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Death penalty for heinous crimes

There are countries that implement the death penalty for perpetrators of heinous crimes. The judge would say that a heinous crime is unthinkable to be committed by a human being hence the ending of life of that criminal is to save the world from more criminality. The Philippines had abolished the death penalty in 1987. Advocates are now clamoring to bring it back due to the crimes that occur and heinous crimes are getting prevalent. But the Catholic church is against death penalty for the simple reason that the judicial system is not perfect. What if the judge had made a mistake and sent to the gallows an innocent man?

What is your take on the death penalty?


  • Man does not have the right to punish another man or take away his life. Also, I think the process is still subjective. For example, to me murder is murder, and in that sense the punishment should be the same. However, we see that even judges have biases and may not give the same kind of judgments. Juries comprise of humans too and lawyers know well how to manipulate human emotions to get what they want. For these reasons I think the judicial system should not have the death penalty as an option.
  • Like the view of the church, there's that chance that an innocent man might be charged guilty because our judicial system is flawed. But for me, if the evidence is strong against that person, then he or she should pay for his crime. I just cannot fathom knowing that a rapist or a murderer can be set free when their victims and the families wallow in pain and suffering. Plus, what if they victimise other people as well?

    And no, I am not for the death penalty for all crimes. Death would be a sweet escape for rapists and child abusers. They should be punished accordingly and although torture is evil in itself, maybe just being in prison would be punishment enough for them. Because at least in my country, prison is almost like being in hell, you suffer from small prison cells, heat and not enough food. I cannot say the same for other countries though about their prisons.
  • Posts: 40
    The Catholic church opposes the death penalty but not because the judicial system "is not perfect" because even if such a system were to exist the principle involved which is the sanctity of life would be violated. The actual nature of the crime is also not a factor, it is a principle not a matter of how heinous a crime is.

    One has to be very careful when discussing these topics since this is not a matter of special circumstances on a case by case relativistic morality sense, it is a dogmatic principle that taking a life is wrong and we as humans don't have the right to do it, the only gray areas being self defense when you are actually saving lives by taking a live.
  • Posts: 23
    This is indeed a very controversial matter, but I'd to take a look at it on another perspective. Under the Mosaic Law, there are certain actions which may lead to death penalty. The actions are not even crimes to start, if you would look at Exodus 21:15-16, a simple disrespectful action can lead to your execution. The law can definitely kill. Christians in the early centuries get martyred for just believing in Jesus Christ. There is no crime involved. They are martyred in the most unthinkable ways possible. Of course, we can't compare it to modern times, but that can give us realization that the law today is actually very forgiving.
  • Posts: 36
    I am not in favor of death penalty because it doesn't accomplish anything. Statistics will tell us that the imposition of the death penalty does not prevent people from committing heinous crimes. It will not undo the damage or give back the life that has been taken. I agree with @briannagodess,lifetime imprisonment should be hell enough for hardened criminals. I wonder if we come from the same country where jail equals hell.

    Jesus himself preached against the practice of 'an eye for an eye' and 'a tooth for a tooth' and instead asked us to love one another. For the love of Christ, if we cannot love a killer or a perpetrator of a heinous crime, we can at least allow him/her to live and face up to the consequences of his crime and hope, that in the end, he will have a change of heart.

  • It is an interesting discussion, from a while lot of angles too.  I have changed over time, and at one point I would have said "put a bullet in their head" to save the costs, which now I think is pretty harsh, although many people will still say the exact same thing.  I am not really sure, but I like to hear others' opinions and thoughts.  Thanks for sharing.
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