*WARNING- I was writing as I was thinking and so this may be very disorganized. I apologise for that but I do hope it doesn't deter you from reading*
I've recently been giving a lot of thought to the above question and wanted an outlet to explain what I think and to also get some feedback, so here I am.
A friend asked me a few days ago whether I think the death penalty should be enforced and I got to thinking. The first, and obvious, reason why you may choose not to enforce it would be that you'd have to be ABSOLUTELY sure the person committed the said crime. If they didn't, then you got a lot to answer for.
Beyond that though, let's say the penalty for committing murder was death. If a murderer is convicted and you kill him, how different are you to him? At this point you'll probably argue, "but he murdered someone, he deserved it". Let's take a trip to thefreedictionary.com to find out the definition of murder:
"The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice"
Now here's where things get a bit more complicated due to that word unlawful. So if the death penalty was in motion and you kill someone, it's not permitted by the law, and so they can kill you but that's not considered murder because the law recognises it. No matter how horrible that person is, they must have still had someone, maybe their mother, who loved them or someone who they were kind to.
Now here's where my question about good and bad in people came into play. When people hear murderer their thoughts about the person are generally negative, as expected. We think "horrible, vile, scum that deserve to die etc" but are they pure evil or do they have some good, no matter how deeply buried, in there?
Look at babies (ages 0-1), they are all cheerful and happy. With children, it's a bit more complex because of how they've been raised and nurtured which has a very important role in determining how they behave. This reminds me now of the age old question of nature vs nurture. Is being evil/bad natural but we've been nurtured to suppress this side? Or is being good natural, but bad experiences make us evil?
That same murderer may have murdered the person because he got angry at the person and didn't know how else to channel his rage. May be while growing up he wasn't taught the proper way of dealing with anger and was surrounded by violence. By the way, I am in NO WAY justifying murder, I'm simply trying to understand how humans work.
I think we are a product of our experiences and circumstances. We have the potential to be both good or bad and what we go through in life influences which side we lean towards.
Since it is now 11 pm and I am tired which is causing the processing of my thoughts to words to be at a sluggish pace and constantly making grammar errors, I am going to end this here for now.
Before I go though, the other reason why I am against the death penalty *brace yourselves for this one religion-hating people out there*, I believe in God and by killing someone it is as though you're taking the role of God.
I don't know if you got what I was trying to get at, but whether you did or not leave me comment telling me what you think about the topic and/or my opinion, irrespective of whether you disagree or agree with me.
Until next time, toodles :) xo