Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez: Arguments in favor of death penalty

Arguments in favor of death penalty
 (The Freeman) |

We stand behind the president on the death penalty as one and only Christian solution to crimes. This is with due respect to all those who oppose it vehemently, which includes the church, a number of peoples' organizations, NGO's and many groups and individuals, even including my youngest daughter who passionately believes with all her heart in restorative justice.

We are aware of the religious and spiritual arguments that repose only in the hands of God the power and prerogative to terminate a human being's life. We are also aware that the Pope and all the bishops and priests and nuns are taking a strong position against the proposal to reinstate into our penal books the death penalty.

In fact, we also believe in reformative and restorative justice. More than 99 percent of the convicted criminals have the potentials for reforms. That is why we still have a good number of penal institutions because most of our convicts shall be sentenced to imprisonment, ranging from the shortest sentence to the ultimate life sentence and reclusion perpetua.

The years in the national penitentiary shall afford the convicts a chance to be reformed and be rehabilitated. They are given the opportunity to change the course of their destiny by opting, after serving sentence, to go back to the mainstream of society and choose to do what is good and what is right.

In addition, we even have the probation system in our justice system. First offenders who have committed less serious felonies are, despite their conviction by final judgment, given the option to apply for probation.If and when accepted, the convicts are spared from imprisonment. They are allowed to go back to their respective community and there manifest their having reformed.

Upon being convinced that he has changed his life for the better, the probationer shall be completely released by the court. Thus, our current laws do give criminal offenders all the options, short of imprisonment, under appropriate circumstances provided by law.

And so, we submit that there are convicts who can reform. But one percent perhaps or even less number of criminals, those heinous criminals, may have forfeited any chance for reforms and rehabilitation, especially those who are recidivists and habitual offenders. We believe that there are people who do not deserve any liberality by the courts, especially those who murdered innocent children, raped their own daughters, and mothers and grandmothers, those who make crimes their business and means of acquiring wealth, fame and glory,those who have destroyed many lives and properties and those who pose a grave danger to peace and order and even place the security of the state under imminent risk.

The move to reinstate death penalty does not mean that those who can still be reformed will also be sent to the gallows or hanged. This is only giving the courts an option for a less than one percent of all convicts, an option which they may not at all avail of. And whenever they do impose this capital penalty, their judgment is not final.

All decisions imposing the death sentence are automatically reviewable by the highest court.

There are death penalties in many states in USA and here in Asia, in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Saudi Arabia and in almost all Middle East countries.

We need this as an effective deterrent against those who blatantly commit heinous crimes. This is an extreme measure, not a day-to-day thing.

Those who oppose death penalty should think of a better option to discourage the commission of capital offenses. But for me, this is it.

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