Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Are Our Morals?

Usually, I keep things really light hearted, here. However, given the recent controversy over Troy Davis' execution, I began to think more about the death penalty, in general. Do I agree with or disagree with my country giving the ultimate punishment, murder in the form of the death penalty? Now enters the ethical dilemma.

Is murder okay if it is to punish for a horrific crime, in which someone killed another person or persons? Any eye for an eye, so to speak? A huge part of me believes that the punishment might be greater to live out the rest of ones days in confinement, living with the guilt of one's actions. Death might be an easy escape. I've never been to jail, but have heard enough about it to know that it doesn't sound like any cake walk (mmm, cake). Then, there's another part of me (that I'm slightly ashamed of) that says, "why should I pay for such a disturbed human being to have their basic needs met." They don't deserve that. But don't they? Doesn't everyone deserve their basic needs to be met? Isn't that what our forefathers believed for the great nation of the United States of America?

Even beyond whether murder in the form of the death penalty is just, who is worthy of passing such judgement on a fellow human? I certainly don't feel worthy of such a godly task. What if, in 1 out of 1 million death penalty cases, an innocent was wongly convicted and sent to their death. Is that okay? Is it par for the course? Should the jury, who sent that innocent person to their death, suffer the same punishment for being wrong? Should the prosecution, for the role they played in a wrongful conviction? Wonder how common the death penalty would be if those who send a person to their death were liable to suffer the same fate if they were proven wrong. Ah, but then, the justice system would be greatly flawed, wouldn't it? People would be shy to decide harsher punishments for fear of suffering the same consequence, if wrong. Jurors can't be responsible to that extent, can they? They have to make their best judgement based on the facts presented to them. That's what they've sworn to do.

Is America eons behind other progressive nations on this issue? Is it easier not to think about such things?

I'll end with a quote that I saw regarding the Troy Davis issue:

"If we are to err, let it be on the side of deliberation and mercy, rather than the unsettling finality we have seen pursued by the state of Georgia. Should we choose those better virtues, we might all sleep better."

I'd quite like to solely remember: "if we are to err, let it be on the side of diliberation and mercy (period!)."

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