2 Answers

  1. There are a lot of arguments. But only one point is decisive. �It is only possible to reduce crime and other brutality in society starting with the police and penitentiary system. No other method has been invented yet. And this applies not only to the death penalty.

    The level of police violence and the overall level of violence in society are closely related. �Are interrelated. But our levers of influence on police violence (under democracy, and not under ” good chekist fascism “(c) Solovyov) are disproportionately more effective. That is, we can really break this vicious circle only starting with the reduction of police violence. The opposite approach is possible only in theory, but in practice, no one has ever succeeded – first to reduce the level of cruelty and crime in society – and only then to reduce police violence.

  2. There are the following possible objections to the institution of the death penalty (I emphasize that I am a supporter of it, so everything I write below is not my point of view, but a statement of other people's arguments):

    1. Political argument – the death penalty can be perceived as a measure that increases the power of the state over the individual. The death penalty is therefore opposed by many libertarians and anarchists who advocate either a weak State or the absence of any State.

    2. Legal arguments. Basically there are two of them:

    2.1. The possibility of a judicial error and its correction. The death penalty is perceived by many lawyers as excluding the possibility of correcting a judicial error, i.e. the risk increases that an innocent person may be executed, creating irreversibility (it will not be possible to bring him back to life). That is why such an apologist of the death penalty as I. A. Ilyin wrote that a supporter of the death penalty should be ready to undergo it himself (not to exclude the possibility of suffering innocently), if, of course, he is not a hypocrite.

    2.2. Execution does not punish. The death penalty narrows the number of rights of the convicted person so much that it reduces them to zero. Lawyers who believe that the essence of a court decision is to punish a crime, emphasize that the death penalty, killing a convicted person, leaves him unpunished, because murder is not a punishment, when a convicted person is punished, he may suffer a defeat in his rights, after the murder the convicted person is no longer connected with our world.

    3. Ethical arguments. There are as many as three of them:

    3. 1. The death penalty as extreme cruelty.� The main ethical argument is the representation of the death penalty as an exceptionally cruel and degrading punishment, in which the convicted person is considered more like an animal than a human being.

    3.2. The Hangman's problem. The institution of the death penalty itself requires the creation of an institution of executioners. And here the hangman's ethical problem immediately arises. Let's assume that a highly moral person became the executioner. Would it not be cruel to subject the executioner to the suffering that he would inevitably experience if he executed other people? If, on the contrary, anyone can become an executioner, including a person who has already been crippled by war or even a psychopath, then the same problem turns to us on the other side – is it humane to give a person who has already been mentally crippled the right to kill? How much will it destroy his already damaged psyche? And what if the executioner will experience pleasure from executions? How, then, should society treat him? As a respected person? But he'd still stained himself with someone else's blood. Despise and poison? But then society will become hypocrites, because society itself allowed the death penalty.

    3.3. The convict's problem: Another part of the ethical problem is the condition of the condemned person to death. Some argue that the very expectation of death by a person is already a terrible, almost unbearable suffering, and then it turns out that society punishes this person not once, but twice – both by the fact that he will have to suffer in anticipation of death and by the fact that he will be killed, put to death. This also includes the problem of the painlessness of the death penalty, but I will not touch on it, I will only say that already with the invention of firearms, it was essentially solved. Moreover, there are three relatively quick and painless types of execution for a person (a person does not have time to feel anything). It is only strange that in a country like the United States, they are rarely used, and the types of execution associated with torture are widespread.

    4. A social argument. The death penalty dehumanizes society, introduces in society a certain view of the attitude of man to man, allowing the right to revenge. After all, if the death penalty is perceived as a punishment for a crime, then execution can be perceived by society as a permission for retribution, and retribution is essentially the idea of legitimate revenge (the criminal killed someone, let him suffer). As a result, society will have a dangerous illusion that it is possible to take justice into its own hands and administer it without trial.

    5. Cultural and historical argument. The frequent use of the death penalty for crimes can lead to an unwinding spiral of social violence and give society an excuse to destroy the minority who disagree with it. In the past, the death penalty has been actively used by various political regimes to create an atmosphere of violence and fear.

    6. A religious argument. Christians who oppose the death penalty point out that the death penalty excludes the defendant's right to salvation and repentance, in addition, they appeal to the execution of Christ and emphasize that the most famous execution in the history of mankind was also the most unfair.�

    I would like to emphasize that I have long been interested in such arguments and have researched them and even written a certain literary work in which supporters and opponents of the death penalty argue with each other, having considered there 14 arguments against the death penalty (here I tried to reduce them to the most significant ones). In the end, I still supported it (that is, I was able to answer them satisfactorily), but my views on the nature and significance of the death penalty changed.

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