The Necessity of Capital Punishment for Societal Justice

June 10, 2011
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One topic that most people think about when reading The Odyssey is whether or not Odysseus was justified in slaughtering his wife’s suitors when he returned from his journey. Capital Punishment, or executing a prisoner for their crimes, has been legally practiced in the United States off and on since the Colonial Era, with over 13,000 prisoners being executed- both innocent and guilty. The most major issue is whether or not capital punishment is a humane penalty that should be used in the justice system. Especially throughout the past 80 years, the nation has been extremely divided on the issue. Although many people are completely against capital punishment, capital punishment should be employed in some cases because justice must be served, it is the main deterrent against some crimes, and everyone has a trial before being sentenced, regardless of the partiality of the judges.

First of all, when a human being commits a crime against society and against nature that is so odious, such as to take another’s life, then they have actually bereaved themselves of their right to live. One must take into consideration that “you shouldn’t support the death penalty to seek revenge . . . the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people’s lives” ( W. Bush). In other words, the sole purpose of capital punishment is not, despite the name, to punish people for their crimes. It is to protect innocent members of society. However, it would seem that there still is the desire for punishment or revenge in capital punishment. Almost all criminals have “forced yourselves [the suitors] upon this house” (Homer 911). They chose to do what they did, and for every decision there is a consequence. The magnitude of the decision directly affects the magnitude of the consequence. Therefore, if a criminal performs an immensely immoral crime, such as first-degree murder, then his or her repercussion(s) should also be immense. As a result, if the crime is horrific, the aftereffect (capital punishment) ought to be horrific as well.

Also, if a criminal did not have to worry about the possibility that “there will be killing till the score is paid”(Homer 911), then they would be more likely to commit the crime than if they did have to worry about paying for their crime with their life. An example of this is found in The Odyssey: “You yellow dogs [the suitors], you thought I’d never make it/ home from the land of Troy” (Homer 910), meaning that if the suitors had thought that Odysseus would one day come back from Troy, then they probably would not have done what they did. But, since they thought that he wouldn’t, they didn’t care. In comparison, if a criminal thinks he’ll be put to death for murdering someone, then they are less likely to do it, and visa-versa.

As a final point, everyone, both murder victims and accused murderers, have a trial, judge, jury, and sentence. In The Odyssey, when Odysseus had killed the suitors and “so lay the suitors heaped on another” (Homer 914), he put on a trial for the suitors in his mind. Odysseus was the judge and the jury, found the accused guilty of all charges, and sentenced them “In blood and dust he saw that all crowd fallen, many and many slain” (Homer 913). Nonetheless, the suitors’ trial was probably not a fair trial, which leads to the point of fair trials in today’s court justice system. Capital punishment does no good unless each defendant is given a fair trial, because “if the wrong guy is put to death, then . . . not only has an innocent person been executed but the real perpetrator of the crime . . . may be still at large”( Gore). If an innocent person has an unfair trial, then there are two miscarriages of justice: the innocent person is punished for something he did not do, and the guilty person is not punished for what he did. It is most important to have a fair trial.

In conclusion, capital punishment is a superior and practical system put together by the contemporary court justice system that is valuable to the well being of the general public. It is either capital punishment, or the criminal society would be a frenzied world of crime and casualty, indifferent to the law. It is capital punishment, or no justice to the wronged relatives of victims of abhorrent crimes. Capital punishment is imperative to the perpetuation of the law, and without which law and order would be futile.

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proudwobbly said...
Jun. 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm

have you ever read To Kill a Mocking bird?

and as a believer i feel that they should have there lives to consider the punishment 

besides nothing should be left in the hands of the corupt beuracratic machine we call the state nothing by which i mean nothing 

in the words of the great anarchist Kropotkin "they look to the law to solve that which can only come from there own morality" we mus fix our own problems 

humans are better than we give ourselve... (more »)

Scipio replied...
Jun. 25, 2011 at 10:15 am
Almost always when a statement says "everything" or "everyone" or "always" or "nothing" or "no one" or "never," it is incorrect. So is your statement about things being left to the state. The state has a definite beneficial purpose; otherwise, why wouldn't we have gotten rid of it entirely by now? However, although I do oppose your views about the federal government and capital punishment, I am glad that you shared your opinion with me. Like I said, they are opinions, which means that neither of... (more »)
Scipio replied...
Jun. 25, 2011 at 10:21 am
By the way, that's section 42 and the above mentioned verses, not section 49.
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