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capital punishment

             The issue of capital punishment, for some, is as concrete and definite as their own name. Their opinions, whether for or against this practice of "justice," seem set in stone. However, for others the issue is highly controversial because within each defense for the advocacy of capital punishment there lays a highly contradicting aspect that confuses the matter more. These include human emotion, logic and religious beliefs to name a few. Therefore, my position regarding the righteousness or justice of the death penalty is based on neutral grounds from which I am unable to set a concrete conclusion.
             According to James Fieser, author of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article "Capital Punishment," there are two primary arguments for acceptance of capital punishment and the general idea of punishment in itself: the Utilitarian and Retributive Arguments. Both of these state lawful and permissible justifications for the death penalty in our society. However, there are several ideas brought up in Fieser's article that discuss the actuality of the arguments. These loop-holes have essentially become the foundation for controversy alongside religious ideals and human emotion.
             The Utilitarian's idea of punishment is "justified only insofar as it creates a greater balance of happiness vs. unhappiness (Fieser)." Advocates for this idea believe that the death penalty may indeed create a happier, safer society. This is based on the notion that putting criminals to death ultimately leads to the prevention of future crimes, by both deterring potential criminals and impeding the guilty of repeating their crime. Yet, while the idea of making the world a safe place is quite appealing it is questionable as to whether this particular practice is wholly necessary. Technically, other types of punishment, like jail time for instance, can suffice these requirements. Also, there is little evidence that the death penalty actually decreases the amount of potential murderers or criminals.

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