On Acceptability of Capital Punishment
The proponents of capital punishment often say that it was a natural part of human society for thousands of years and only recently there appeared the idea that it is something unacceptable, horrible and immoral. Well, the same goes for slavery and human sacrifices, but nobody seems to be very eager to have them back.
The problem with the death penalty is not simply that of moral. It is the problem of law and logic. The state people live in had been created for the sole purpose of protecting their lives and property from any aggression, both inner and outer. The state has legal right to apply force in order to solve disputes between people. In the case of capital punishment, it considers it has right to decide whether this or that person deserves to live, thus, breaking the very foundation of its own existence.
Killing a murderer won’t resurrect the one who has been killed by him; but the murderer may turn out to be innocent if some additional evidence appears. Such cases were and undoubtedly are with many of those who have been executed or are on the death row right now. One may say that such cases are rare, but even one such case that takes place should be considered to be completely inadmissible.
Laws exist not for the convenience of officials, but for the citizens of the state; if the government murders an innocent, it hasn’t right to rule over these people – because it is an outright murder. The fact that it wasn’t committed by a particular person doesn’t make it any less gruesome – on the contrary, the very fact that it is performed as a kind of mundane work, makes it much, much worse than the most disgusting murder committed by an individual.
The matter is, government isn’t an individual organism that has some kind of higher understanding of our reality. No, it consists of separate people who try to work together; and as it is often the case when people work in groups, they generally work less effectively than individuals do, so, of course, there are mistakes, and even more than one can imagine. And with the execution being an irreversible action, there is completely no logical reason for such an action being based on insufficient data – and there is no data sufficient to legitimize death.