Infor on Death Penalty in the PhilippinesFull description
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“Thou shalt not kill.”
Exodus 12:13, King James Version
contrary, perhaps an exception of the rule. Leviticus 20:2 speaks, people
killing as a punishment is justified.
penalty here in the Philippines as a Christian nation run a spectrum of opinions, From the complete condemnation of the punishment, seeing it as a form of revenge and as contrary to
support based primarily on Old Testament Law.
(Retrieved April1, 2013 from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ capital_ punishment#I punishment#In_favou n_favour) r) The teachings of Jesus Christ in one of his example in the story Pericope Adulterae, in which Jesus intervenes in the stoning of an adulteress, are generally accepted as his condemnation Christians
penalty. Many Christians have believed that Jesus’ doctrine
from civil government’s duty to punish crime
(Retrieved April1, 2013 from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ capital_ punishment#I punishment#In_favou n_favour) r) In list
commandment is translated as “Thou shalt not kill” by some denominations and as “Thou shalt not murder” by others. As some
subject, Christians of such denominations are free to make a personal decision.
Huggo A. Bedau (1982) states one popular objection to Capital punishment is that it gratifies the desire for revenge regarding as unworthy. The bible quotes the Lord declaring “Vengeance is mine” (Romans 12:19).
legitimized vengeance and reserved it to Himself.
the Bible also enjoins, “The murderer shall surely be put
to death” (Numbers 35:16-18), 35:16-18), recognizing that the death penalty can be warranted whatever the motive.
tradition certainly suggests no less (p. 330).
All religions believe having life is sacred.
If we deprive someone else life, he only suffers
minor inconvenience; hence, we cheapen human life — this is where we are at
The bible so provides how justice be rendered in the early days. Followers of the words of God believed, “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3, ESV ). Likewise with this verse from the book of of Exodus, It states, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot” (Exodus 21:24, ESV ). If life was deprived then it comes with it that life should also be paid; simply the essence of justice---giving what is due to others. Some people argue that the capital punishment tends to brutalize and disregards society.
Do you agree?
Some people say the
penalty is legalized murder because it is like “an eye for an eye”.
The difference between punishment and the crime
is that one is legalized and the other is not!
more brutalized by what they see on T.V. daily. People are not brutalized by punishments they are brutalized by our failure to serious punish, the brutal acts.
Could the same effect be achieved by putting the criminal in prison for life?
“Life in prison” means in six
months the parole board can release the man to 12 years in some states.
“But even if it were real life imprisonment,
its deterrent effect will never be as great as that of the death penalty.
The death penalty is the only actually
Because of that, it is the one that
people fear the most (Isenberg, I., 1977). Fear could be one reason people will deter from doing heinous crimes. If
death penalty will give that fear to people in order for them not to commit crimes, then it will serve its purpose very well. Indeed, prevention is much better than cure. No one to punish if no one commits.
The framers of the constitution clearly believed that Capital punishment was an acceptable mess of protecting society form “wicked dissolute men” thus death penalty may be permitted and all the more be reinstated though once abolished. The case of People Vs. Echegaray, 267 SCRA 682, discusses why death penalty was again reinstated, to wit: “Rape is a heinous crime. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. In an interview with Professor van den Haag, a psychoanalyst and adjunct professor at New York University, was questioned, “Why do you favor the death penalty?”
His answer was that the Federal prison had a man
sentenced to Life who, since he has been in prison committed three more murders on three separate occasions. They were prison guards and inmates.
There’s no more
punishment he can receive, therefore, in many cases, the death penalty is the only penalty that can deter. on
saying “I hold life sacred, and because I hold it
sacred, I feel that anyone who takes some one’s life should know that thereby he forsakes his own and does not just suffer an inconvenience about being put into prison for some time (as cited in Isenberg, 1977, p. 135)
Because of the increasing rate of heinous crimes in the country, the issue is whether or not the death penalty should be reinstated.
Under RA 7659, heinous crimes are defined as being “grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society."
