To Kill Or Not To Kill

5,800 deaths and counting. The year 2016 has been bathed in blood. The blood of “drug lords” and “drug pushers”. The blood of sinners. To some, this would mean victory. Finally, judgment has been made. Justice has been given.

Justice.

What does it mean?

This “war on drugs” have constantly reminded me of this anime I watch a few years ago, Deathnote. Similar to our “war on drugs” theme, the show depicted a boy, called Kira, who killed criminals by simply writing down their name on a notebook. The irony is in how “Kira” and “Killer” sound the same.

Also similar to our situation, a lot of people agreed with his sentiment: Get rid of the bad people. Although there were those who opposed as well. The conversation in this anime on whether it was right or wrong to kill criminals intrigued me and I think can applied to our current situation as well.

I agree it’s easy to have that “us” vs “them” mentality. After all, that’s what all those superhero movies have been telling us, right? The hero destroys the villain. Justice is when bad men are killed or punished.

And it’s not like I don’t get what it feels like. If I were abused, raped, or wronged in some way, of course my initial thought would be to destroy that person.

But is that me wanting justice? Or me wanting revenge?

What is justice? It seems like a lot of people have different ideas on what justice is.

For me, death is a mercy. With death, the person won’t have to worry about tomorrow. He won’t have to worry about work, shelter, food, or money. He won’t have to worry about the further consequences of his actions.

For me, justice means making that person look at himself in the mirror and have him face his sins and the hurt he has caused unto others. For me, justice is achieved when that person decides to change for the better.

Is my idea of justice the right form of justice? Or is that just me favoring long psychological torture instead of immediate death for my enemies?

What is justice? Is it to kill or not to kill those who have committed a crime? Do we even have the right to play God and decide who dies and who lives? If a person kills, he is a killer. But what about the person who kills the killer? Is he a hero? Is he not a killer too?

Recently, the death penalty has been approved to be reinstated. That would mean more death for criminals.

That would mean more death.

I believe that criminals, rapists, drug lords, etc. are indeed a huge problem. But I also think that dehumanizing these people is also a huge problem. To treat other people as things to be disposed of is also a problem.

What does this tell us about who we are as a society? Is there really an “us” vs “them”? Isn’t there just “us”?

And is it really okay to have a death penalty in a corrupt government where officials can be easily bribed to frame other people?

About AJ Santos

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