Whether to abolish or support death penalty is not a direct answer but one marred by a complex puzzle of ethics and morals. Truly, no system is perfect and therefore, applying death penalty opens a loophole in executing an innocent person. Whereas this seems like a small price to pay for the greater good of the society, it should not be tolerated. The society should not be willing to pay this price.
According to Kant, every person has a right to life and therefore, the state should not have authority over someone’s life, not even when there are claims that the person has taken a life (White 210-212). A good percentage of death row inmates are likely to have been charged unfairly and therefore death penalty denies the victims a chance to prove their innocence. Secondly, the state should serve as a good example by not killing. Thirdly, the society implicitly runs a greater risk during death penalties especially when an innocent person is involved. Such executions are usually a cover up for more serious issues affecting the society.
For instance, a human rights activist may be framed for murder and is executed during death penalty. In such an instance, the society loses largely. Using utilitarian ideology, it is better to jail murder suspects for life and pay for that cost for the greater-good of the society and most importantly, to give the victim a chance to prove their innocence. Therefore, it is more rational to opt for a lifetime jail as opposed to death penalty. The society will pay the price of maintaining the victim in jail but offer a chance for incent victims to prove their innocence. Additionally, and most importantly, it will also deter murder since no one will be willing to spend the rest of their lifetime in jail.
White, James. Contemporary Moral Problems. London: Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.