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Pardoning Death Row Prisoners - Essay Example

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The case presentation under consideration deals with the issue of pardoning death row prisoners who claim that they have changed or are no more a threat to the society owing to their newfound religious beliefs or some other transforming secular influences…
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Pardoning Death Row Prisoners
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Download file to see previous pages She corroborated her claim by not only leading an exemplary life during her time in the prison, but also managed to garner much social and institutional support in favor of her pardon. The second example is of a gangster Stanley Williams who murdered 4 people in cold blood and received a death sentence. In the following years, Stanley not only became a peace activist and a prolific writer, but also claimed that the prison life had made him a good person. Again, Stanley managed to attract the sympathy and support of many prominent citizens and organizations. Yet, both Karla and Stanley were executed, irrespective of their proclaimed rehabilitation on death row.
Law serves many purposes in the modern societies. In case of a heinous crime like homicide, the purpose of the law is not only to give justice to the murdered individuals and their family members and associates, but also to set an example before the society, so that people may desist from committing such crimes in the future (Bedau 52). If the state starts pardoning or commuting the death sentences of the criminals who claim to have changed or have become peaceful individuals owing to religious or other benign reasons, this will provide a loophole to most of the death row prisoners to claim pardon by citing similar excuses. ...
Such instances will not only set a dangerous precedent, but will amount to reducing the law to a joke. The transformation or improvement of a murderer does not relieve one of the debt one owes to the victims in particular and the society in general.
Second Possible Position
It is a known fact that in most of the modern societies, their always exists a gap of a couple of years, before the passing of a death sentence to a person guilty of murder and the actual execution. The primary purpose of the law is to make society a safe place to live. Hence, it is perfectly justified to protect society from a dangerous murderer or a habitual criminal by sentencing one to death. Considering the prolonged gaps between the passing of the sentence and the execution, it is quiet possible that a murderer may become a better person owing to introspection and the salubrious influences that one may come across in the prison (Tabak 181). If this fact is further corroborated by a prisoner's good behavior on death row over a prolonged period and is recognized and supported by prominent citizens and organizations, the state can certainly pardon or commute the death sentence of such a prisoner. Once a prisoner has credibly become a peaceful citizen and has managed to attract the support of the society, executing one simply serves no purpose, but amounts to unnecessary and legal violence (Baird 46).
More Agreeable Position
In the context of the case presentation under consideration, the first position stands to be more valid and agreeable. The first position takes a more broad based and pragmatic view of the institution of law. The perspective adopted by the first position ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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