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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.
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The death penalty affirms the value of human life

By punishing human rights violations zealously, the death penalty affirms the value of all human life.
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Context

The Argument

Human lives are invaluable. Because of this, we must treat every person’s life with dignity and respect. In committing heinous crimes, people treat invaluable human beings as if their lives are dispensable. They grievously violate their victims' rights, often subjecting them to torturous treatment and death. If our society claims to value its citizens, it must punish those who take human life appropriately. The only fitting punishment for such a grievous wrong is death. The death penalty sends a clear message: humans are valuable and taking another’s life is not an inconsequential wrong. In making this statement, it ultimately affirms the value of human life. For this reason, we should not abolish the death penalty.

Counter arguments

Our society should certainly value human life, and punish murder in a fitting way. However, this does not necessarily mean that we must retain the death penalty. Through giving life in prison sentences, we can continue punishing human rights violations, ensuring that our communities know life is valuable. In this way, we can send a clear message of value for all life- not just the victims' lives. Although many argue that the death penalty reflects value for life, it completely devalues the lives of criminals. Regardless of their past mistakes, criminals are people too. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. The death penalty reflects value for only certain peoples' lives and should be abolished.

Framing

Premises

[P1] Human life is valuable. [P2] Because of this, we must punish people who take another's life. [P3] If we fail to punish heinous murder accurately, we fail to value human life. [P4] In certain circumstances, the only fitting punishment is a death sentence. [P5] For this reason, we must not abolish the death penalty.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

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    This page was last edited on Friday, 19 Jun 2020 at 02:17 UTC