. Debates about capital punishment usually play to the emotions. Contemporary Western culture is saturated with arguments that call for its abolition.

In addition, the media play an ever-expanding role in shaping the contours of ethical discourse. Film and television exert an inordinate influence on our perception of reality. Television alone packs an enormous psychological punch. In reporting on capital punishment cases, TV will not engage the public with a reasoned exchange of viewpoints; rather, it uses powerful visual stimuli to impart the impression that executions are repugnant and morally reprehensible.

In the end, debates over the death penalty are more a spectator sport than a quest for truth and justice. This loathing, strangely, is often in the context of increasingly barbaric criminal acts themselves.

Not infrequently this moral confusion manifests itself in a pretext of compassion, in much the same way that abortion advocates who decry graphic films such as The Silent Scream attempt to obscure moral culpability and redefine the notion of victimhood.

Meanwhile, society is stripped of its most fundamental right — protection from violent criminal acts.

The Death Penalty: A Debate, by Ernest van den Haag and John P. Conrad - Commentary Magazine

The blast from point-blank range instantly crushed the skull and snuffed out the life of a year-old mother. A month later he abducted a four-year-old boy from a school playground, molested and tortured him, then hanged him.

When his death sentence was handed down in court, Dodd did not hide the pleasure with which he committed the crimes. The November kidnap-murder of a year-old girl in Northern California is a case in point. The slayer, Richard Allen Davis, had two previous kidnap charges to his record before abducting Polly Klaas from a slumber party at her home and driving her to her strangulation-death 40 miles away.

A selected bibliography from mainstream journals with sample quotations

In truth, genuine abuse of the system is illustrated by the fact that while judges engage in moral vanity, the death sentences of premeditated murderers — when not revoked — are delayed for years due to legal technicalities. Legal experts, who by citing a lack of available statistics contend that capital punishment has not constituted a measurable deterrent, have strangely overlooked the obvious — namely, that at the very least it deters murderers by guaranteeing no possibility of parole or escape, hence precluding new crimes committed by repeat murderers.

What in fact has watered down the death penalty deterrent is the manner in which much-publicized cases such as those of Harris and Coleman have dragged on over the years, thereby reflecting a wholly inconsistent approach to criminal justice.

Absent of moral standards, the courts and the criminal justice system languish under the whims of activist judges and the psychotherapeutic elite, at the utter expense of bona fide social justice.

The extent to which death penalty abolitionists have rendered justice impossible is graphically illustrated by one social critic.

Estimating aboutmurders in the U. Georgia decision untilWilliam F.

U.S. Supreme Court

This reticence to do justly has resulted in the longest judicial foreplay in history. After 13 years of procedural roadblock, California was finally able to execute Harris, who, lacking a car for a bank robbery inkidnapped two year-old boys sitting in an automobile eating hamburgers, drove them to a deserted canyon, and shot one.

The moral acceptability of the capital punishment

The other ran, screamed for help, and tried to hide, but Harris pursued and killed him as well.In , Paul Graham wrote How To Disagree Better, ranking arguments on a scale from name-calling to explicitly refuting the other person’s central point..

And that’s why, ever since , Internet arguments have generally been civil and productive. Graham’s hierarchy is useful for its intended purpose, but it isn’t really a hierarchy of disagreements. Death penalty: is capital punishment morally justified? Death penalty: is capital punishment morally justified?

bombings invites us to revisit the vexed issue of capital. The Ethics of Capital Punishment- OUTRAGEOUS ATROCITY OR MORAL IMPERATIVE? How contemporary American society in the future will view the moral difference between crime and punishment depends to a great extent on the church’s involvement in ongoing cultural debate — and on the influence of CNN.

Christian . Determining The Morality Of Capital Punishment Philosophy Essay. Print Reference this one could argue that the death penalty is immoral but there can be circumstances in which capital punishment is moral. Therefore it is clear that one could reach different conclusions when determining the morality of capital punishment using the five.

A. AGS Ethics Committee, Physician-Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Active Euthanasia. Journal of American Geriatrics Society, May , 43(5) JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.

Martha Rendell | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers