Saturday, May 24, 2014


On the national issue of capital punishment in Philippines, I am not in favor of using death penalty mainly due to humanitarian reason.  Aside from the potential wrongly convicted, the significance of human life is the sacred creation from God that is so precious and only He can take away the life and breath.  Human life is a gem gift from God that is priceless and no amount of corresponding pay can equal.  I am rather pro-life, hence a part of my standpoint is the religious position as Catholic but on the major side is because of my appreciation and valuing human life.  For outlaws found guilty in heinous crimes, lifetime sentence is the most appropriate yet effective penal.

It is not the question in the integrity of our justice system but rather it is merely the assurance if the truth has really prevailed.  There are people who really sent to jail without offense not because the justice was wrong but because of weak evidence.  It is not enough to be just honest, you must have held the supporting evidence.  The symbol of justice is a blindfolded woman carrying the weighing scale.  To make it equal, fair and square, justice doesn’t judge by looking at the respondent and complainant but instead it is weighting the heavier and more substantial evidence regardless of our status, name, and gender.  Theoretically, the case is being determined, weight and judge based on the evidences and lawyers’ defending prowess.  But in reality, it doesn’t really shown the real circumstances where only the prey, culprit and the possible witness know the naked truth.  Not of being skeptical but with this, it is possibly not the truth but it is the art of defending the situation.  It is a matter of showing the ability to win the argumentation and strong evidences.  If happened the victim has really no means to present strong evidence and pay great lawyer, then it doesn’t fully warrant that the sentence has deservingly served, and it is not impossible to judge the innocent or less guilty.

Taking the life of someone else is nobody’s rights.  All criminals, regardless of their offense are still human that should not be killed.  There were times in my perspective when abominable crimes and violence were rampant, I was perceived that death penalty should be legalized to combat these cruel criminals.  I used to believe in an eye for an eye, tooth for tooth dogma.   When life is owed, life too is the payoff.  But I have changed my point of view when I’d watched a movie about the true to life story of a murderer that was sentenced to death.  Watching convicted man when put into death, it was so depressing to watch the anxiety, sadness, and fear of a conscious man that is so weak, remorseful, humble and harmless.  It was so heart breaking to realize the true feeling of the person to be killed.  It was not for cinematic effect to feel these emotions but it was the fact that really happens.  Thanks that I have changed that point of view.  What if the convicted man whose life has just taken was really innocent?  I cannot forgive myself then.

Death penalty might an effective measure against crime in countries that have prompt and steadfast penal execution, the crime rate is at satisfactory notch.  But its success is unrealistic in a country that has a long line of death row where the sentenced today will be executed after ten years or more.  Given that long period, it makes seemed that there is no capital punishment being executed that will scare the possible outlaws.  If every convicted accused will be executed very soon, whoever is planning to do heinous crime will be terrified because of the abrupt consequence of this formidable punishment.  But nevertheless there is no need to kill.  Life sentence is as effective as the ultimate penalty that is enough to expiate the committed crime.  And it is not a matter of effective or inefficient but the issue of right or wrong.  In light of strict implementation of lifetime imprisonment without providing special treatment, politics, negligence against jailbreak, and even the provision of clemency or pardon – lifetime sentence is tantamount to death.  Let them serve the reality of living behind the bars for the rest of their lives for there is no worse payoff and more painful punishment than withholding to live freely forever.

By Alex V. Villamayor
pril 2, 2014

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