An Examination of the Positions 3 – The death penalty should be retained because justice requires it Free Essay Example

The law functions, among other things, to protect the members of society from harm. Those who benefit from society’s laws have an obligation to obey them. Principles of justice and fairness require people to live within the law and not make themselves exceptions to the law. When one freely and intentionally violates the laws designed for our protection, one becomes justifiably subject to punishment by the state that represents that society. The system of punishment provides incentive for people to comply with the fair and just rules of society.

Justice requires punishment in accordance with what is deserved and in direct proportion to the severity of the criminal offense. Thus, it would be unjust not to punish someone who has violated the law and deserves to be punished or to punish the person more or less severely than he or she deserves. Some crimes are so hideous that those who commit them deserve the death penalty.

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Further, in protecting its citizens from harm, the state is justified in using capital punishment as a means of social defense. Acting on behalf of those who are potential victims of society’s most hardened criminals, the state is entitled to execute the guilty as a means of protecting the innocent.

The death penalty expresses society’s moral outrage at suffering inflicted upon the innocent. Public opinion in our country has consistently supported the death penalty for murderers. Our sense of justice demands that people who kill the innocent pay with their lives.

Therefore, the death penalty should be retained in states where it already exists and it should be reinstated in states where its use has been discontinued. The death penalty should also be mandatory for those who commit the most heinous crimes.

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