The ethical issue of death penalty

by annelaurenceb on Septembre 18, 2014 - 11:43pm

Even though the death penalty is abolished in the majority of the countries of the world, in some countries it is still in effect as of today. I believe that this is something that should be changed in the world, and even though major progresses have been made about this situation, it is still an important ethical problem.


The death penalty occurs when someone is convicted of a major crime, and instead of imprisoning the criminal, he is sentenced to death. This practice is considered unethical since this act’s intrinsic value of killing humans is simply wrong and all humans should have an ultimate value no matter what happened. The humanistic principles that put man above everything else should be used in this case to prove that no matter what a man have done, there should be no reason for a man to kill another man. This could also be seen in another way, which is that the value of an act depends on its consequences, and if the death penalty is allowed and that a man is killed because he has been convicted, but that he is later discovered innocent, the death penalty is now simply wrong since he has been murdered for something he didn’t do. This principle has been demonstrated many times, and it is the fact that sometimes mistakes can be made and the criminal that has been sentenced to death can actually be innocent. Death penalty is obviously not reversible and in the case of a mistake, there is nothing that can be done to bring back the person that has been sentenced to death.


For example, there has been 30 wrongful convictions in the state of Texas since 2001, where the death penalty is still a practice that is used. These wrongful convictions demonstrate the principle that the consequences could be become the main issue here, and the fact that these people were wrongfully convicted should lead to rethink the idea that a lot of innocent people have been killed and that they should not have been. Sentences such as prison for life should be put forward and used more often if necessary instead of using death penalty, where there is no going back. The numbers of crimes committed won’t be affected by the number of people that are convicted to a death penalty sentence and it won’t affect the comportment and behavior of individuals in the society.


People that disagree with this point of view could say that the people who receive the death penalty really deserved it and because of the consequences of their acts, they deserve to be sentenced with the death penalty. It could also be argued that it is only a small percentage of criminals that are going to be wrongfully convicted and that it is not significant enough to be considered, but to oppose this point of view it is necessary to ask if taking the life of innocent people, even if they represent a minority, is worth taking into consideration. There is also the idea that no other solution is possible since these criminals could do it again. It is true that it has been proven that these people might do criminal acts before if they’ve already done it, and that nothing guarantees that they won’t be recidivists, but if more measures were taken to take care of these criminals, especially psychologically, the results may be different.


To conclude, allowing death penalty is something that should be changed in the world since I believe it is unethical. People should question themselves about this issue by asking themselves if someone punches you in the face, should you be allowed to punch them back, and if so wouldn’t this only make the situation worse?


Works cited

Jesse, Walker. "No Messing With Death." American Spectator 47.6 (2014):23. Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.

Kevin, Johnson, and TODAY USA. "Death penalty support shifts." USA TODAY n.d.: Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.