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Capital Punishment

The Criminal Justice System of the United States is based on the Constitution, so aptly penned by James Madison, tempered by Thomas Jefferson and ratified by our farsighted founding fathers in Congress, in 1787. The Constitution Of The United States, while a living document is a testament to the inalienable rights of all people and should not be tampered with lightly. The founding fathers of this great nation had the foresight to guarantee certain rights, many of these were handed down from the Magna Carta which states: No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, . . . or in any other way destroyed . . . except by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land. To no one will we sell, to none will we deny or delay, right or justice. This Document, along with the Constitution, and the Bill Of Rights form the backbone of our legal system. With these rights come certain responsibilities. These include being held accountable for our personal actions. Personal responsibility is the key to understanding why capital punishment should be enforced. The amazing effect of deterrent is also a factor in the debate for the continuance of this cultures ultimate price for a crime. The death penalty is to some an abomination of what the founding fathers envisioned as a punishment in this more perfect union. The ultimate punishment to others is a matter of course that is descended from the Babylonian concept of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It is apparent that while taking some caution to prevent the innocent or justified from meeting the headsman, or Old Sparky , the precedent is clear, and we as a nation and a culture have the responsibility to deal out what punishment best fits a crime. This is illustrated by the U.S. Supreme Court case: 1976, Woodson v. N.C., Roberts v. La., the Court ruled that states could not make death the mandatory penalty for first-degree murder, since that would fail to meet the constitutional requirement for the consideration of the individual offender and offense .

The moral basis for the Death Penalty is solid. Cultural tradition, as well as religious law provides for the death penalty in a number of instances. The most obvious is premeditated, malicious, murder. This is the highest of all crimes, in that the life of another human being is taken without due process, or even proper justification. The various pagan religions provided for the Death Penalty, as did The Quaran and the Old Testament. The implication of this is clear, the life of a human is considered precious to our culture, and therefore must be protected at all costs, including the high cost of the life of the murderer.

The legal basis for the Death Penalty is rooted deep in the law that we use today. The precedent of these laws stems from the Code of Hammurabi which was the basis of criminal law is that of equal retaliation, comparable to the law of an eye for an eye. The law offers protection to all classes of Babylonian society. It seeks to protect the weak and the poor, women, children, and slaves, and it allowed a murderer to be put to death. This is truly a punishment befitting a crime. This ancient code is reflected in the laws of most nations today. The fact that one person has infringed upon the rights of another, is the basis for criminal law. The Constitution of the United States provides that one person's rights end where the next persons rights begin. Premeditated, malicious murder is therefore the ultimate in depriving someone of his rights. This has been upheld time and again by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case: 1976, Gregg v. Georgia, Profitt v. Fla., and in Jurek v. Texas. The Court held that death, as a punishment for persons convicted of first-degree murder, was not in and of itself cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th Amendment. The Court also ruled that the amendment required the sentencing judge and jury to consider the individual character of the offender and the circumstances of the particular crime before deciding whether to impose the death sentence .

In addition to murder, other crimes are capital offenses as well. This based on the norms for our culture and religious law. The Old Testament in the book of Exodus Chapter 22:2; If a thief be found breaking open a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die: he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood and in the book of Leviticus Chapter 20:10-20 e.g.: 20:15 He that shall copulate with any beast or cattle, dying let him die, the beast also ye shall kill. demands the Death Penalty for many sex crimes. The crime of rape, while a step below murder on most scales, is nonetheless a crime one can be put to death for. The rape of a person, as well as the many legal variants of this crime, is the most heinous of all crimes. Rape is by nature, a crime of power and domination. The everlasting mental scars that a rape victim must endure, as well as the physical anguish that is indicative of a rape are more than enough justification for the Death Penalty. In addition to rape, certain other crimes are, and should be punishable by Death. These include treason, espionage, sabotage and certain types of terrorism. These laws have been enacted to save the lives of the people of this nation, and protect our way of life, as well as protecting the men and women who serve this great country in the armed forces. The paramount objective is to prevent hostile takeover of the nation by belligerent states, and in this pursuit, capital punishment is the only logical recourse for dealing with terrorists, or the traitorous.

The primary reason for the rising tide of despicable crimes, ridiculous lawsuits, the decline of success in American school systems, and overall ennui of the lower socioeconomic classes is a lack of personal responsibility. The alarming trend of people to lay blame for a crime on society, parental negligence of an adult perpetrator, or insanity is disgusting at best. There are numerous examples of this attitude displayed in our evening news and in the never-ending sea of frivolous lawsuits that overflow the dockets of our already overburdened court system everyday.

The murderous cannibalism of Jeffrey Dahmer is a prime example of why personal responsibility is so important. The primary defense that lay before the court was not that Jeffery was innocent of the charges, but that he was insane, and therefore could not be held responsible for his actions. Mr. Dahmer was indeed insane, as no one in their right mind preys upon young gay men to kill and eat them, according to our societal norms. However, this does not excuse Jeffery from these crimes. It was Jeffery who killed the boys, Jeffery who ate the boys and Jeffery who should have been made to pay, by the state, with his life. Perhaps it was a Karmaboomerang that ended the debate, as Jeffery Dahmer was killed in jail, by another prisoner, while awaiting an appeal to his conviction.

