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Capital Punishment

Capital punishment law is one of the most controversial laws that have ever been developed in the history of mankind. Capital punishment involves imposition of death as a form of punishment for certain crimes. Despite many people arguing that the law should not be there, it has been in place for a long time. Some of the moral reasons behind the opposition to this form of crime include its inability to restore the murder victims’ life, its violation of the sanctity of life, and its racially biased nature.

One of the reasons why people disagree with capital punishment is that it is not morally right since it does not restore the murder victim to life. Even in a fantasy world where life could be restored, the restoration scenario would still not be morally reasonable. The status of the dead victim would be restored to that of a live previous murder victim. However, at the same time, the status of the murderer would be changed to that of a dead person meaning that a life would still be lost (Colwell, 2002). Another reason behind the opposition to capital punishment relates to the sanctity of life. This, according to Hallet (2013), is basically the religion-based idea that humans do not have the right to take away the life of their fellow humans. Opposition to death penalty is also based on the reasoning that decisions to impose death penalty are usually racially biased. According to a research by Dovido, Smith, Donnella, and Gaertner (2006), Black defendants tend to receive stronger recommendations for capital punishment than White participants do. This implies that capital punishment is not applied fairly.

In conclusion, capital punishment is not the best way to deal with capital crime. Whereas it is meant to serve justice to the victim, it does not have a sound moral background. Essentially, having the capital offender dead does not restore the life of the victim. Worse still, racial bias in capital offense sentencing makes the whole practice immoral.


Colwell, G. (2002). Capital punishment, restoration and moral rightness. Journal of Applied         Philosophy, 19(3), 287-292.

Dovidio, J. F., Smith, J. K., Donnella, A. G., & Gaertner, S. L. (2006). Racial attitudes and the     death penalty. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27(16), 1468-87.

Hallett, K. (2013). The sanctity of life – : The sanctity of choice. Bioethics, 3(2), 95-98.


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