Death Penalty: Do We Have the Right to Kill?

The life of a human being, or for that matter any animate being, has an inalienable right of dignity and sustenance irrespective of whether social law dictates otherwise. According to this fact, no man has the right to kill another living being regardless of the intention and cause, and having said so it is against our natural and biological ethics to punish anyone with the effect of taking his/her life. The system of capital punishment is a brutal ideology, which instead of respecting the value of life, forces upon us an artificial perspective of legality which tries to prove that punishing a criminal with a similar crime is ethical. There are several groups and resources in and around the world that voice their disapproval of this method of punishment and which shows us clearly that even though the penal code of justice was designed by man to streamline society, many of its nuances do not have complete consent of the society it is trying to protect. Among the various websites advocating the abolishment of the death penalty, one which stands out is the Death Penalty Information Center having abundant information on the subject as well as all the ongoing campaigns being worked out in the various states of America. The choice of this website is based on the evaluation criteria that have been selected to judge its relevancy and results in the field of legal amendments to the section of the penal code on capital punishment. Among the criteria used in evaluating the website, first and foremost is the accuracy of the information and the credibility of the site authorities, following which is the periodicity of the available information and last but not the least are the proffered methods by which the general public can contribute to the cause as well as make use of the tremendous detail of reports on death penalty.On the initial visit to the DPIC website, one is amazed at the level of proficiency with which the subject of capital punishment is dealt with and would definitely be impressed by the amount of work that has gone into the preparation and maintenance of the site. It is clear that the concerned personnel behind DPIC are not amateurs and to validate this detail, the visitor is presented with an exemplary Board of Directors list when the 'Contact' or 'About DPIC’ link is clicked. In very many cases we find that a professional and business like website lacks the simplistic feel and ease of getting around for a general visitor, but DPIC is so neatly designed to make the visitor comfortable in accessing the information in an organized fashion. The extensive information provided has been cited from various newspapers articles, books and television that were cross checked and found to be legitimate. The media sources are multifarious and give an authentic impression of the view subscribed by people from various walks of life about the death penalty. Clippings from news broadcasts, interviews and radio talk shows as well as a wealth of videos enables us to analyze real life accounts of families of murder victims and death row prisoners as to how the law is framed in injustice for what is being done.
There maybe instances where visitors to DPIC may feel bombarded with vast amounts of information and statistical data, although not a single one of them deviates from the central theme of abolishment of the death penalty. But what we must keep in mind while analyzing the claims of this advocacy website as being a leader among other sites pertaining to the same subject, is that the expected visitor is more likely to be a relation or an acquaintance of a murder victim or a death row inmate, a student interested in the field of law or a researcher in social demographics with respect to crime and punishment. The statistical information provided, when the 'Facts' link is clicked, is vital to any research candidate and the thoroughly organized manner in which the information is laid out on the site is beneficial to quick finds and relevant gathering of data.
The 'Home' page is constantly updated, and from analysis it was found to have a periodicity of a few days to a week at the most. Mostly displayed are news reports either about court hearings where a death penalty was awarded, legislation where the punishment was reduced to a lesser severity or dissertations by eminent judiciaries and lawmakers about the pros and cons of capital punishment. Editorials seeking abolishment and projecting the views of entire communities and cross sections of the population effectively keeps the visitor informed about the work being done and the support accrued for the cause. The 'Reports' section of the website offers comprehensive and also valuable material on "subjects such as race, innocence, politicization, costs of the death penalty, and more."
One of the drawbacks noticed with the DPIC website is an absence of a forum where visitors who are relations or acquaintances of a murder victim or a death row inmate can record their opinions or statements, hence serving as a contribution to the public propaganda against the death penalty. But however on closer scrutiny it is clear that the website serves as a platform for the opinions of judicial authorities (like Chief Justices, Government Officials and Legal Dignitaries) to be collated and also to inform the public of what campaigns and work is being conducted in the field, what developments are occurring and in which place. Along with this line of action, the site also directs visitors, who would like to make their individual opinions heard publicly, to other common cause sites. These public opinions are nonetheless displayed from their respective sources in the 'Resources' link on the DPIC website. Another very useful aspect of the DPIC website found in the 'Resources' is the educational curricula available for high schools and colleges, with an abundance of free material and also assistance from the organization. The listing of several prestigious awards for the curricula and the assistance provided for developing the subject of abolishing capital punishment into a teaching aide gives an immaculate picture of how serious and dedicated this website, and the advocacy group it represents, is towards furthering the cause of educating the American citizen about the ills of such a legal conundrum. By clicking on the 'Donate' button, the visitor can either make a monetary contribution to the organization and its cause campaign, peruse through the Reports and Curricula, or go directly to the 'About DPIC’ page to make contact personally.
In an age of social delusions and the economic degeneration related time constraints for human interaction, respect for life is slowly being disregarded with importance being given to other areas like profiteering from wealth, science and medical advancement. One would have thought that in such an atmosphere, the life of a criminal or alleged criminal is not worth a second thought and society would have cared less about the death penalty, but however, advocacy websites like Death Penalty Information Center prove time and again that pure ethics and human nature still hold place among the hectic schedules of sociologic development. And it is not forgotten that the so called criminal is after all a human being with as much value for his/her life, as anybody else.

Works Cited
Death Penalty Information Center. 05-17 April 2009.

This article originally appeared on

Death Penalty: Do We Have the Right to Kill? 9.2 of 10 on the basis of 3625 Review.