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death penalty ever justified essay

death penalty ever justified essayDeath penalty ever justified essay -On June 12, 1855 a deranged hat maker and political subversive named Anotonio De Felici chased the Cardinal Secretary of State with a large fork.The swift fall of the guillotine was preferable to the “vulgar and ungentlemanly” gallows in England. Joseph Ignace Guillotin had promoted the use of the “Guillotine,” first called the “Louisson,” for its relative painlessness, a precursor was in use in Edinburgh in the mid sixteenth century.This is not, as some critics argue, a kind of state-run lottery that randomly chooses an unlucky few for the ultimate penalty from among all those convicted of murder.The permissibility of these three types of lawful killing (unlike the deliberate killing of the innocent, which is always prohibited) depends on contingent circumstances.Here are nine of the cases (space does not allow a complete listing): • David Alan Gore, who, with his cousin, cruised central Florida in the 1970s and 1980s, abducting, raping, and murdering at least half a dozen teenage girls (and the mother of one of them).In nearly all of the thirty-one American states that currently have the death penalty, legislators have identified rape murder as especially heinous and thus potentially deserving a death sentence.He injured two other older girls and stabbed a 1-year-old girl, leaving her unable to walk.In his last murder, the 17-year-old girl, repeatedly raped by Gore, had managed to free herself and then ran naked from the house where she was being held.The sentence was imposed on several Chartist rioters in 1839 but they were given the option of transportation to Australia, which they accepted.Capital punishment does not inspire roaring humor in healthy minds, so wit on the subject tends to be sardonic.Agatino Bellomo was the last to be executed in the Papal States, in Palestrina, on July 9, 1870.The Lateran treaty of 1929 provided for the execution of anyone attempting to assassinate the Pope within the Vatican.Thus we have the firing squad scene in the last act of “Tosca.” While the harshest punishment, hanging and drawing and quartering, is often thought of as peculiar to England, it was more common in the Papal States.Tradition has understood that the spiritual aspect of the death penalty is to “concentrate the mind” so that the victim dies in a state of grace.• Robert Wayne Harris, who in retaliation for his firing from a car wash, murdered the manager and four other employees by shooting them in the back of the head at close range while they were kneeling on the floor.When a papal butler was recently arrested, many were surprised that the Vatican City even had a jail.For example, the current expressly affirms that when it comes to judging whether a decision to go to war is morally justified, “the evaluation of these conditions for moral legitimacy belongs to the prudential judgment of those who have the responsibility for the common good.” The institutional Church respects the authority and responsibility of public officials, guided by the sound moral principles it preserves and promulgates, to make these judgments.• Richard Dale Stokley, who with an accomplice abducted two 13-year-old girls from a campsite, drove them to a remote area, raped them, stabbed them in the eye, killed them by stomping on their necks, and then threw the naked bodies down an abandoned mineshaft.In Rome in 1817, Pius VII reigning, Lord Byron saw three robbers beheaded in the Piazza del Popolo, and he also noted the priests attending those about to die, with banners and prayers in procession.We also know that eight of the forty-three (19%) had previously killed at least one other person, and several had killed more than one.death penalty ever justified essay• Timothy Shaun Stemple, who murdered his wife to collect her life insurance by beating her in the head with a baseball bat, driving a truck over her head, beating her again, driving the truck over her chest, and then driving over her at 60 miles per hour, killing her.Under papal rule, there were three normal sites for executions: the Piazza di Ponte Angelo, Piazzo del Popolo, and Via del Cerchi.Dodd’s unsuccessful appeal for clemency was ghostwritten by Dr. It is not my concern here to take a position on capital punishment which the Catechism (# 2266) acknowledges is not an intrinsic evil and is rightly part of the state’s authority.The many dozens of popes who approved executions in the Papal States and the representatives of the Church responsible for the Vatican City criminal code understood a truth that too many in the modern Church have forgotten: that justice demands the death penalty for the most heinous crimes and that if “the punishment is carried out not in hatred but with good judgment, not inconsiderately but after mature deliberation,” it promotes public safety and serves the larger common good. The death penalty is addressed in the third volume of the catechism, which is for older students. May has been a busy month in Britain for journalists.When Blessed Pius IX was asked to grant a stay of execution for those condemned in 1868, the Pope firmly replied, “I cannot, and I do not want to.” He certainly could have by law, which he embodied as state sovereign with ”plenitudo potestatis,” but by enigmatically saying that he could not, he probably was declaring this a high matter of conscience in the interest of Augustinian tranquility of order as explained by such as Bellarmine, Liguori, Thomas More and Suarez.For well over a millennium the popes of the Catholic Church exercised civil authority over a large swath of territory in central Italy called the Papal States.Here is one particularly telling statistic: of the murders that resulted in the 43 executions in 2012, more than a third involved the rape of the murder victim or of another person either by the executed offender or his accomplice.The execution was delayed until murderer’s wife was brought to him and he at last received absolution.Thus, killing another human being in self-defense, during a just war, or through the lawful execution of a criminal does not violate the Fifth Commandment’s rule “Thou shall not kill” (which many modern editions of the Bible translate as “Thou shall not murder”).The last to be killed that way in England were some Jacobite officers in 1745.As the mother of the murder victim of one of those executed in 2012 said to the sentencing jury, “I would beg this court and this jury to see that justice is done.As these facts and a wealth of other data show, we reserve the death penalty in the United States for the most heinous murders and the most brutal and conscienceless murderers.