Capital Punishment – When does the punishment fit the crime?

Capital Punishment is a difficult topic for everyone.  Although I am pro life and attempt to fix everything from an educational point of view I sometimes battle to see how some people can be rehabilitated.

It is difficult to calculate the worth of a human life, not only in monetary value, but also from the perspective what he/she was worth to those around them.  I would go as far as to say it’s priceless, but sadly some people think it is only worth R1.20 here in South Africa.

There was an article about two weeks ago where a 15 and 18 year old youth assaulted a older man, and then stabbed him to death for R1.20, a while back there was another article in the news of a young man who was killed for R10.

If a life is worth so little for for some individuals in our society, then we are in for a lot a rough and very unpleasant ride.  How did we as a species fall so far as not to recognize the value of another sentient being’s life?

Being pro life and against capital punishment comes for knowing that the justice system is like any other man made system which is not flawless, but I believe that such a system could be used in the interim as a deterrent for senseless violent killings and rape while we work on the eradication of the source.

I’ve often pondered why we have so many violent crimes in South Africa, and to be honest, there is no clear cut textbook answer for why we are experiencing these, what one could call hate crimes on such a frequent basis, but I know it has to do with our past, the inequities  between the incomes groups, and the wake of destruction by the disappearance of the family structure left by the Apartheid system along with a good dash of frustration towards a Government who is failing to uplift and better the lives of the destitute.

Most pro life activists are quick to bring out the human rights of the offender, but what happens to the human rights of the victims?  As an example, a court in the UK has ruled that it goes against the human rights of a pedophile to keep him from seeing his children, and it is also against his rights to not allow him to view his material while in jail to prepare him for his trial.

One also has to ask, if I remove one bad element from the human race, who I know will cause unimaginable pain to 10 other good elements in the human race, wouldn’t it be for the better for the species as a whole?

I firmly believe that everyone gets born with what we call human rights, but through our actions we can lose it, for example when we act inhumane towards other humans through actions like violent murders and savage rapes.  One can’t murder, maim and scar on the one hand, and if caught claim human rights on the other hand, logically it does not make sense, and it is also not fair to the victims, the families and the loved ones of the victim.

By recognizing the human rights of an individual above the rights of the victim would be abuse of the victim and his/her rights in totality.

Through this all I maintain that through education and mutual understand between the different people and cultures that we can overcome these sort of hate crimes, but for the interim we need a deterrent that will buy us the much needed time to try and fix society through education for a better future.

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