Reason For The Death Penalty For Terrorist
Before going deep into the reasons for the death penalty for terrorists, we need know the correct legal definition of terrorism. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DoD) defines terrorism as the calculated use of unlawful violence or threat of unlawful violence to inculcate fear; intended to coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.
In November 2004, a United Nations Security Council report defined terrorism as any act “intended to cause death or serious bodily harm to civilians or non-combatants with the purpose of intimidating a population or compelling a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act."
Death penalty for certain crimes vary by jurisdiction in the United States. Although jurisdictions require aggravating circumstances, most jurisdictions designate murder as a capital crime. If a terrorist uses weapons of mass destruction that results in death of an individual, then he is entitled to capital punishment -- therefore, terrorism also comes under the category of capital punishment.
The best example of capital punishment for terrorism is the execution of Timothy McVeigh in June 2001 for the murder of 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing.
The distinctive nature of terrorism lies in its intentional selection of non-combatants or civilians as direct targets. Terrorists view them as “symbols, animals, or corrupt beings” and not as threats and so target these non-combatants. Thus, a terrorist harms and targets innocent civilians to instill fear and accomplish radical or religious ends. Terrorism has also being linked with violence. According to Walter Laquer of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “the only general characteristic of terrorism generally agreed upon is that terrorism involves violence and the threat of violence."
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