The punishment of death penalty according to Pojman is both humane and fair in legal perspective. He cites several historical circumstances including the biblical perception of punishment by death and according to his opinion and his cited examples, this form of punishment serves as both an act of retribution for those who are deeply affected by the crime and deterrence to those who might have plans for committing that similar crime in the future. Pojman in his defense argument uses two major aspects of expected outcomes of the death penalty as a form of punishment, the outcomes which include; Retribution and Deterrence.
This argument is solely based on the moral consciousness and dignity of mankind that is bestowed upon them by their right to live. Pojman argues that every mankind is entitled to life and those who have the odesity to decide and take the life of others unlawfully and with dire intentions, forfeits his or her right to live, and it is therefore only fair for their life to be taken away through the death penalty. He, however, stands that, this Couse of action should only be taken by law and the suspected criminal be convicted and the guilt determined first before the punishment of death is executed.
To support this argument, Pojman uses the three principles of retribution that is;
- Everyone who is found to be guilty of any crime deserves some form of punishment
- The guilt of any suspected criminal should be determined forehand and only those found guilty to be punished
- Whoever is convicted of a crime deserves a punishment that rhymes with the severity of the crime committed. He uses this principle to argue the morality of death penalty, which is if one takes the life of another they also deserve to be killed.
Pojman in his retribution argument, however, warns people not to associate retribution with revenge. He explains that these to actions even though both serves as appeasement and satisfaction measure to the offended are quite a difference. He argues that “the moral justification of punishment is not vengeance but desert “and states that vengeance is driven by anger and not the law. He argues that while the common natural instinct of the offended is revenge and that punishment of criminals should depict the gravity of the crime, the current civilization should act as a restrain to the natural instinct because the outcome of taking the law into our hands is no more than local insecurity and injustices.
The basis of this defense according to Pojman is an insight into the future. He argues that if homicide criminals were all killed by law, then those who might be killers in the future may restrain when they imagine the cost of killing someone is death. Citing McVeigh advocacy of public execution of murder criminals, Pojman portrays the fear this will instill on the prospective murderers and indicates that this might reduce the murder cases both in the USA and any other country in the world.
To support this argument, Pojman cites the arguments of human common sense that; instilling fear in people including criminals will have effect on their presumed motivation, criminals are people and, therefore, afraid of death more than any punishment, death penalty is humane and, therefore, they will be deterred from crime when death penalty is the likely punishment. Pojman in his argument states that other than death, the only other punishment that can deter criminals is torture, but he argues against this stating that it is not legal. In comparison to life imprisonment, he argues in defense of death penalty stating that while imprisonment will limit freedom and leads to loss of respect in the community, the fear of death is much direr and instills more fear hence more effective in deterring future crimes.
Pojman closes his argument by stating that death penalty is a reminder of lethal consequences to our crimes, and because we take responsibility for our actions, death sentence fits as a penalty for any immoral actions.
In my opinion, the strongest objection among the ones cited in the text is that objection that cites the scripture as evidence against the act of man killing one another. The reader cites (Romans 12: 19 and Deut. 32:35) both which states the Lords direct command on vengeance. Also, to this scripture the Bible states in Exodus that “thou shall not kill” among the ten commandments given to Moses in mount Zion, this depicts life as a sacred gift from God, and no one has the authority to end it and even the authority to pass such judgment. In the state’s law argument that they are allowed to execute men in the name of God does not reflect what is written in the scripture as most of the judges and the executioners are not men of God, and some of them do not even believe in the Bible itself.
The provided response is adequate from the legal point of view, but in the religious point of view, I believe that Pojman’s justification of death penalty is against the word of God he should not presume that the punishment indicated in the Bible includes the death penalty.