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Isolation and Capital Punishments Essay


Isolation and capital punishments are both social evils. Isolating people deprives them the right to stay with their families, and limits their freedom of movement (Samaha 418).

Besides, isolated persons seem to acquire brain disorders in the end and they become obliterated socially. On the other hand, capital punishments such as deaths deprives of people the freedom of life and goes against God’s command which disallows intentional killings of persons, or murder.

Human beings need interaction with other people due to their social nature. Harlow used monkeys to study impacts of social isolation by raising these monkeys in a nursery. He concluded that neglected and orphaned children experience psychological damage, similar to monkeys.

Therefore, he showed that children need nurturing for proper functioning of their brains (Gawande par. 9). Experiments on human adults also show similar results. Long distance sailors, who only communicate through videos report high levels of loneliness that destroy their souls. Anderson, a chief Middle East correspondent, missed people terribly during his confinement.

He dozed off and yearned for any form of activity during the day. Later, he began trembling and he feared to lose his mind. Eventually, Anderson lost his mind and he began beating his forehead against the wall. Proponents of long-term isolation in prisons argue that it prevents violence and offers discipline (Gawande par. 13).

When prisoners disobey rules by engaging in drugs and attacking correction staff, wardens have no choice but to offer penalty in efforts to contain the behavior (Gawande par. 13). Therefore, proponents label isolation as unavoidable and term all those that fail to support this idea as naïve.

In America, the number of prisoners in isolation is quite high. America believes that confining prisoners together increases violence due to overcrowding. Besides, some criminals are just too dangerous for common housing. Britain tried solitary confinement of prisoners, but it failed as violence in the cells increased.

Alternatively, Britain adopted a system of preventing violence in prison instead of offering more punishments. They presented violent prisoners with more control by offering them opportunities for work, education as well as special programming (Gawande par. 72).

Britain found out that prisoners who were extremely violent in one area behaved perfectly well in other areas. In the same way, Felton, a psychosis who faced confinement at some point, argues against solitary confinement.

Capital punishment, similar to isolation, is also evil. Death penalty is certainly wrong, since every human being has a right to life. Besides, governments attain moral authority from God and thus, should not break His command against murder and avenge (Scalia par. 13). No person has power to avenge by death, as this is a divine responsibility.

Besides, most crimes that lead to capital punishments are less likely to come from the same offender for a second time. For instance, domestic murder that results from passion is unlikely to come from the same person for a second time. Nevertheless, involved persons undergo life imprisonment just as a form of punishment, or justice.

Clearly, this is vengeance, which is against the will of God. Besides, such persons are not likely to gain from any form of rehabilitation offered in prisons. Rather, imprisonment will just make them to lose their minds due to loneliness experienced in isolation.

The main reason behind punishment inflicted by the society is to rectify disorder that results from the offense. However, it is obvious that capital punishment hardly defends the society, or corrects disorder. The structure of the word’s penal system has seen much upgrading to include cells that are very clean, meals planned by nutritionists, rooms for exercise and even allows visits by partners.

This arrangement of just retribution does not prohibit evil acts, as people are not afraid to face reprimand with these conditions. The penalty of death is wrong, as no government or person has moral authority over life. The main force behind modern hatred to the death penalty is comparing government morality with personal morality. This is plain due to contemporary democratic governments.

The catholic religion, for instance, allows death penalty if it makes prudential considerations However, it becomes difficult to know when such considerations are prudent. The Catholic Church disallows maters such as abortion and birth control totally, yet considers death penalty as just and right in some occasions.

In conclusion, both isolation and capital punishments are social evils. Isolating prisoners causes psychological damage and does not stop violence, or discipline them as expected. While proponents of isolation label it as unavoidable, a country like Britain has adopted a system of preventing violence in prison, and not practicing isolation. Violent prisoners get more control through opportunities such as work and education.

Similarly, capital punishment in the form of death penalty is wrong, as life is divine. Besides, death penalty does not prevent crime, as same offenders never commit most crimes that lead to capital punishments. In addition, death penalty for vengeance is unjustifiable according to biblical doctrine. Therefore, societies should ban capital punishments and try other ways of handling persons who commit serious offenses.

Works Cited

Gawande, Atul. Hellhole: The United States holds tens of thousands of inmates in long-term solitary confinement. Is this torture? The New Yorker. 30 Mar. 2009. Web.

Samaha, Joel. Criminal justice, Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2006. Print.

Scalia, Antonin. God’s Justice and Ours. Issue Archive. May 2002. Web.

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