In my mind, this is one of the most controversial and topical ethical issues we will be discussing over the coming weeks. So, let’s not dither and just cut straight to point. Now, I think suggesting that some people don’t deserve to live is taking things just a little too far. I do believe, however, that the world would be a better, and safer, place without certain people on it.
Having said that, I need to make it absolutely clear that I, in no way, support or condone the unlawful killing of any murderer, rapist or alike. I am of course referring to capital punishment; after a full and fair trial of course.
All though 96 of the world’s countries (49%) have abolished capital punishment completely, 58 (29%) still maintain it in both law and practice. I understand completely that in many of these countries, the accused don’t always receive what is exactly a fair trial – that is another ethical issue in its own right. The death penalty is a punishment that should not be dished out lightly. Only when there is no doubt in the judges mind that the accused is guilty, and furthermore, remains a considerable threat to the continuing safety of our society should this sentence be exercised.
The year 2011 has seen the deaths of feared regime leaders Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi, both having been killed in ‘crossfire’. There are no two ways about this; neither should have been allowed to continue committing the profound atrocities they had been known for. BUT, if death was to be their ultimate fate, then their fundamental human rights should have been upheld with the right to a fair trial – much like that that was granted of Saddam Hussein before his execution in 2006.
(N.B: These viewpoints expressed are not necessarily my own)
Thank you for taking the time to hear me out. Please feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below. If you agree with my views then please vote for me in the poll on the right hand side of this page.