Arguments in Favor of Death Penalty

The logic behind death penalty is that crimes are escalating and they are getting worse.  Harsher and stricter laws are the only weapons of the society against these super villains who commit crimes with absolute impunity.  Death penalty is a law that can restore order in the society.  Thus, death penalty was enacted by the Legislature as a symbol of the power of the state.  (Austin Sarat, 1999, p.3)

There are two main reasons why death penalty should remain.  The first is the doctrine of just desert or the ‘eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth’ philosophy.  The imposition of death penalty for certain crimes is allowed because the convicted prisoner deserves it.  In simple words, when a person hurts and causes damage to another, an imbalance between the two parties happens and the imposition of death penalty against the person responsible for causing the wrongdoing removes the unfair advantage and restores the balance.

The argument that death penalty is immoral and cruel has no basis as even the Bible allows the penalty of death for certain crimes.  Worth considering is the biblical passage in the Book of Exodus which confirms that death penalty is not immoral: “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”  (Exodus 21:22-25.)

The second argument is that death penalty deters crime.  While it may be true that there is yet no research that will establish a link between death penalty and its capacity to prevent would-be offenders from committing a crime, it is undeniable that when a convicted offender is executed, he is no longer capable of committing another crime in the future.  Recidivism is prevented.  The solution proposed by opponents of death penalty is to impose longer sentences.  This however is not feasible considering that there is always the possibility that they may escape prison or be released from prison on reduced sentences.

Taking away the life of another is a serious penalty.  The state, however, as the guardian of the people has to make the tough decision for all.  Police Power is nothing but the power of the state to take the initiative in restricting the right to life and liberty and property for the purpose of promoting the general welfare.  Death penalty is an exercise of police power by the state.   Death Penalty is the solution to the rising rate of criminality and violence in our society.  It not only deters crime but it also incapacitates the criminal. It is not only sanctioned by the constitution but it is also sanctioned by God.  By the imposing death penalty, the state does not violate human life but in effect affirm the respect for human life by protecting it.