“why do we kill people, who kill people, to show killing people is wrong” – unknown
In last weeks post, I talked about the death penalty as a policy, and what wide spread implications it has on our population as a whole. This entailed comparisons with other countries policies, and an examination of how it effects different demographics. This week I would like to take a closer look at the death penalty on an individual level.
One big debate in the death penalty discussion has been over what appropriate reasons to support capital punishment are. In massachusetts for example (a state with a historically liberal attitude towards capital punishment) they almost passed a bill reinstating capital punishment at the turn of the century. After this historically close vote for the state, the voters were interviewed and what was discovered was that a majority of them had voted in favor of capital punishment as a result of a recent kidnapping, rape, and murder which had been in the news. Seeing this, many advocates for prisoners rights spoke out saying that this decision should not be an emotional reaction, but rather a rational decision. This particular case sparked my interest because I feel as if most people make their decision on capital punishment on an emotional basis, which isn’t necessarily the best idea.
The fact of the matter is there are numerous social, economic, and cultural implications to instating such a policy that need to be taken into consideration. One for example, is that instating capital punishment highly increases the cost of the appeals process which weighs on prisons, and courts. Another is that capital punishment has not shown any strong signs of actually deterring violent crime.
Overall, this information as inspired me to taking a more holistic approach to researching capital punishment, and in my paper I hope to examine its effects not only as applicable to society as a whole, but in terms of individuals, and organizations.