Capital punishment has created a controversial topic for thousands of years. Non-supporters argue that the death penalty is inhumane. Supporters agree with the 1790 B.C. king of Babylon, Hammurabi. His law states, "an eye for an eye and a life for a life" (Ellis and Esler 40). "A life for a life" does not validate the system of capital punishment. It did not thousands of years ago and remains that way. By showing society it is justifiable to kill, the states" sense of justice runs a thin line next to murder.
Capital punishment questions the morality of humans. "I find the death penalty to be morally repugnant" (McCloskey 2). Capital punishment demoralizes the ideological society people try to build for their lives and the lives of the younger generations. If the state kills people, it shows that there is a perfectly valid reason to kill. "Why do we kill people to show people that killing people is wrong?" (Parrish). The death of one person leads to the death of another person, therefore creating a society based on murder. "You at the bottom of society kill, then we at the top of society will kill" (McCloskey 2). The state sends out this message to the older and newer generations when they place a person on death row. If the younger generations grow up with capital punishment, murder will increase because it is showing them that killing is permissible. "Eighteen of the 20 states with the highest murder rates have and use the death penalty" (Freedman).
"Capital punishment is murder in its worst form"(Tucker). To kill a person who is not able to provide self-defense should be considered murder. "When a man kills another in a fit of revenge or lust or rage, he is thrown in jail, and for good reason. Under common law the killing of another human being is justifiable only in self-defense. When a citizen kills in anger it is revenge, but when the State of California does so, it is justice" (Hersch 5).