Walter Berns The Morality Of Capital Punishment

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"To take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice." Desmond Tutu said this and I could not agree more. I think that capital punishment is morality wrong, and that Walter Berns’ “The Morality of Capital Punishment” article in Exploring Ethics fails on many grounds. Berns uses anger and a politically correct government to advocate the use of capital punishment. I am going to try and prove that Burns is wrong, and that by killing we are only fueling the fire and a continuous cycle. Also, by killing we are taking away a fundamental right we are born with: the right to live. Burns is stuck on this idea that by being angry, we show that we care; he states “ if someone does not become angry with an insult or an injury suffered …show more content…
The public has a huge impact in whether a guilty, or innocent verdict is handed out. So, I feel Burns promoting anger at the time of arrest, is hurting people in court, and potentially costing innocent people to do prison time or worse be sentenced to death. It is a well known fact that innocent people have been put to death over the years by the justice system. Since this is so, how does it affect Burns theory? If we accidentally put to death the wrong person according to burns we should feel angry, and someone should pay for this innocent persons death. So, following Burns theory should the Judge, the jury, or the executioner be put to death for this innocent person, or should all of them be put to death? They all had their part in this innocents death, and had a choice to not do it, even if it was their job. According to Burns someone has to be held accountable for this persons death, so who should be choose? This is where burns theory falls apart, because I don’t think burns himself could even answer this question without making, some sort of loophole in his theory. If we kill anyone of these people we are saying that the justice system can be wrong, and if that is true then burns idea, that the justice system is always right is flawed, and that the justice system is killing innocent …show more content…
According to Burns this punishment should be death, but what about the person’s fundamental rights 's to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Although Burns does not directly address it in this chapter, I believe he feels that when you commit a crime you lose these fundamental rights. But are these not fundamental rights that everyone is guaranteed under the Constitution? Their is no clause in the Constitution that says unless your a murder, you lose these rights. Allowing the government to legally kill the guilty person is wrong, and violates this person’s legal rights. Burns thinks that by killing the person we have alleviate the anger, and have rid the world of that wicked person. We have somehow, gained retribution for the act they have committed, and shown others that we do not allow this act. But, I believe by allowing the courts to legally kill we are promoting the act of killing. We are saying it is OK, to kill someone if they have killed someone you love. We are showing that anger is the answer, when someone does you wrong. Also, by killing someone we are taking away their right to live, and to anyone who is religious this is fundamentally wrong. I understand that allowing the person to keep these legal rights, it could be a challenge , because it is not easy to do all these things in prison, but the person being alive in prison

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