Nietzsche Warned Us

By Floris Gast

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Over the recent years, more than 150 innocent people have been taken off death row in the U.S..

On February 23rd 2018, Kent Whitaker plead to save his son from death row just one hour before his execution. The son got convicted for masterminding the fatal shootings of his mother and sister and an attempt on his father his life as well. If a father would save his son who made an attempt on his life as well as his family, it shows that even the victim sees how incredibly inhumane our current system is and how we really need to directly execute the system before more innocent people, ethics and economic funds get executed.

A study by Samuel R. Gross, an American lawyer and professor of law, has reported that 1 out of 25 of the people doomed to capital punishment is innocent. The abolishment of the death penalty will not only save innocent lives, but also improve our ethical standards and our economy.

Gross his study has exposed what most people hoped not to be true: an unpublished number of innocent people have been executed. I understand that there are people who would like to believe that this is not true because we as a species have saved every innocent person from death row. But, when you have this many people conclusively and consecutively proven innocent by DNA evidence, we can not escape the reality that innocent people have been executed.

Friedrich Nietzsche warned us “that when fighting monsters you must take care not to become one yourself”. This is precisely what is happening to us. If a victim his family member would take fate into his or her own hands and decide to kill the perpetrator, they would become the perpetrator and pay the price, both morally and legally. Any count of murder is unforgivable, but killing by the state is potentially worse. Some opposers of this view believe the punishment fits the crime. But, if we executed someone for murder, are we justified to cause the harm left for the perpetrator his family after we have egotistically taken his life? Are we allowed to cause more pain for those left behind just to ease that of some others?

A specific moral issue regards to physicians involved. Doctors are strictly meant to heal and should preserve life rather than ending it. The basic ethical foundation of medicine is to do no harm. Countries that continue to authorize lethal injections are not honoring these medical ethics and even breaking the physician Hippocratic oath. Of course, these doctors can not prevent the fate of the patient dying and are ordered by the government to be there to comfort the death row inmate in their last hours to make their passing easier, but it goes against all ethics of their line of work.

Finally, the most common misconception about capital punishment is that people value it to be cheaper than life imprisonment. However, a death row case begins long before the sentence is carried out and costs $90,000 tax dollars more than life-long imprisonment.

An example of this is Tiequon Cox, convicted in 1984 for first-degree murder when he was only 18 at that time. However, he currently is 52 and still has not been executed. It has taken the justice system over 34 years to prepare the execution legally and this proves how the death penalty consumes enormous amounts of money and years of time. Going back to the ethical discussion, the New York Times has claimed that spending over 30 years on death row is the equivalent of torture.

We’re not better off when we decide to put our inmates on death row for over 30 years and then continue to execute them since the time served is practically equivalent to life with parole. The death penalty is not worth being the economic black hole that it currently is.

On February 23rd 2018, Kent Whitaker plead to save his son from death row just one hour before his execution. The son got convicted for masterminding the fatal shootings of his mother and sister and an attempt on his father his life as well. If a father would save his son who made an attempt on his life as well as his family, it shows that even the victim sees how incredibly inhumane our current system is and how we really need to directly execute the system before more innocent people, ethics and economic funds get executed.

Let us become human again.

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