The etymological root of the word "heinous" can be traced to the Early Spartans' word, "haineus", meaning, hateful and abominable, which, in turn, was from the Greek prefix "haton", denoting acts so hatefully or shockingly evil. The definition or description of heinous crimes is found in the second whereas clause of the preamble of Republic Act No. 7659, which reads: "x x x the crimes punishable by death under this Act are heinous for being grievous, odious and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrageous to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society." This definition or description, according to the Supreme Court, is a sufficient criterion of what is to be considered a heinous crime. This criterion is deliberately undetailed as to the circumstances of the victim, the accused, place, time, the manner of commission of crime, its proximate consequences and effects on the victim as well as on society, to afford
the sentencing authority sufficient leeway to exercise his discretion in imposing the appropriate penalty in cases where Republic Act No. 7659 imposes not a mandatory penalty of death but the more flexible penalty of reclusion
perpetua to death. The following crimes are some penalized by reclusion
perpetua to death under R.A. No. 7659:
Treason (Sec. 2)
Qualified piracy (Sec. 3)
Parricide (Sec. 5)
Murder (Sec. 6)
Infanticide (Sec. 7)
Kidnapping and serious illegal detention if attended by any of the following four circumstances: (a) the victim was detained for more than three days; (b) it was committed simulating public authority; (c) serious physical injuries were inflicted on the victim or threats to kill him were made; and (d) if the victim is a minor, except when the accused is any of the parents, female or a public officer (Sec. 8)
Robbery with homicide, rape or intentional mutilation (Sec. 9)
Destructive arson if what is burned is (a) one or more buildings or edifice; (b) a building where people usually gather; (c) a train, ship or airplane for public use; (d) a building or factory in the service of public utilities; (e) a building for the purpose of concealing or destroying evidence Or a crime; (f) an arsenal, fireworks
factory, or government museum; and (g) a storehouse or factory of explosive materials located in an inhabited place; or regardless of what is burned, if the arson is perpetrated by two or more persons (Sec. 10)
Rape attended by any of the following circumstances: (a) the rape is committed with a deadly weapon; (b) the rape is committed by two or more persons; and (c) the rape is attempted or frustrated and committed with homicide (Sec. 11)
Plunder involving at least P50 million (Sec. 12)
Importation of prohibited drugs (Sec. 13)
Sale, administration, delivery, distribution, and transportation of prohibited drugs (id.)
Maintenance of den, dive or resort for users of prohibited drugs (id.)
Manufacture of prohibited drugs (id.)
Possession or use of prohibited drugs in certain specified amounts (id.)
Cultivation of plants which are sources of prohibited drugs (id.)
Importation of regulated drugs (Sec. 14)
Manufacture of regulated drugs (id.)
Sale, administration, dispensation, delivery, transportation, and distribution of regulated drugs (id.)
Maintenance of den, dive, or resort for users of regulated drugs (Sec. 15)
Possession or use of regulated drugs in specified amounts (Sec. 16)
Misappropriation, misapplication or failure to account dangerous drugs confiscated by the arresting officer (Sec. 17)
Planting evidence of dangerous drugs in person or immediate vicinity of another to implicate the latter (Sec. 19)
Car napping where the owner, driver or occupant of the carnapped motor vehicle is killed or raped (Sec. 20).
(Retrieved: March 30, 2013,
http://wiki.lawcenter.ph/index.php?title=Heinous_crimes ) So what is death penalty and why it should be imposed as penalty for heinous crimes?
US www.Legal.com provides for the definition of death penalty, it is the sentence of execution for murder and some other capital crimes (serious crimes, especially murder, which are punishable by death). The death penalty, or capital punishment, may be prescribed by Congress or any state legislature for murder and other capital crimes. The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty is a valid capital punishment.
on the other hand defines Capital
punishment or the death penalty as a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime. The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual process of killing the person is an execution. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital
offences . The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis , literally "regarding the head" (referring to execution by beheading). (Retrieved March 30, 2013 from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Punishment ) Capital punishment has, in the past, been practised by most societies (one notable exception being Kievan 
currently 58 nations actively practise it, and 97
countries have abolished it (the remainder have not used it for 10 years or allow it only in exceptional circumstances 
such as wartime).
It is a matter of active controversy in
various countries and states, and positions can vary within a single political ideology or cultural region. In the European Union member states, Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union prohibits the use of capital punishment. (Retrieved March 30, 2013 from:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Punishment ) Currently, Amnesty International considers most 
The UN General Assembly has
adopted, in 2007, 2008 and 2010, non-binding resolutions calling for aglobal moratorium on executions, with a view 
to eventual abolition.
