Capital punishment

The Death Penalty and Moral Justification

The death penalty is another name for the execution penalty. This is the procedure whereby the State executes a criminal as payment for a crime done. Execution refers to the process of applying the execution penalty. Crimes that carry the execution penalty are referred to as capital offenses or crimes. (Hildebrandt, 2008).

In many countries, there is debate over the death penalty. Depending on the religion practiced and the type of crime committed, opinions change from one nation to the next. For instance, the death penalty has been entirely abolished in nations like South Africa. (Turrell, 2004). This essay carefully examines the death penalty and provides additional information about the legislation. Is capital punishment morally justified? Why is the question so complex from an ethical viewpoint?

Moral Justification from Religious Viewpoints

The question of moral justification of capital punishment is subject to scrutiny on the basis of religious beliefs, traditions, and the law. From a religious viewpoint, capital punishments are not justified. This is because the killing of another human is considered heinous and tends to paint humanity as savages and violent. However, this is dependent on the religion in question, that is, whether Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, or otherwise. For example, the Chinese hold high regard for capital punishments. Government officials who engage in corruption are executed in public (Ehrlich, 2008). On the other hand, the Muslims hold virginity as the highest virtue a woman could possess. Infidels or adulterous women were stoned to death. This was right according to the religion of Islam (Ehrlich, 2008).

Traditions, Beliefs, and Moral Justification

The traditions and beliefs of people vary from generation to generation. In some communities, betrayal was punishable by death. For example, historical nations such as Sparta and Troy executed individuals who were found guilty of betraying the realm (Hildebrandt, 2008). There were established procedures of determining those who deserve to be hanged or exiled. Though, the traditional set up was full of wars and rampant deaths, it provided security to the populace. The South Africans underwent a long period of colonization and many freedom fighters were jailed or killed. The bad experience with the apartheid policy led to the disbandment of the death penalty (Turrell, 2004).

The Law and Moral Justification

The law is set up by the State and dictates the rights and freedoms of the populace. The law is meant to maintain order. Laws vary from nation to nation. In some countries, the laws have abolished the death penalty while in others like China and India, capital punishment is legal for particular offenders. Therefore, for a country whose laws permit capital punishment, the question of morality is dictated by such laws. In countries like China and India, capital punishment is morally justified (Ehrlich, 2008). However, from an ethical point of view, capital punishment is not morally justified. This is because capital punishment involves the destruction of life. Man, lacks the ability of creating life, therefore, he should not destroy that which he cannot create. However, putting into consideration all the factors stated – whether religious or legal – I do believe in capital punishment.

Good versus Bad Loyalty

I believe that there is good loyalty and bad loyalty. Loyalty refers to an emancipated feeling of support or allegiance to a person in a position of authority by virtue of the rank of the individual. Bad loyalty is when an individual supports the wrong decisions made by a person in a position of influence without question or confrontation. At times, bad loyalty comes as a result of fear of the consequences that might follow after a difference in opinion. Moreover, at times, individuals with similar interests impacting negatively on the population may have bad loyalty. Bad loyalty is at times referred to as sycophancy. For example, the Germans loyalty to the dictator, Adolf Hitler, was bad loyalty. This is because Hitler killed six million Jews (Hitler, 2013).

Good Loyalty and Shared Values

On the other hand, good loyalty refers to the support or allegiance given to a person in a position of influence because of his or her ideologies and convictions. These ideas are usually beneficial to the greater majority and often bears no sinister motive. For example, Sir Abraham Lincoln lobbied for the abolition of slavery and slave trade in the world. The American congress at the time supported his motive bringing freedom to several former slaves. This is an example of good loyalty because the congress and Sir Abraham Lincoln had shared values which brought them together to achieve a common purpose. The shared purpose was to put an end to slavery and slave trade (Foner, 2011).

Evaluating Loyalty to Superiors

All superiors are not worthy of loyalty by virtue of their rank. This is the reason why systems have been introduced to impeach superiors in case they abuse their power. Moreover, the law is very clear on the requirement of each superior and their modus operandi. The superiors worthy of loyalty are those who follow the laws which dictate their jurisdictions. For example, the United States citizens impeached Richard Nixon. Loyalty to law offenders is a breach of the law. This is because it is tantamount to promotion of a breach in the law.


I do believe in capital punishment. It is justified to serve High profile law offenders like terrorists and cold-blooded murderers with the death sentence. This is because keeping them alive could cost the world more deaths (Hildebrandt, 2008). An example is the late Al-Qaida leader, Osama Bin Laden. In equal measure, I do believe in bad and good loyalty. All procedures and processes in organizations ought to be in line with the law and democracy. Allegiance to seniors who are law offenders is illegal because it is tantamount to promoting social ills.


Ehrlich, I. (2008). The deterrent effect of capital punishment. In Economics, Law and Individual Rights (pp. 370-397). Routledge.

Foner, E. (2011). The fiery trial: Abraham Lincoln and American slavery. WW Norton & Company.

Hildebrandt, S. (2008). Capital punishment and anatomy: history and ethics of an ongoing association. Clinical Anatomy, 21(1), 5-14

Hitler, A. (2013). Hitler's Table Talk 1941-1944: Secret Conversations. H. R. Trevor-Roper, & G. L. Weinberg (Eds.). Enigma Books.

Turrell, R. V. (2004). White mercy: A study of the death penalty in South Africa. Praeger Publishers.

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