The Death Penalty - a Defence


Summary of the Arguments for the Death Penalty 


The death penalty for violent criminals* and murderers should, for the following reasons, be introduced in every State which has a developed judicial system: 

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It bring forth the greatest possible justice for society and the victim of crimes. Punishment must be held in proportion to the crime for justice to be served. And justice – not humanity – must be the cornerstone by which ruthless violent criminals and murderers shall be judged.

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.

It recognizes man’s natural sense of justice. It has been put down in man that the the most heinous outrage must have the most severe punishment. Capital punishment satisfy that feeling more than any other punishment.

It expresses – more visible than other penalties – empathy with all victims of crime and their relatives. The severity of the death penalty exists because of love for the victim of crimes. But a more or less careful sanction in a prison instead reflects empathy for the criminal.

It gives many of us - and especially many victims of crime and their relatives - peace of mind and brings a more visible closure to the crime. On the other hand, violent criminals and murderers in prison will always pose an anxious threat against people and are a constantly open wound which causes people pain.

It confirms and highly values all ordinary men’s "right to life". On the other hand, heinous violent criminals and murderers are not embraced by this right and neither are prisoners by the "right to freedom". The right to life is a 'human right' concept which from it’s beginning approves of capital punishment.

It effectively stops violent criminals and murderers from committing more crimes. The brutalizing of society decreases. On the other hand, imprisonment gives cause to more crimes – in prison, at leave, at escapes, and after release.

It is the most effective deterrent of violent crime and murder. There are scientific studies which confirm that. Also common sense and common judgment confirms that the threat of death deters considerably more than the threat of imprisonment.

It creates a little more safety in society for all citizens. When violent criminals and murderers are gone forever, a more peaceful society will be crated. Impisonment can never bring about that kind of safety.

It shows how seriously society looks at the most heinous crimes. The death penalty reveals the dreadful gravity of a crime in a way no other penalty can.

It is a witness of high morality and righteousness. The moral evil in the worst of violent crimes can not be revealed in a more visible way than when such crimes are punished by death.  

It recognize man’s natural and sound demand for retribution. Retribution is accomplished when the judical system imposes a stiff penalty in proportion to the severity of the crime. The death penalty brings about such concept the best, in cases of the most heinous crimes.

It comfirms the punishment as such, and do that in a more visible and more powerful way than any other penalty. And it confirms the simple thesis that there are criminals which simply deserve death.

It strikes fewer "innocent persons" than alternative penalties. Because among imprisoners and ex-prisoners there are many who relapses into new crimes which strikes "innocent persons".

It is supported by a wide number of people. (And its support would be even higher if media could treat capital punishment objective and just. But that is not the case today in Europe.)

It removes, from an economical viewpoint, all the offensive element which the alternative penalties to capital punishment have.


*See Chapter 1 for definition of "violent criminals".

See Chapter 2 for detailed argumentation.