Although many nations have
abolished capital punishment, over 60% of the world's population live in countries where executions take place, such as the People's Republic of China, India, the United States of America and Indonesia, the four most-populous countries in the world, which continue to apply the death
penalty (although in India, Indonesia and in many US states it is rarely employed). Each of these four nations voted against the General Assembly resolutions (Retrieved March 30, 2013 from:
Death is a deserved punishment for serious crimes such as
serious crimes as well as a greater respect for the law. It also
permanent incapacitation of the offender.
rationalisation, that has been put forward from either camp which
the debate regarding the Death Penalty.
far from uniform, and there has been on occasion, calls for a referendum to be held on the issue.
Death penalty, however, in the present days, confronts society
Conflicts in the minds of men arise as whether or not death penalty Here
Aquino administration 1987 According to the 1987 Constitution, Art. III (Bill of Rights),
(1) Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel, degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted. Neither shall death penalty be imposed, unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes, the Congress hereafter provides for it. Any death penalty already imposed shall be reduced to reclusion perpetua. In mid-1987, a bill to seeking to reinstate the death penalty for 15 'heinous crimes' including murder, rebellion and the import or sale of prohibited drugs was submitted in Congress.
1988 In 1988, the military started lobbying for the imposition of the death penalty. Then Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief General Fidel Ramos was prominent among those calling for the reintroduction of the death penalty for rebellion, murder and drug-trafficking. The military campaign for the restoration of the capital punishment was primarily against the CPP-NPA, whose offensives then included urban assassination campaigns. Anti-death penalty groups including Amnesty International opposed the bill, but the House of Representatives voted for restoration by 130 votes to 25.
1989 Three similar bills were put before the Senate. After a
bloody 1989 coup, President Aquino certified as urgent one of these bills on the prompting of Ramos. The said bill again proposed death penalty for rebellion, as well as for sedition, subversion and insurrection.
1990 The Senate suspended the vote on death penalty for a year
1991 The Senate did not agree to move to a decision.
Ramos administration A series of high profile crimes during this period, including the murder of Eileen Sarmenta and Allan Gomez, created public impression that heinous crimes were on the rise. The Ramos administration succeeded in restoring death penalty.
1992 President Fidel Ramos during his first State of the Nation address declared that his administration would regard the restoration of the death penalty a legislative priority, and
urged Congress to take speedy action.
1993 Ramos signed into Republic Act 7659, the new death penalty law, on December 13, 1993.
1994 Republic Act 7659 took effect on January 1, 1994.
1996 Republic Act No. 8177, which
mandates that a death
sentence shall be carried out through lethal injection, was approved on March 20, 1996.
Estrada administration Seven death convicts were executed during the Estrada administration before he announced a moratorium on executions.
1999 Leo Echegaray, 38, was executed by lethal injection on February 5, 1999. He was the first to be executed after the Philippines restored death penalty. It was the Philippine's first execution in 22 years. Six more men followed within the next 11 months.
2000 On March 24, 2000, Estrada imposed a de facto moratorium in observance of the Christian Jubilee Year. He also granted 108 Executive Clemencies to death convicts. On December 10, 2000, Human Rights Day, Estrada announced that he would commute sentences of all death convicts to life imprisonment. He expressed his desire to certify as urgent a bill seeking a repeal of the Death Penalty Law.
Arroyo administration Please see Gloria Arroyo on death penalty--a timeline while the Arroyo administration has been characterized by a flip-flopping stand on death penalty, no death convict has been executed under her watch. Voting separately, the two Houses of Congress on June 6, 2006 repealed the death penalty law. Arroyo signed Republic Act 9346 on June 24, 2006. The law prohibited the imposition of the death penalty.
When the word death penalty is used, it makes yelling and screaming from both sides of extremist.
One side may
say deterrence, while the other side may say, but you may execute an innocent man. Debates are deemed never ending if such topics are being raised.
Is death penalty really
inhuman to be imposed as a penalty or it is only just?
Frank Carrington (1978) states- is there any way one can tell whether the death penalty deters murders from killing? There is no way one can tell whether the death penalty deters murderers from killing.
goes on that proponents of capital punishments should not have to bear the burden of proving deterrence by a reasonable doubt.
Nor should the abolitionist have to
prove deterrence by a reasonable doubt -neither side would be able to anyway.
Frank Carrington (1978) claims common sense supports the inference that if, the threat of the death penalty decreases, the rate of murders increases than it may be true.