The apparent lack of personal responsibility in our culture has also grown into lawsuits against anyone evolved in any unfortunate event. One especially ludicrous example is, when a paparazzi photographer took a picture of an angry Sean Penn, whilst the young hot blooded actor argued publicly with his estranged wife, Madonna Ciccione, Mr. Penn resorted to fisticuffs. This, while ending the impromptu photo shoot, caused extreme discomfort to both the eye of the photographer, Mr. Penns fist, and the camera that found itself between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Hence, instead of chiding himself for rudely snapping pictures of the feuding couple, the photographer sued not only Mr. Penn, but also the manufacturer of the camera. This is yet another appalling example of the demise of personal responsibility in our culture.

The worldwide lack of individuals being held to some sort of personal responsibility is also apparent in the lack of action by the United States, NATO and the United Nations. All of these entities have had in recent years numerous opportunities to bring to justice many War Criminals, international thugs, and the supporters of the aforementioned. The apparent lethargy displayed by the United Nations Security Council in Somalia, Haiti, The Former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, China, Iraq and other countries has led to a world both unstable and far from the New World Order that President George Bush envisioned in 1990. The apparent lack of intestinal fortitude, personal responsibility and lack of decisive, just action by the leaders of the Free World has led to a sham of the once proud Monroe and Truman Doctrines and the thousand points of light have been turned into a thousand bombs at night . The sad fact of the matter is, the role that the United States as well as the United Nations and NATO has taken in recent years is not one of leadership and responsibility as envisioned by President Bush, but something more akin to a spoiled child throwing tantrums when the mood strikes.

In the Former Yugoslavia alone the UN and NATO have left so many indicted War Criminals on the loose in an already war torn area that the governments of those now independent republics are mostly murderers. Is it just for the free nations of the world to stand by just 50 years from when we promised never again to actually recognize someone like Slobodan Milosivic as the legitimate leader of a sovereign nation? This monster no longer deserves to be called human, much less be allowed to head a country with the controlling military might of the region.

The deterrent factor of the Death Penalty is one of the very few buttresses against sea of anarchy that would surely overwhelm us a civilization in short order. The society in which we live would be rampant with murder and extortion, as well as a host of other problems if there were no Day of Reckoning for criminals. In Singapore, serious misdemeanors are dealt with by caning or beating the offender with a rattan cane. The public outcry in the United States by some of the politically left, when an American was caned for embarrassing his country by spray-painting graffiti on the cars of private citizens of Singapore was stomach turning. Some whined and called foul due to supposed human rights violations by the Singapore government. Others with a worldlier and obviously more practical view say, When in Rome, one must behave as do the Romans or pay the Roman price. Regardless of the harshness of the punishment according to the American standard, the deterrent effect was obvious, as no other American citizen since has been caned for anything in Singapore.

In Saudi Arabia, the public display of the execution, while graphic, keeps the crime rate low. This also the case with more harsh penalties elsewhere. Theft is punishable in the Arabian Kingdom by publicly cutting off the offenders right hand with a sword. This does three things to the offender; it publicly humiliates him, makes him unclean , and creates a public deterrent in the form of his scarred numb. These public punishments have not only deterrent value to the onlooker, but recidivism is extremely low in Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Imagine if you will the effect on terrorists, foreign and domestic alike, if Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were publicly hanged in the park where the Murrah Building once stood. McVeigh and Nichols vicious slaughter of 169 innocent men women and children in an evil display of maliciousness has no excuse. This was perhaps the work of many , but the crime was actually perpetrated by two, and the responsibility of those actions lies with the persons found guilty buy due process, in a trial by a jury of peers, not the establishment or the BATF.

In the Military, there is also the possibility of being put to death for cowardice under fire . The Military has this law in order to maintain discipline in its ranks under combat conditions. This may appear at first glance to be harsh; however, sometimes the cowardice of one soldier can lead to the deaths of many. The punishment can be administered summarily during certain situations in combat and therefore is a measure that will act not only as a punishment, but as a deterrent to those who would balk at facing death at the hands of the enemy. This is deterrent in its finest hour. The soldier who would brave the assured death of a firing squad, or a pistol bullet in the back, must surely be brave enough to face the enemy in close combat.

The ultimate punishment for the ultimate crime, this is truly what the death penalty is. The squeamishness of some and the political correctness of others are perhaps the largest segments of anti-death penalty sentiment. However, the legal precedent that allows capital punishment is self-evident. The moral ground on which the proponents of the death penalty stand has the longevity, and solidity of the Great Pyramid of Khufu . The United States Supreme Court with the wisdom that is indicative of its long and proud history of Justices, has upheld this punishment as constitutional. Therefore it can be surmised that the death penalty, in keeping with the precepts of the United States Constitution, such as the rights of the Individual being supreme, and the extrapolated responsibilities those individuals to their actions, is concurrent with the legal, moral, and deterrent factors of holding a duly convicted individual responsible for his own actions.