The recent attempted military coup has sparked a particular movement in Turkey.
In order to prevent any more coups, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has been pushing to renew the death penalty, which was abolished back in 2002.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, responded to this decision warning that if the death penalty is reintroduced in Turkey, EU membership cannot be granted.
Turkey has been negotiating EU membership since 2005, but the EU has been weary of issues such as the country’s racial oppression against the Kurdish minority and regulations on freedom of publication, making it difficult to proceed. Another issue was the death penalty. The EU has made death penalty abolition a condition for membership.
Deeply Rooted Fear of the Death Penalty in the EU
The abolition of the death penalty in the EU is due to respect for human rights, such as the possibility of false accusation and the consideration of a chance for repentance. The countries within the EU, however, are becoming hesitant on this matter.
A tragic incident occurred in France in 2006, where a serial killer murdered two children aged 4 and 5. Since then, many petitions have continued to demand the renewal of the death penalty. In the same year, 5 women were murdered in Britain and the serial killer was penalized with life imprisonment. The families of the victims were reported to have suggested reintroducing the death penalty to prevent the same sort of thing from happening again.
Killer of 77 Was Let Off With Imprisonment
Some countries outside of the EU want to renew the death penalty. Take the 2011 Norway attacks as an example.
The perpetrator was Anders Behring Breivik who killed a total of 77 people. Since the death penalty is prohibited in Norway, Breivik is currently serving 21 years in prison: the maximum sentence by Norwegian law.
In a public survey conducted 6 days after the attacks, around 66% of Norwegians countered that the penalty was far too light.
This sort of death penalty debate resurges after every atrocious crime in Europe.
80% of Japanese Think the Death Penalty is Inevitable.
Japan is a country that has a death penalty law.
In 2015 the Cabinet Office published a study of the public’s opinion on the law, and around 80% answered that the death penalty is necessary.
In the study, the two most commonly stated reasons for this were “if we abolish the death penalty, the victims and their families cannot end their suffering” and “criminals of brutality should pay with their lives”.
Should the death penalty continue or not?
Countries under the same democratic ideal have vastly differing opinions.
Countries with High Crime Rates Shouldn’t Trash the Death Penalty
In a lecture that became part of his book “The Moment of Truth”, Master Ryuho Okawa, founder of Happy Science, speaks about the death penalty to the people of Brazil.
“In countries with high crime rates, we shouldn’t easily throw away the death penalty. The death penalty should be kept in order to protect the good citizens.”
Of course in Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, punishment is far too severe in relation to crime, and that is the same for its death penalties. Sometimes the penalty is used erroneously to remove a country of people who go against the government. The crimes worthy of the death penalty must be critically debated. On the other hand, there would be nothing to prevent heinous crimes if we simply end the death penalty.
It is a fine balance.
Breakwater for Deadly Crimes: A Religion that Teaches Why We Are Born
For the death penalty to become needless, we must remove the crimes themselves. To do this, we need to spread a religion that can tell us the reason people are born.
From a spiritual perspective, people are souls and not bodies. We go back and forth between life in this world and life in the spiritual world to gather life experiences and continue polishing our souls. From this standpoint, evils committed during life will have to be paid for in hell. In this sense, payment for the crime by a death penalty will mean a lighter penalty after death.
Using this recent death penalty debate in Turkey, we must begin to think about how countries can reduce crime rates, and the role religion will play in that.