But if the threat had increased, the homicide rate
Millions are being killed and will be killed because our justice system is not working.
already been killed and will be killed every year.
According to Time Magazine, there are 2,000,000
people beaten in the United States. Some are knifed, shot, or assaulted.
Crime growth has been going up in the past because of too much leniency going hand in hand with the increased rate of
people being victimized.
There are many loop
holes devised for offenders, and because of that crime rate has increased drastically. increased 11 times. being
Between l960 to 1968 crime rate
More and more people are
murdered, raped, assaulted, kidnapped, and robbed,
etc. (Isenberg, I., 1997).
Most people have a natural fear of death- its a trait man have to think about what will happen before we act.
we don’t think about it consciously, we will think about it unconsciously.
Think- if every murderer who killed someone
died instantly, the homicide rate would be very low because no one likes to die.
We cannot do this, but if the
Justice system can make it more swift and severe, we could change the laws to make capital punishment faster and make appeals a shorter process.
The death penalty is important
because it could save the lives of thousands of potential victims who are at stake (Bedau, H., 1982).
In a foot note Bedau (1982) cites, “Actually being dead is no different from not being born, a (non) experience we all had before being born. realized.
But death is not
The process of dying which is a different matter
is usually confused with it.
In turn, dying is feared
because death is expected, even though death is feared because it is confused with dying (p. 338)”.
Death is an experience that cannot be experienced and ends all experience.
Because it is unknown as it is
certain, death is universally feared.
“The life of a man
should be sacred to each other (Bedau, H., 1982, p. 330)”.
The question is whether or not execution of an innocent person is strong enough to abolish the death penalty. Remember, the death penalty saves lives.
murders are eliminated and foreseeable murders are deterred.
You must consider the victim as well as the
Hugo Bedau (1982) claims:
The execution of the innocent believed guilty is amiscarriage of justice that must be opposed whenever detected.
But such miscarriage of justice do not warrant
abolition at the death penalty.
Unless the moral drawbacks
of an activity practice, which include the possible death of innocent lives that might be saved by it, the activity is warranted.
Most human activities like medicine,
manufacturing, automobile, and air traffic, sports, not to mention wars and revolutions, cause death of innocent bystanders.
Nevertheless, advantages outweigh the
disadvantages, human activities including the penal system with all its punishments are morally justified ( p. 323).
Wesley Lowe states, “As for the penal system, accidentally executing an innocent person, I must point out that in this imperfect world, citizens are required to take certain risks in exchange for safety.”
He says we risk
dying in an accident when we drive a car, and it is acceptable.
Therefore, risking that someone might be
wrongfully executed is worth
saving thousand’s of innocent
people who may be the next victim of murder.
Opponents say the State is like a murder himself.
argument here is, if execution is murder, than killing someone in war is murder. wars.
Our country should stop fighting
On the contrary, is it necessary to protect the
rights of a group of people?
Hence, the death penalty is
vital to protect a person’s right to live! someone same as kidnapping someone?
In the same, executing
someone is not murder; it is punishment by society for a deserving criminal.
If we do not know whether the death penalty will deter others, we will be confronted with two uncertainties.
we have the death penalty and achieve no deterrent effect, than, the life of convicted murderers has been expended in vain (from a deterrent point of view) — here is a net loss.
If we have the death sentence, and deter future
murderers, we spared the lives of future victims-(the prospective murderers gain, too; they are spared punishment because they were deterred).
In this case, the death
penalty is a gain, unless the convicted murderer is valued more highly than that of the unknown victim, or victims (Carrington, F., l978).
Capital Punishment is not excessive, unnecessary punishment, for those who knowingly and intentionally commits murder in premeditation, to take lives of others.
Even though capital punishment is not used so
often, it still is a threat to the criminal.
Justice requires punishing the guilty even if only some can be punished and sparing the innocent, even if all are not spared. to equality.
Morally, justice must always be preferred
Justice cannot ever permit sparing some
guilty person, or punishing some innocent ones, for the sake of equality — because others have been spared or punished.
In practice, penalties could never be applied if
we insisted that they can be inflicted on only a guilty person unless we are able to make sure that they are equally applied to all other guilty persons.
familiar with the law enforcement knows that punishments can be inflicted only on an unavoidable “shudder” selection of the guilty (Bedau, H., 1977).
