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Pros and Cons of death penalty

Updated on May 10, 2012

Is death penalty justified?

Imagine a small child which is going to shopping with his parents, and suddenly a man out of nowhere abducts him, abuses and murders him.

This scenery, as sad and repulsive as it is, happens occasionally around the world. Many other types of horrendous crimes happen- for example, people who are killed after being assaulted, people who kill their own children or other people's children, out of revenge or any particular circumstance.

These are horrible experiences that those who have not experienced it, generally don't want to think of it. That is why when they hear it from the local or world news, they don't seem to care or fully understand the extent of the crime.

Criminals come from all types of homes, but the predominant home is that where they are abused by their parents or relatives. Children who live seeing their father beating their mother or vice versa; daily verbal fights; being constantly abused by their parents sexually or physically, and similar. There are also children-to-be-criminals who have good parents but the economy around them is tough, they can't seem to have enough money to buy the basics- food, clothes, water. They don't have anyone to look for help, the government makes it incredibly tough for them to find help fast. Hunger and starving increases, and the need for survival calls. Criminals generally are formed because of society negligence during their childhood. This is not general- there are people who grow in tough circumstances and never become criminals, and there are people who grow in an excellent family environment, and still become criminals. But in general, if you know the background of most criminal people, you will find a source in their past which is the root for their present criminal life.

Society is tough. In schools, many children and young people are bullied because of different reasons- having homosexual tendencies, being introvert, being obese, being from a different ethnicity, talking different and behaving different, among other reasons. These are also potential crime boosters. People who have a weak self-esteem, which means people who give a lot of attention to what others think or say about them, tend to become dangerous after being bullied because they develop a constant thought of revenge and hatred. This also happens in the workplace. Bosses and coworkers who do not necessarily tease people by calling their names but that find everything they do wrong and constantly threaten them on losing their jobs, knowing the damage it will cause especially if the bullied has a family. There are many situations in life that may cause a person to react on the call of survival, and thus can become a criminal if the sense of dignity and self-esteem is low. It is common in poor areas or places who have been hit with high unemployment to display a high rate of crime. The equation is really simple: less jobs = less money = more struggle and desperation = need for money fast. Because many companies and agencies take a lot of time to consider a person for a job and because of the hardship of establishing a self-business especially if there is a requirement for permission, the affected person becomes really desperate when his family is in danger of becoming homeless and most of all, in danger of not having food and the basic needs. And this, he may incur in criminal activity.

This means criminals are mostly that way because of external forces, not because they have the desire to do something easy to get money.

Yet, while all of this is simply unfair and there must be something to be done to help this situation to be reduced, the truth is that no matter how unfair was life for a criminal, he is not in the right to take on people for revenge of that. Especially if the people who are victims of his crime have nothing to do with him. There are people who are sexually abused and are so obsessed with sex that they become dangerous to society. Going to the example in the first paragraph, there is no reason for a child to be abused and murdered. Or even an adult. It is not easy to go to the right forum, like finding a low-paying job for example, to try to survive in the world, but crime is simply unacceptable because even if it is true that some elements of society do not really cooperate to end crime, there are good people who have nothing to do with it and should not pay the consequences of other people.

But having explained this, is death penalty justified? Should criminals who have done horrendous murders and actions be punished by ending their lives? Is it fair that, not only did most of them became what they became because of external forces, but these will take his life away, too?

One must ask if the person who is being held with a possibility of being punished with death penalty, will really pay what he has done, or if it is simply a form of revenge- disguised as legal- for what he has done.

Certainly, one must be in the shoes of the family of a person who has been victim of an atrocious crime. Especially if the victim was innocent and was unrelated to any delinquent activity that may have produced the outcome. But we also have to look at the background of the criminal. What made him become one. What forces- external, psychological, mental, or emotional may have influenced to do the crime. Truly, a serious criminal is a danger to society, since there may be mechanisms or forms in which he can manage to get free. This is a complex issue that may be one hard to solve, until then, those who agree or disagree with death penalty may have valid points. There is also the issue that death penalty may be towards a biased group and not really applied equally to all criminals because of possible relationships with wealthy, powerful people, for example.

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