The Value of Life Life, whom shall choose who may live and who will die? Koch, in “Death and Justice: How Capital Punishment Affirms Life”, disputes seven arguments made toward the death penalty. He continues on, with attempts to justify the death penalty by giving reasons why obligations of the death penalty are faulty and inaccurate. Within the essay Koch makes many valued points against the strong and weak obligations of the death penalty. One of the strongest arguments in objection to the death penalty is the chance of an innocent person being executed by mistake.
In the United States citizens are determined innocent or guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt” by a judge and jury. Must we remember the case of Anthony Porter, a former death row inmate who fortunately was declared innocent and released 48 hours before he lay on his death bed injected with lethal substances ( 615 Commutation of Death Sentences). Humans are not perfect, and neither is their judgment. Porter is just one of the thousands of inmates wrongly accused every year.
In contrast, the weakest objected included in “Death and Justice: How Capital punishment affirms life”, is argument number two, “No other major democracy uses the death penalty. Although this is an accurate statement, the conditions and situations of our country are different than the conditions and situations of any other country. Although at times we may admire or adopt the policies of other countries, it would not make us amiss to include a policy or punishment another country does not practice. If we were to exercise only punishments, policies, and laws of other nations, we would not be the prosperous nation we are today.
Another important argument that Koch fails to mention is “It is not the governments’ choice to decide who lives or dies. With a system that is susceptible to mistakes, it should not be the governments place to decide whether or not someone is allowed to live. Life, when revoked, is gone forever. It is not something to be tampered with under any circumstance. Works Cited Ryan, George “ Commutation of Death Sentences. ”. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument Readings. Eighth Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston:Bedford/ St. Martins. 2008 612- 625.