The human race has committed many atrocities. Elie Weisel's Night only proves the point! The acts committed in the 20th century may seem a world away. However it is only the 21st century now and the world is still encountering gross violations to human rights. as humans we shouldn’t we speak up to influence action against these injustices? Often, you may hear individuals caught in a state of shock, saying that they may not believe that in this day and age injustices are still occurring. “How could we have sat back and let that occur?” they ask.
The answer to this is simple. The people,ordinary and extraordinary, did not make enough of a big deal about the issue. In order for change to occur, people must do more than solely speak up, but also place action behind their beliefs.
Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must-at that moment- become the center of the universe…There is so much injustice and suffering crying out for our attention: victims of hunger, of racism and political persecution…Human rights are being violated on every continent. More people are oppressed than free. How can one not be sensitive to their plight? Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere.
Nobel Peace Acceptance Speech 1986
There is no better way to say it. Weisel hits the note just right in order to change the plights and human rights injustices people are facing, the people must choose to interject and make change. Although change may not be immediate, it happens over time. By interjecting one may prevent others from experiencing a repeat of the same injustices in the future. If anything has been learned from the prior century’s experiences it is to either fight or sit back and discreetly gossip about what could have been done. Take an active role combatting the injustices of the world; for they may always exist!
Genocide is “the systematic killing of all the people from a national, ethnic, or religious group or an attempt to do this”. Genocide and human rights violations will persevere so long as the human race exists. These “evils” that have doubtlessly occurred since the dawn of time. They may prove impossible to eradicate, we must still act against them to prevent them from spreading and worsening.So long as an individual is experiencing plight we must take action against these “evils” in the name of humanity and civilization.
As Weisel clearly stated it is the responsibility of the people to “interfere” and to remain aware of the suffering of humanity. I do not believe the United States should get involved every time human rights violations occur in other countries. The United States itself is violating a few of their own citizen’s human rights, and we should all be careful of what we do at home. Intervention is not always productive for other countries in human rights terms because it leaves room for dependence on the “savior” country.
The United States is supposed to be one of the more civilized countries, but we still uphold the death penalty. The death penalty is “a sentence of punishment by execution”. This is an injustice within the because it violates Article 5 of the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that clearly states that, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
Is the death penalty not cruel and torturous, inhuman and degrading punishment? Others may demur, but I do not!When an individual is falsely sentenced to the death penalty it is degrading and morally repulsive.The death penalty is inhuman! How could it not be; it is the taking of an individual’s life nonetheless. What makes the justice system plausible enough to determine, when it is time for an individual to live or die?
Whether the individual has or has not committed the crime; article 5 of the preamble is being misrepresented thus having injustices. The death penalty is an inexcusable alternative to punishment for a crime. There are times when the individual faced with the death penalty has been wrongly accused. For instance there is a man named Thomas Arthur who never committed the crime which he is facing the death penalty for! The true culprit of the crime has admitted his wrong-doing yet an innocent man will be put to death on the 29th of March. Where is this adhering to the article which is clearly stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
“1 Death Row inmate found to be wrongfully convicted for every 7 executed.” Is this not preposterous? The opposing argument of the death penalty being a deterrent to crime is inaccurate; the same or worse crimes are still being committed. Think about it in the United States our crime statistics are 6 times that of Britain and 4 times that of Australia both which do not have the death penalty. I thought the United States had the most “sophisticated” society? The death penalty provides killing as an alternative solution to a difficult situation. Whatever happened to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?” I have also found that the death penalty discriminates on the basis of “socioeconomic status, race and geography.”
The death penalty is also 4 times as costly as placing inmates behind bars for the rest of their lives.. It has also been proven that those facing or having faced death row were given cheap inexperienced or burnt out legal representation. Ultimately, securing the outcome of the court proceedings. The determining factors to a death penalty conviction are often based less on the crime itself and more on politics, quality of legal counsel, and the jurisdiction where the crime was originally committed. When observing these cases it is almost as if you have signed your death sentence beforehand.Without the proper precautions and a well-placed legal counsel and money in the bank your chances of securing a fair and just verdict dwindle.
The solution to the death penalty’s injustices would be to abolish it from not only the United States but all countries. However, one must start first with that which we govern and then worry about the plights of others. As for the United Nations they need to get it together before the people start doing so themselves!
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