The concept of the death penalty has provoked debates throughout decades, even though it was abolished in most countries. Some people believe this punishment can bring justice in terms of egalitarian equivalency and retributive justice, and those oppose capital punishment to prevent unnecessary or unjust death. I believe the death penalty has to be abolished from the modern law system in favor of a more efficient method of life imprisonment and protection of natural rights.
The ethical theory that supports my position is natural law theory, including natural rights, which states that an individual possesses reasoning and behavior governed by their intrinsic values.
This theory applies to the death penalty in the concept of Lock’s interpretation of the natural right for life as “Every man has a property in his person. This no Body has any right to but himself” (Ichinose, 2017, 69). Therefore, the other person or institution has no right over the other’s body or life. The second application of the natural law is that the state’s duty is to preserve its citizens and value their life. Additionally, the concept of restorative justice and mercy can be applied to the discussion, contributing to the possibility of the realization of the crime by the inmate.
My position on the death penalty would affect society by securing not only a person’s natural rights over his own life but also by providing alternative outcomes and peace for victims or their families. My position on the death penalty is supported by natural rights restorative justice because it is better to avoid more death, which does not necessarily provide an understanding of the punishment by the criminal. Such an approach would secure the minimization of harm for the victim or their family through dialogues (MacKinnon & Fiala, 2018). Additionally, there is a higher chance that the inmate would gain repentance during the prison term than before the penalty. Therefore, abolishing the death penalty is necessary not only from the moral point of the right of a person’s life but also to ensure at least minimal compensation for the damage according to the type of crime.
Ichinose, M. (2017). The death penalty debate: Four problems and new philosophical perspectives. Journal of Practical Ethics, 5(1), 53-80.
MacKinnon, B., & Fiala, A. (2018). Ethics: Theory and contemporary issues. Cengage Learning.