Capital punishment, not a moral solution

Convicted felons do not need to have the death penalty inflicted upon them in an act of revenge, especially when there is a chance that they will be able to reform and turn their lives around.

In addition, jail sentences give criminals plenty of time to contemplate their actions, which is equally as severe a punishment, if not worse. Sitting in a jail for the rest of one’s life must be a daunting and overwhelming experience.

After serving a jail sentence, convicted criminals may be released from prison, giving them the opportunity to turn their lives around and do reparations for the community. Granted, if the person was convicted in the first place, he or she probably should not be free to roam the streets and carry on a normal life.

Take the state of Illinois, for example. The governor has placed a moratorium on executions in the state pending a closer inspection of the system; already, 13 death row inmates have been exonerated and many more cases are under review. If capital punishment were exercised on a wrongly accused person, his or her life would end simply due to a mistake.

Two men who were convicted of crimes in America and had served their sentences of longer than five years, decided, after they were released, to devote their lives to helping the people of Cambodia. Kloeung Aun and Nou Nim volunteer in Cambodia to teach English to blind women, many of whom were victims of acid attacks.

They believe that anything they can do to make these women’s lives easier will certainly be advantageous to the women, as well as their own recovering minds and spirits. The crimes they committed, though in the past, are still in their minds, which served as the basis for their reform. These men also willingly join a network that provides employment, training and accommodations in order to help them become equipped to teach English in Cambodia.

If a criminal takes the life of another human being, his or her action is reprehensible.

However, is it any more right or decent to take the criminal’s life in revenge? The theory of “an eye for an eye” just does not work in the realm of capital punishment, especially if the criminal can be safely removed from society without taking his life. Taking a life is an action that absolutely must be punished. Yet after the criminal is dead, he or she could never reform, and could not be saved if wrongly accused.