One of the reasons why I do not approve Death Penalty as capital punishment is that no criminal litigation is exceedingly faultless. Death, as punishment, is irreversible therefore the verdict must be thoroughly accurate and precise because the life you are taking away cannot be revived. This stand does not protect criminals but it does not save the guiltless either.
Second, the penalty will only decrease the pleasure of handing down the punishment to the criminal. If you put a convicted felon to death does it not make the afterlife a scapegoat from the incarnate suffering of the body? I mean, it’s not mythological, but the mere corporeal punishment of reclusion perpetua is a day-to-day misery of jail time. Who would want a criminal to simply lose his life only to evade the chances of everyday agony? Speaking of death and pain, it reminds of the immortal words of Theodore Roosevelt which says, “Absence and Death are the same – only that in Death there is no suffering”.
Third, the Penalty is viciously unchristian, inhumane and inconsiderate.
It is unchristian simply because life is given by God. Only such kind of being, if there were in existence, is capable of handling such judgement. Besides, the sacrament of forgiveness, which all of us christians continue to uphold, transcends the boundary of chaos and hatred to love – leaving us tranquil in the arms of God. Jesus never taught his disciples to curse the ones who wronged them nor kill them even. So, the practice of forgiveness is essential to Christian life. Don’t get me wrong, not only that it is religious but also rational. The impulse of vindication have caused human mind to resort to barbarity across cultures. Such as tribes who resort to the Law of the Talions but with wasteful relishes of vengeance – you take one, we take ten. Taking a life is not only irrational but also obsolete method of punishment.
Inconsiderate because it condemns us from our life by our mistakes. Reclusion perpetua is not inconsiderate because it gives a man a time to atone or suffer from his sins FOR LIFE, bail excluded.
The rarity of the Death Penalty served as a stepping stone towards the advancement of our Humanity. What makes our species differ from other animals is that we are “sapiens” – an animal of reason not of carnage, violence and brutality much like a beast. Death is not a good example to teach our citizens. The government is the rudder, the teacher. What the penalty teaches us is to surrender our life to the law which didn’t provided us life in the first place. John Locke have argued the essentiality of Life, Liberty and Estate, as Natural Law – but the last two are recoverable… the first is not. Therefore, the government must protect them at all cost. What similar to it is our life compared to a flower that it blooms without the mandate of the Law – all natural, god-given. The law is not powerful enough to stop the wilting of the flower but certainly not stifle it when it blooms. How could the law take away what is inherently provided? Besides, unusual methods of sending someone to die is outright cruel and inhumane.
The decisiveness of the new admin might have catalysed drastic changes, but I do not blame the President for such paralogical change. He is indeed the people’s President – well at least the vociferous majority. But the decisiveness of action ignores stronger reasons. And that puts number as the scale of Justice which as I recalled the handiwork of Pontius Pilate in the case of Jesus before the crowd that led the murderous Barabas to freedom. That is the problem, when the characters of the courtroom favours what they think is convincing not because it is the truth especially when witnesses under oath, lawyers or defendant are clad with deceit. The truth can even turn against the victim. Besides, what does the state do when indeed the litigant is condemned – thrown to a Death Row awaiting his final days to arrive for ten years which is as good as imprisonment. But, why do we need to kill? To exact vengeance? To know the truth? To silence? To quench our disgust for criminals? What exactly is the purpose?
It is good and more satisfying to accept this kind of penalty if the fact-finding body is always infallible. But all courts are not error-free in skinning the truth.
No amount of error is insignificant in a sentence such as this. Then if so happens, we serve our citizens no greater disservice by sending them to death when in fact they will be cleared later on when compelling evidence acquits the defendant. But Alas!… we have killed them when we could have just imprisoned them.
Just to remind, it took the life of our National Hero, Jose Rizal, which made me more skeptical about its infallibility on cases like Treason.
I hope the congress review the bill surely well.
Theme Painting: La Pietà de Michel-Ange Capable