Irwin Isenberg (1977) said, when you kill a man with premeditation, you do something different than stealing from him.
“I favor the death penalty as a matter of
justice and human dignity even apart from deterrence.
penalty must be appropriate to the seriousness of the crime (p. 135). The more heinous it becomes or the more frequent it is committed, the more appropriate death penalty be imposed.
Presently in the Philippines, crimes are now more serious and heinous, The recent unfortunate mass killings in the Ampatuan case, the series of killings of media me, the murders due to political interests, the cases of rapes committed by a family member to another family member and the trending cases of juvenile as perpetrators only shows how fearless our criminals became. This calls for a firmer and stricter approach to diminish them. This would justify the reinstatement of death penalty. It would not render such as something inhuman, brutal degrading nor cruel. It’s
a necessity rather. The unwanted development and progression of crime in any way whatsoever would justify the restoration of death penalty. The Constitution is even in accord with such contention.
According to the ruling of People vs. Echegaray, 267 SCRA 682: Article III, section 19 (1) of the Constitution plainly vests in Congress the power to reimpose the death penalty. The exercise of the power requires that Congress define what are heinous crimes and penalize with death are grievous, odious and hateful and by reason of their inherent viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant to common standards and norms of decency and morality. The definition is sufficient description of what are to be considered as heinous crimes. There are crimes which by their nature are despicable, because life was callously taken or victim was treated like an animal and dehumanized. There are crimes which are abominable because of the significance and implications of the criminal acts in the scheme of the socio-political and economic context in which the State find itself to be struggling to provide for the underprivileged. Republic Act No. 7659 correctly identified the crimes warranting the penalty of death.
The compelling reason must involve heinous crimes before the act of congress to reimpose death penalty be valid. What are heinous crimes then? According to the definition provided by R.A. 7659, crimes are heinous for being grievous, odious, and hateful offenses and which, by reason of their inherent or manifest wickedness, viciousness, atrocity and perversity are repugnant and outrages to the common standards and norms of decency and morality in a just, civilized and ordered society. The
court found this definition or description to be sufficient criterion of what is to be considered a heinous crime which would render the act of the congress in restoring death penalty valid.
The case of People Vs. Echegaray, 267 SCRA 682, cited a crime which can be considered heinous: Rape is a heinous crime. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life.
Such degree of damage it caused to the life of the victim can justify the penalty of death. Heinous crimes will not only cause physical trauma but also moral, social, emotional and psychological on the part of the victim. That are not easy to manage and lasts to a considerable length of time. Such heinous crimes the penalty of death would only be proper if rape has caused the victim to suffer grave anguish.
I believe that the increasing rate of heinous crimes may further be prevented if a capital penalty be imposed upon them. The fear of death could greatly influence them not to commit such crimes. Reclusion perpetua as next to Death, though very long has only reinforce criminals to do their things. They made imprisoned but they can always free themselves by affecting an escape.
With the supporting details, information and jurisprudence, I am in the strong belief that the re imposition of death penalty is a necessity in the country.
Death Penalty in the Philippines (2008). Retrived: April 7,2013 from http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/htmfiles/death penalty/Death-Penalty-in-the Philippines.html
Wikipedia/Capital Punishment. Retrieved: March 29, 2013 from http://en.Wikipedia.org.wiki/Capital_punishment#In_favour
US Legal (2001-2012). Retrieved: March 28, 2013 from http://definitions.uslegal.com/d/death-penalty-law/
Capital Punishment. Retrieved April1, 2013 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/capital_punishment#In_favour
Retrieved: March 26, 2013, http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/ornellaspaper.htm
Retrieved: March 30, 2013, http://wiki.lawcenter.ph/index.php?title=Heinous_crimes
The 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines: A Commentary by S.J. Bernas
Political Law Compendium, 2006 Edition by Atty. Jacinto D. Jimenez
People Vs. Echegaray, 267 SCRA 682
Republic Act 7659
Republic Act 8177
The Holy Bible, The New King James Version
“With The Increasing Rate of Heinous Crimes in the
Philippines, Reinstatement of Death Penalty is Deemed Necessary”
A Term Paper Submitted to: Atty. Jose Edmund Guillen Faculty, College of Law Central Philippine University
In Partial Fulfilment Of the Requirement for the Course Constitutional Law