Ask McFartnuggets: “Is Sentencing Someone To Life in Jail Really Morally Better Than The Death Penalty?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
I hear that people are saying we can’t use the death penalty because it’s immoral and wrong. Instead people want criminals to spend their life in jail as an alternative, even though some people say life in jail is a worse punishment than death. I think it can be. So if life in jail is harsher than death then shouldn’t that be taken into account when deciding the morality of it? If you’re putting someone through a fate worse than death then that has to be morally worse than just putting them out of their misery. Why then is everyone so against the death penalty from a moral standpoint? Either it’s worse than the death penalty and therefore more morally reprehensible than the death penalty, OR it’s a lesser punishment and then should not be seen as appropriate when handed down to the worst, most egregious murderers. Which is it? -- Jazzmine from Miami, Florida

Dear Jazzmine:
That’s a good point. I think people are just caught up on the killing aspect. Some people really just don’t want to execute criminals. It’s the difference between leaving someone to rot in jail versus executing them. Most people don’t feel comfortable executing someone even if the death is very clinical and the alternative of life in prison is like a prolonged torturing of a person’s mind. It is a bit of a hypocrisy. Still, there is that difference between taking a life and just letting one slowly decompose alone. As long as we see a difference in those two actions, there will always be people who are against one in favor of the other and will bend their definition of morality to suit their argument.

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