A Life Sentence – Punishment or Euthanasia?

I ended up watching a documentary from the UK about humane methods of performing capital punishment. The show was not discussing the issue of capital punishment but the science of finding the “perfect” method of killing. However, in the end the main point came down to whether capital punishment is meant as a punishment or extermination.

If the State sentences someone to be killed should that be considered a punishment for their crimes or an end to them (both the crimes and the criminal). Is it like killing a rabid dog, mercy killing for a cow about to be butchered or an assisted suicide? Or, is it a punishment where the criminal should feel pain?

What about rehabilitation? Yes, that is going back to the issue of having capital punishment or not. But, if a life sentence usually means life in prison, is capital punishment not something like that? How far is it between life in prison to the end of life? Is one just a way to save money and resources and the other just a way to avoid the ending of a life? Also, if a humane method of capital punishment is used will capital punishment become too simple, too easy and then become a standard for any criminal who gets a life sentence? Is death the real meaning of a life sentence?

It is a very interesting issue which would make a great debate topic.

In the end they did conclude that using nitrogen was the most practical and humane/ neutral method of killing. The show also concluded that their definition of it as the “perfect” method was not the best term as there was the debate over punishment versus euthanasia.

2 thoughts on “A Life Sentence – Punishment or Euthanasia?”

  1. I was hoping this was a recent documentary so that I could catch it on the website, but it seems to date back a way. I wish I had seen it. Whenever I read debates about capital punishment, the punishment aspect seems to be the strongest element in people’s minds. In fact, many people appear to want to inflict as much suffering as possible. I don’t believe a humane method would be in their minds at all.

    I’ve never heard anyone put forward the punishment v. euthanasia debate before, and I find that quite enlightening.
    .-= Sheila @ A Postcard a Day´s last blog ..Beach huts, or will the summer ever come? =-.

  2. I don’t think it is up to the State/ government/ society to punish the offenders. It should be more neutral. Just the bare necessity of dealing with them and deciding if they can be fixed in some way or should they be disposed of in order to keep order. Just as a rabid animal is put down with as little suffering as possible, a human animal should be treated the same. What is the point of making them suffer if they are to be killed, just get it done, nothing personal.

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