Argument: The death penalty affirms the sanctity of innocent life

Issue Report: Death penalty


Orrin Hatch, a Republican US Senator from Utah. – Capital punishment is our society’s recognition of the sanctity of human life.[1]

John Stuart Mill – Does fining a criminal show want of respect for property or imprisoning him, for personal freedom? Just as unreasonable is it to think that to take the life of a man who has taken that of another is to show want of regard for human life. We show, on the contrary, most emphatically our regard for it, by the adoption of a rule that he who violates that right in another forfeits it for himself.[2]

Edward Koch – It is by exacting the highest penalty for the taking of human life that we affirm the highest value of human life.[3]

Chicago journalist Mike Royko – When I think of the thousands of inhabitants of Death Rows in the hundreds of prisons in this country…My reaction is: What’s taking us so long? Let’s get that electrical current flowing. Drop those pellets [of poison gas] now! Whenever I argue this with friends who have opposite views, they say that I don’t have enough regard for the most marvelous of miracles – human life. Just the opposite: It’s because I have so much regard for human life that I favor capital punishment. Murder is the most terrible crime there is. Anything less than the death penalty is an insult to the victim and society. It says..that we don’t value the victim’s life enough to punish the killer fully.[4]

“The Death Penalty – A Defense”. – It shows the greatest respect for the ordinary man’s – and especially the victim of crimes – inviolable value. Society acknowledges and exalts the value of the lives of victims of crime on the most visible way by punishing violent criminals and murderers with death.

It defends man’s dignity in the strongest way. Man’s – the victim of crimes – dignity is also determined by the punishment that is imposed against violent criminals and murderers. To treat violent criminals and murderers with care deprives victim of crimes of their dignity.