It is clear in our society that violent crimes, such as murder, should carry some sort of stiffer punishment than that of other, lesser crimes. What is not clear is what that punishment should be. One punishment that is a constant source of debate is the death penalty. In this paper, I will examine whether the death penalty is or is not ethical. Both sides of the issue will be explained, through examination of various aspects of it, which include religious and financial considerations, whether the death penalty is a deterrent or not, and whether or not it can be regarded as justice. I submit that the death penalty is an ethical and equitable punishment for murderers, and should be used throughout our country.
The seemingly greatest amount of debate comes from a religious standpoint. Depending on whose interpretation one hears, the Bible is for or against capital punishment. Verses from The Bible are used by both sides of the argument to support their own beliefs. The United States is made up of numerous different religious cultures. A sample of a few official policies from some denominations' web sites shows an almost fifty-fifty split for and against. For example, the Assemblies of God (USA) do not take a stance for or against the death penalty. The same is true for the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, who say that it should be left to "the prescribed processes of civil law."(November 28, 2011). The Catholic catechism posted on their web site shows support only if non-lethal methods will not serve to preserve human life. In other words, if there is absolutely no way to stop a person from killing another person, then execution is acceptable. The Southern Baptist Convention states in its Resolution on Capital Punishment (June, 2002), that there must be clear and overwhelming evidence in order for the death sentence to be imposed for murder, or treason which causes death.