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Argument: Universal Declaration of Human Rights allows for death penalty

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Pro Death Penalty Webpage - CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND THE WORLD: In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is a pledge among nations to promote fundamental rights as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world. The political elite in Europe often condemn the US as human rights violators since we still use the death penalty on murderers, which they insist is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But they couldn't be more wrong.

Abolitionists interpret from Article 3 in that Declaration to proclaim each person's right to protection from deprivation of life, especially murderers! And they also point to Article 5, which states that no one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment. From this, abolitinists self-righteously declare that the death penalty violates both of these rights. But in fact, nowhere in that declaration is the DP specifically condemned as a human rights violation!

For instance, in Article 3 it states: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. Strangely, from this, abolitionists interpret that the death penalty is a human rights violation since it deprives a person's right to life. But if we were to follow that reasoning, we would have to abolish prisons as a human rights violation as well since they deprive people of liberty. We would also have to abolish charging taxes and fines since they violate one's "security of person." Indeed, it is clear that the drafters of the Declaration of Human Rights had the moral coherence to recognize the distinction between crime and punishment which abolitionists try so desperately to erase. So the interpretation that abolitionists derive from Article 3 of the Declaration is illogical and contradictory.

And in Article 5, it states: No one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment. From this, abolitionists insist that capital punishment is ruled out because it is "the ultimate cruel, inhuman, and degrading punishment." But that is their opinion, only! Indeed, what is stated in Article 5 is highly subjective and open to interpretation and could just as easily be applied to prisons as well. And at the time it was implemented, most nations who signed it had the had the death penalty and continued to use it long after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was approved by them. So obviously, the signers back then had the moral coherence to appreciate the distinction between murders and executions.

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