Mapping the world's opinions

argument top image

Should the death penalty be abolished? Show more Show less

Capital punishment is the government-sanctioned execution of an individual as retribution for a crime. Although most countries have abolished death penalty sentences, many retain this practice, including the United States, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Should we abolish the death penalty, or support each government's right to punish crime as it sees fit?

No, we should not abolish the death penalty Show more Show less

The death penalty serves society well by giving victims closure, making communities safe, affirming life's value, and ultimately establishing justice.
(1 of 2 Positions) Next >

The death penalty administers justice because some people deserve death

For justice to be done, a person's punishment must fit the severity of their crime. In some cases, the only fitting punishment is death.
< Previous (5 of 5 Arguments) Next >

Context

The Argument

In order for justice to be done, people must receive the punishments they deserve. For some criminals, a sentence of life in prison does not fit the severity of their crime. At times, the only punishment that fits heinous crimes is death. For this reason, we should not abolish the death penalty. If we prevent the criminal justice system from giving people what they deserve, we stop it from administering justice. The death penalty is a necessary component of our criminal justice system because some people deserve it.

Counter arguments

Although deservedness should certainly be a consideration, it is not the only factor that should decide a person's punishment. In some cases, the criminal justice system must give defendants mercy. As flawed human beings, we would be in trouble if we got what we deserved all the time. At certain points, everyone has received undeserved forgiveness, which means that we're all obligated to give others the same grace. We must extend criminals the same mercy we have received, and wish to receive, ourselves. For this reason, we should abolish the death penalty.

Framing

Premises

[P1] For justice to be done, people must receive a fitting punishment. [P2] In some cases, the only fitting punishment is death. [P3] For this reason, we should not abolish the death penalty.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

    Explore related arguments

    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 8 Jul 2020 at 18:39 UTC