ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Capital punishment: Does judicial power give one the right to kill?

Updated on July 17, 2013

The noose

Do we have the right to kill?

By Jayesef

When somebody does a wrong that the state considers the rarest of the rare kind, the legal system of several states stipulates that the person be sentenced to death. While most advanced countries take care to snuff the person’s life out in the least painful manner in lab surroundings, more barbarian ones chop the person’s head off in public places in more painful slaughter-house surroundings, and the less barbarian ones hang the person to death in decent but icy-cold jail surroundings. The fact of the matter is that death is supposed to be the highest form of punishment for the rarest of rare crimes.

However, for some reason I just cannot convince myself that the state has the right to downgrade death to the level of a punishment. If death is a punishment, the end of human life comes as a punishment, which definitely it is not. Death I would say is the end of one form of life and the start of another higher form of life. For many, death comes as a blessing, like those terminally ill or those trapped in bore wells or those hopelessly starving. Probably death is a punishment for those who wish to live and a blessing for those who wish to die. But has the state the right to decide on for whom death is a punishment and for whom not—and for that matter, what is a punishment?

The Webster’s defines punishment as “a suffering, pain, or loss that serves as retribution” or “a penalty inflicted on an offender through judicial procedure.” I wonder how death “serves” as retribution. For retribution to be effective, the person should feel its post-application impact. With the person snuffed out, who remains to feel the impact?

If a punishment indicates a penalty, what is a penalty? The Webster’s says that a penalty is “the suffering in person, rights, or property that is annexed by law or judicial decision to the commission of a crime or public offence.” So life is a “property” annexed by law for the commission of an offence. The state has the right to annex the property of an offender, but does it have the right to destroy the property of the offender? Does the state destroy the offender first and then “annex” the right of the offender, or does the state annex the “property” of the offender and thereby destroy the offender? Does any person other than the offender have any right on the property or life of the offender? If yes, can the state deprive those “others” of their right over the property or right or life of the offender?

Take the case of X, the terrorist who killed several innocent persons in Bombay, India. X has been put to death by the Indian judicial system. If the life of the offender is “annexed” by the state for his terrible crime, who is the loser? Is he the only rightful owner of his life? What crime did his parents or others who have a “right” or lien on his property do to suffer the loss of their right on his life or property? The basic principle of jurisprudence is that no innocent person be punished for an offence not committed by him or her. In the case of death penalty, retribution affects every other rightful owner of the offender’s property except the offender, because the offender is destroyed and all other rightful owners of the offender’s life or property suffer retribution for the loss of the offender’s life or property throughout the course of their lives. The offender stands destroyed. Does the state have the right to destroy the private property of its citizens? I think the state can deprive a citizen of a right but not destroy a citizen for whatever reason. Life is not a right enjoyed by a citizen but a being in existence. Existence is the private property of the Almighty and not that of a private person. The state has no right to destroy the property of the Almighty in the process of depriving a private citizen of a right.

Let us consider this from a metaphysical angle. Jesus promised even the “rarest of the rare” type of sinners a place in Heaven if the person repents. Real repentance for an offence comes to a person in the silence of his post-sinning period, never to a person in a prison where death awaits the offender in the form of a noose and the sense of punishment fills the air. When God gives an opportunity for a sinner to repent and seek an entry into Heaven, does the state have the right to stall God’s plan by destroying the sinner before the person has an opportunity to silence and repentance? Is not the state acting as the agent of Satan when the worst type of sinner as assessed by the state is terminated and sent to Satan before the sinner can utilize the opportunity offered by God to seek a late entry into Heaven?

When the state puts an offender to death, the state acts like a traffic constable who destroys the vehicle along with the driver for a grievous mistake committed by the driver. The right step would be to attach the vehicle, cancel the driver’s right to drive, and use the vehicle for transporting garbage, or restrain the offender from civil freedom, cancel the person’s right to live, and retain the offender for transporting garbage. BUT NEVER, NEVER, PUT A PERSON TO DEATH.

Journey to Hell?

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image
      Author

      Jayesef 5 years ago

      Thank you Larry for your comments. Even the most corrupt human life is too precious to be thrown out for whatever reason.

    • profile image

      Larry Wall 5 years ago

      Your Hub, very well written, goes deeper than I have really thought. I oppose the death penalty for several reasons.

      1. Juries make mistakes. With the advent of DNA technology many people have been freed from prison after being convicted because of DNA evidence.

      2. Juries are not infallible. I am not sure that the term "reasonable doubt" is a realistic reason to decide that someone is going to die.

      3. It is not a deterrent. I have not done the research, but I suspect most death row cases were not premeditated, but were the result of an unfolding set of circumstances in a very short time.

      4. I do not think the death penalty is the ultimate punishment. Many of those convicted, do find peace with God before they are executed and as a Christian, I and many others think they go to a "better place."

      5. A better punishment is to spend the rest of your life in a jail cell, with limited contact to the outside world, no real privacy and a daily routine that never changes. Also, if you are living, there is a chance that future evidence may find you not guilty.

      6. I have known people who have wanted to run for public office. Some have even suggested I do it--not my cut of tea. I tell them, that in many cases, if elected, you are going to have to make the decision who lives are dies because of the pardon power granted to governors and the President. Some say that would not bother them. It would bother me.

      Thank you for the opportunity to express my views. Your Hub is very insightful and very well written.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)