• It encourages repentance insofar as it makes offenders aware of the extreme gravity of their crimes and also of the shortness of the time remaining to them to get themselves right with God and to ask forgiveness from the families of their victims.Pope Pius IX let him retire at the age of 85 with a considerable pension.• Perhaps most importantly, in its supreme gravity it promotes belief in and respect for the majesty of the moral order and for the system of human law that both derives from and supports that moral order.Pius V in the sixteenth century, as well as in numerous local catechisms. By the lawful execution of a criminal, fairly tried and found guilty of a crime punishable by death when the preservation of law and order and the good of the community require such execution.• Manuel Pardo, Jr., who killed seven men and two women in five separate incidents over a four-month period.Two of the most famous examples, of course, are: “In this country it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others,” and “Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.” The first, “pour encourager les autres,” is in “Candide” where Voltaire alludes to the death by firing squad of Admiral John Byng in 1757 for having let Mincorca fall to the French.This is nuanced by the same Catechism’s proposition that its use today would be “rare, if not practically non-existent.In the American states today the only crime for which the death penalty may be imposed (according to U. As far back as our records go, laws reserved the ultimate punishment for killings and usually imposed a lesser punishment for negligent killings and those resulting from a “heat of passion.” The thirty-one American states with capital punishment today are even more selective, reserving the death penalty for the most heinous murders, such as multiple murders, rape murders, torture murders, and the murders of the very young and the very old. death penalty ever justified essay When the pope regained possession of the Papal States in 1814, hanging, drawing and quartering was imposed eleven times until it ended in 1817.Simply put, the less I believe heartily in eternal life, the more disheartened I shall be about entering “a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” That finale to “A Tale of Two Cities” appeared thirteen years after “Pictures from Italy” in which Dickens described an execution he watched in Rome during the pontificate of Gregory XVI with its chaotic judicial system: “It was an ugly, filthy, careless, sickening spectacle, meaning nothing but butchery,” But Dickens noted the presence of monks accompanied by trumpets holding a crucifix draped in black before the twenty-six year old highwayman who had killed a Bavarian countess making a pilgrimage to Rome.Shooting was a common form of punishment in the brief Austrian receivership of Rome under the Hapsburg Queen Maria Carolina.I’ve always accepted responsibility for the taking of their lives. I deserve to be killed.” We have focused here on the retributive purpose of the death penalty because, again, according to Catholic doctrine retribution is the “ we also show that capital punishment has various practical benefits, such as protecting prison guards and other inmates from the most dangerous offenders, and protecting members of the community by giving “lifers” who escape from prison strong reasons not to kill while on the run.As long as (in the words of Pope Innocent III) “the punishment is carried out not in hatred but with good judgment, not inconsiderately but after mature deliberation,” the death penalty may be imposed if it genuinely serves the common good.Byng’s death was the last instance of shooting an officer for incompetence, while Dodd’s was the last hanging at Tyburn for forgery.Another survived but was left with permanent disabilities.Fourteen years before, Waterhouse had broken into a home and killed a 77-year-old woman, for which he served 8 years before being paroled.Unfortunately, in recent years churchmen have not been equally respectful of the authority and duty of public officials to exercise their prudential judgments in applying Catholic teaching when it comes to the death penalty, despite the fact that churchmen bring to the debate over capital punishment no particular expertise derived from their religious training and pastoral experience.Regarded as a humane improvement, it was common in many European countries and was used in the Papal States for 369 executions from 1814 to 1870.Although we do not have data for how often they did so before the nineteenth century, we know that between 17, six popes authorized a total of 516 executions, four-fifths for murder.This papal endorsement of capital punishment, though rather recent in the history of the Church, is largely ignored in Catholic debates over the death penalty, as is the striking fact that from 1929 to 1969 the criminal code of the Vatican City itself included the death penalty for the attempted assassination of the pope.• It reassures the families and other loved ones of the victims of grave crimes that they live in a society that is just, and that shows respect for the lives of victims by inflicting on their killers a penalty that is truly proportionate to the gravity of the offense.As we showed in Part 1 of this essay, for two millennia the Catholic Church has taught that the death penalty can be a legitimate punishment for heinous crimes, not merely to protect the public from the immediate danger posed by the offender but also to secure retributive justice and to deter serious crime. In self-defense, when we are unjustly attacked and have no other means of saving our own lives; 2.Similarly, to the best of our knowledge, the Church has fully respected the authority of lawmakers to write statutes on self-defense that detail the conditions under which individuals may use force, including deadly force, to protect themselves and others.