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Word Count: 417
The practice of capital punishment is as old as government itself For most of history it has not been considered controversial Since ancient times most governments have punished a wide variety of crimes by death and have conducted executions as a routine part of the administration of criminal law However in the mid-18th century social commentators in Europe began to emphasize the worth of the individual and to criticize government practices they considered unjust including capital punishment Should the government be able to take the life of a human being I think it should not The death penalty is not justice By allowing the government and the legal system to decide who lives and dies is bestowing upon them a power not meant for mankind Family and friends of the victim often say that the criminal deserves the death penalty Is justice the motive here or is it revenge If death penalty advocates favor executions because they believe justice is being served would they still be for the death penalty if one of their family members or friends was on death row It is doubtful Why do we have the death penalty Officially it is to protect society from these criminals However a criminal who is behind bars for the rest of his or her life can do no harm to society Besides in my opinion to live with guilt and a future consisting of a small prison cell for the rest of ones life is the worst punishment If the government is committing legalized murder then we are forced to regard the government as a higher being not subject to the laws that govern its own people It is frightening to think that our government has the power to order an individuals death Anyone who has read Orwells 1984 knows what can happen if a government becomes too powerful over its constituents Is legalized murder the first step towards that scenario One argument used
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