The Case Against Capital Punishment- by Tayler Hume

Written by my 16 year old. Looks like we have another philosopher in the family.

I have chosen the topic of capital punishment, because I feel very strong about it. Unlike most that tackle this subject I have looked at both sides of the argument and I, to a degree, understand them. So, I want to share my thoughts of this very controversial subject.

One thing I would like to state is that I am anti-capital punishment. Though I see the reasons why people are pro-capital punishment- I want to help explain why I believe what I do and help people see things from my perspective as well.

To me a human is a human no matter their faults they have, or the crimes they have committed. Killing is wrong no matter how you look at it. You are taking another human being’s life and there is no justification to do that. There is an old saying that nearly everyone knows “two wrongs don’t make a right” If people want to use this saying in their lives then I think they need to use it in this situation as well. If we deal with things by just killing a person then we are no better than the person who committed the crime in the first place.

Today in my class a student jokingly made a comment on a punishment that a foreign country has that includes the idea of an “eye for an eye”. People thought this idea was funny and laughed. But, what gets me is that we support the same ideals as that- we just see it as different because we think we are “superior” morally.

Something that I have realized while researching this topic is that people that are pro-life with abortion are the same people that support capital punishment (and a lot of times vice versa!) This shows the inconsistencies and ignorance people have in regards to capital punishment.

Of course, I realize a baby isn’t a murderer or a rapist but the baby and criminal have one thing in common- a beating heart! No matter how you look at it you are killing someone with a beating heart. Everyone has the right to live no matter what they have done or might do in the future.


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5 Responses to The Case Against Capital Punishment- by Tayler Hume

  1. aeliusblythe says:

    It’s nice to see someone handle this topic in a morally consistent way. It is shocking to me the number of people who go on about the sacredness of life when it comes to abortion, but who can only talk out of vengeance and fear when it comes to the death penalty.
    I’ll be honest with you, I’m a hardcore atheist and probably very far from what you consider moral. But I still believe that it is wrong to kill, except as an absolute last resort in self defense. And no matter how violent and evil a person it, strapping a person down on a table and poisoning them cannot in any way be construed as self defense. Locking them up for life so they cannot cause any more harm? That is self defense.

    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. My son who wrote this is actually an agnostic and very disillusioned with the church. One of his frustrations is the apparent moral inconsistencies he sees.

      We have more stories and topics that I think you’ll find interesting here and that will soon be here. Hope you’ll come back and check them out.

      • aeliusblythe says:

        Somehow I missed that this was written by your son. It is all the more impressive and admirable that a youngster would articulate such a well reasoned argument on a very difficult moral/social/political topic.

        I hope he finds his footing with a group that shares his views. You should be very proud. Questioning is the best way of finding answers after all. While I also became disillusioned with the church at a young age and eventually came to different conclusions, I have great respect for many religious groups who truly practice what they preach and uphold Christlike values (and yes, even though I don’t agree with the spiritual side of such beliefs, I still greatly admire and value them as human qualities.) I’m sure there’s some place out there for your son!

  2. I thought the position was nicely and simply stated as well. I’m also opposed to capital punishment both on moral grounds and pragmatic ones. Most people do not realize that because of the expenses accrued in the appeals processes automatically required to help prevent the execution of innocent persons, it is more expensive to kill a felon that to keep them alive in a cage. Despite these legal procedures, we keep finding case after case where innocent people have been convicted and executed. There’s no rational justification for executing an innocent, ever. 49 out of 194 countries that are U.N. members or observers still practice the death penalty. The only nations executing more than we do are China, North Korea, Iran and Yemen.

  3. Preston says:

    So, does this mean that war (which obviously involves intentional killing) is unjustified? Or is this another special interest group who hold sway in the political ranks that to satisfy the many who want revenge? Pose that to the young minds because they will soon lead the way.

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