Virtue of cher­ish­ing life

ChinAfrica - - DOUBLE TAKE - Tsokalida flora A 34-year-old civic ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cer at Malawi law com­mis­sion

the death penalty is com­monly re­ferred to as the le­gal prac­tice of tak­ing a hu­man life in re­sponse to a crime com­mit­ted by the con­victed per­son. It is a dif­fi­cult and emo­tional topic though widely prac­ticed in many coun­tries. But whether any govern­ment is jus­ti­fied in car­ry­ing out the process is un­fath­omable. I some­times feel that the death penalty is an ideal penalty only to be used to tackle se­ri­ous crimes like mur­der, rape, child mo­lesta­tion, ab­duc­tion and kid­nap­ping. Cer­tainly, there are some in­stances where I feel that the death penalty should not be ap­plied. But why do I have this sec­ond thought if I have a list of crimes I feel de­serve the death penalty as a so­lu­tion? This is why.

I was brought up in a Chris­tian com­mu­nity where I was taught to be non-judg­men­tal, leave God to judge hu­man be­hav­ior, and obey God’s com­mand­ments, one of which states that hu­man be­ings should not kill each other, only God has the au­thor­ity to take hu­man life un­der any cir­cum­stance. In this re­gard, I dis­agree with the death penalty as it is an un­usual prac­tice that com­pro­mises Chris­tian­ity and the ba­sic eth­i­cal stan­dards of hu­man be­hav­ior.

In my opin­ion, it’s a form of re­venge. Like most civil­ians, I am pained when I see or hear of peo­ple be­ing suc­cumbed to killing, rape, mo­lesta­tion, ab­duc­tion, kid­nap­ping and other bru­tal of­fences.

But, while I am still at it, ques­tions pop up in my head. Does giv­ing some­one the death sen­tence serve as an ef­fec­tive de­ter­rent for bru­tal crimes? Tak­ing ret­ri­bu­tion for their crime on be­half of the vic­tim? What if the crim­i­nal wanted to die but never had the courage to com­mit sui­cide? Will this make them fully pay for their crimes? I guess not re­ally. In my opin­ion, a crim­i­nal should face pun­ish­ment for their crime while they are still alive. Life im­pris­on­ment serves crim­i­nals bet­ter than the death penalty.

What if the crim­i­nal wanted to die but never had the courage to com­mit sui­cide? Will this make them fully pay for their crimes? I guess not re­ally. In my opin­ion, a crim­i­nal should face pun­ish­ment for their crime while they are still alive.

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