• Robert Brian Waterhouse, who early one morning left a bar with a 29-year-old woman and later beat her with a hard instrument, raped her, and sexually assaulted her with a large object. He then dragged his victim into the water where she died of drowning.• It anchors the entire schedule of punishments for serious crimes to the principle of just deserts, ensuring the survival of retributive punishment as a key element in the criminal justice system and thus shoring up the schedule of punishments against powerful modern tendencies toward ever greater leniency in criminal punishment.Given the Church’s longstanding and irreformable teaching that death may in principle be a legitimate punishment for grievous crimes, the key issue for Catholics is an empirical and practical question.This was the uniform teaching of scripture and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and it was reaffirmed by popes and also codified in the universal catechism of the Church promulgated by Pope St. Under what circumstances may human life be lawfully taken? In a just war, when the safety or rights of the nation require it; 3.Rather, the capital punishment system is a filter that selects . death penalty ever justified essay Yet, among all homicides in the United States in recent decades, only about 1% involved a sexual assault.This pope, beatified by John Paul II in 2000, was unflinching in the importance with which he invested public executions as an “encouragement” to others.For particularly heinous crimes, crushing the head with a mallet, the “mazzatello” continued until 1870.The significance of this point cannot be overstated.We also argue that capital punishment almost certainly deters at least some potential murderers, and gives murderers a strong incentive to plea bargain to very long prison sentences, which likely saves lives by increasing the deterrent and incapacitative effect of long prison sentences over shorter ones.A few hours later the offenders sodomized and strangled to death a 16-year-old boy.Prosecutors, jurors, and the loved ones of murder victims understand this essential point.Altogether, the forty-three offenders executed in 2012 killed a total of 70 individuals and injured another 12 during the capital crimes for which they were executed.Back in London three years after writing that account, he witnessed in Southwark the hanging of Fredrick and Marie Manning, the last husband and wife jointly to be executed in England.(#2267)” As a highly unusual insertion of a prudential opinion in a catechetical formula, this would seem to be more mercurial in application than the doctrine of the legitimacy of the death penalty.Mastro Titta had been retired four years and replaced by his apprentice Antonio Balducci when the final executions in Rome took place on November 24, 1868.When he was being interviewed by police about this crime, he volunteered that he had previously abducted and murdered a woman and he led police to her remains in a field.A close analysis of the 43 murderers executed in 2012 reveals the true depravity of the crimes and the criminals that merit the death penalty in the United States today.Given the Church’s longstanding and irreformable teaching that death may in Thus, punishment is fundamentally retributive, inflicting on the offender a penalty commensurate with the gravity of his crime, though it may serve other purposes as well, such as incapacitating the offender, deterring others, and promoting the offender’s rehabilitation.Hence all the other ends of punishment—deterrence, rehabilitation, protection of society, and so on—presuppose the retributive aim of giving the offender what he deserves. We devote the remainder of this article to developing this point. (The Court has not ruled on the legitimacy of the death penalty for the national crimes of treason and espionage.) Western societies, both before and after the rise of Christianity, never imposed the death penalty for all unlawful killings.One who killed two men after a minor traffic accident said, “I killed two people. In a letter he wrote a week before his execution he commended the prosecutor and affirmed the justice of his punishment: “I do not want or desire to die, instead I deserve to die; this I have always stated.” In concluding he wrote, “It’s not about me or any future killers, it is about ensuring that in contested cases that the victims and their families get their intended and needed swift justice.” And one who abducted, raped, and murdered a 9-year-old girl told a federal court, “I killed the little girl. I believe it’s a good thing, that the death penalty does inhibit further criminal acts.” He added, “I killed.The nickname of the papal executioner Bugatti was Mastro Titta, a slang for Master of Justice (Maestro di Giustizia.) He wore a red cloak and showed ceremonial deference to his victims.(We also refute the common charges that the capital punishment system in the United States results in the execution of the innocent and discriminates against minorities and the poor.) But make no mistake: retributive punishment in and of itself makes the world a safer place and upholds the common good: • It powerfully reinforces society’s condemnation of the crime of murder, making it less likely that those growing up in a community with the death penalty would even consider killing someone in the first place.And justice to us is no less than the death penalty.” Even offenders themselves sometimes recognize that justice demands their death, as three of those executed in 2012 fully acknowledged. I believe in justice and I believe that the victims, their hatred, their anger, they need to have justice.” Another who killed a 63-year-old prison guard during an escape attempt pleaded guilty and waived all appeals, resulting in his execution just one year after sentencing.And many of those who had not (as far as we know) killed in the past had previously committed other very serious crimes. death penalty ever justified essay This is not, as some critics argue, a kind of state-run lottery that randomly chooses an unlucky few for the ultimate penalty from among all those convicted of murder. death penalty ever justified essay




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