The Death Penalty Debate

Sense forever, our society has been debating the idea if the death penalty should be abolished or not. Some feel that some people deserve to die and not even get the opportunity to be in prison and others feel that killing someone is wrong if we are punishing them for likely killing someone too. Plus, you are really just giving them the easy way out. As we follow the journey of Meursault on death row we really get to see up close what this looks like. For me, it was hard to read. Usually when you hear about someone who is on death row you have no connection to them and don’t know anything about them. After reading The Stranger I feel like I got to know Meursault and it was hard for me to watch him sit in cell and fear his death no matter the crime he committed. The prosecutor in the court case argues that they should use the death penalty by saying “I felt this painful duty made easier, lighter, clearer by the certain knowledge of a sacred imperative and by the horror I feel when I look into a man’s face and all I see is a monster”(102). This argues one side of this argument about the death penalty being used on monster who shouldn’t deserve to live. However, Meursults defense attorney makes another argument to defend him by saying that Meusault “was already suffering the most agonizing of punishments- eternal remorse”(105). This is another view some people have. They believe dying is easy and spending your life in prison and feeling eternal remorse is worse. I think The Stranger does a really good job of showing both views up close. I just think it hits home and feels more real when you actually feel something for the person on death row, in this case Meusault.

3 thoughts on “The Death Penalty Debate


    I was never really able to put it into words, but I agree with your comments about the views people have on the death penalty. I think it can be a really hard issue to have an opinion on because of the morality that goes into it. Some may say dying is easy and you don’t have to be punished, but on the other hand, some see death as a punishment. I agree and I also think The Stranger did a good job of creating a balance between these two perspectives.


  2. Brendy F.

    An interesting thought that I had about Meursault’s punishment was what it was based on. I think that if Meursault appeared more remorseful and sad and cried at his mom’s funeral, he might’ve even been cleared of most or even all charges. The Arab did try to stab him with a knife after all. The only reason Meursault got sentenced to death was that he was too different in thought process to everyone else. He got punished for his personality, not his actions.


  3. Katarina O.

    I think that we often do not view those on death row as people because we do not have a personable connection with them. We know who Meursault is as a person which makes his death hurt. The Stranger is also able to show both sides of the argument by depicting the different beliefs that death is the easy way out or that dying is the worst punishment that one can receive. I think that The Stranger does a really good job of contrasting both of these views through the characters.


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