Over the course of humanity, one’s actions make an impact on himself and society that leaves the doer either rewarded or punished. Where the person intentionally harms another that ends their life, society has viewed justice according to the Code of Hammurabi as “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” to punish the criminal on height with the offense committed. Capital punishment has been the ultimate method to reassert the wrongness of the crime, its offense to society, and justice for the victims involved.
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Amid where developed nations have discouraged and intrinsically abolished the death penalty for all cases, including rape, murder, and treason under the pretext that the punishment demeans human dignity in the third millennium, it is assured that some situations still justify its use in order to address social and personal dignity and correspondence to misdeeds made. In the twenty-first century, capital punishment is still a justified method of justice and punishment in the modern world in extreme crimes that violate human dignity for it serves to improve society’s integrity and wellbeing through crime deterrence and compassion for victims.
Committing crimes that intentionally end human life has always been a vicious offense to society that creates a sense of insecurity of society and awareness of the feasibility of such crimes. Where humanity strives to maintain their lives and sense of security, capital punishment satisfies the utilitarianism principle as the act tends to gradually lessen the tragic pain of the victim’s families and, society’s pain of vulnerability, while affirming the victim’s human dignity. John Stuart Mill interprets the utilitarianism principle as society and individual pursuing happiness on parity by stating, “As a means of making the nearest approach to this deal, utility should enjoin, first, the laws and social arrangements should place happiness or the interest of every individual… in harmony with the interest of the whole” (Mill, 2013, 92).
While the interests of the victim(s) and society concur, capital punishment tends to show parity with the crime committed as the grotesque violation of human life is as expensive and valuable as the criminal’s life he is about to lose. Brian Calvert evaluates Locke’s interpretation of utilitarian punishment as it being on height with offense by stating, “The penalty will be determined by and be proportionate to the seriousness of the transgression…by the considerations is what will also serve to fulfill the goals of restraint and reparation” (Calvert, 1993, 215). Regardless of modern thinking and era, the death penalty is another way to punish the criminal while recognizing that the victim’s violated dignity and life is honorable to what the criminal failed to notice. To sanction on the criminal is the way to make clear that there is no punishment strong enough to remedy the loss of a human life as a debt to society and therefore is acceptable that the criminal’s life be ended for society’s safety.
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