Wrong doing and right punishment make the standard pairing required of a civilized and orderly society. This reality is already a basic principle, a common practice, a proper observance even but in a domestic community – lest the children therein grow to be irresponsible, uncivilized and even dangerous to others. So it is said that inflicting punishment is irrelevant to a hermit who thinks and acts alone, who lives and dies alone. But the moment man lives and acts as a social being, in peace he is for going good and in trouble he is when doing evil – along the principle of “Rewards and Punishment”. The basic principle however remains that inhumanity of man to man basically unmakes the human person himself.
In order to protect the common good, the lawful public authority must exercise the right and the duty to inflict punishments according to the seriousness of the crimes committed – except that of killing the offender. Otherwise, the killer is just as bad as the one killed. While it is true that love is responded to by love, it is big malady when killing is countered by another killing. There are a hundred and one ways of punishing a killer – or any criminal for that matter. Killing him downright however is precisely the end to all punishments. More. The one who kills a killer, becomes a killer himself. This can be anything but right and just. So it is that the saying “Kapag buhay ang inutang, buhay rin ang kabayaran,” Can eventually be considered as the maxim of a dangerous circle of downright killers.
And so it is that the promotion and observance of just legislations is a postulate of truth, a premise of justice and a mandate of peace. The imposition of just penalties for violation of just laws is the dictate of reason, the rule of logic, the conclusion of common sense. The finality of these principles are the protection, the promotion, and maintenance of the common good – not exactly that of killing all law violators. Punishment does not serve merely the purpose of defending the public order and guaranteeing the safety of persons. It becomes as well an instrument for the correction of the offender – not exactly his killing.
So it is that the imposition of just penalties upon the violators of just laws that are proper according to Natural Law and just according to Positive Law is the standard way of preserving or restoring public order. Such penal sanctions furthermore serve to vindicate the innocent and hopefully to correct the offenders – not exactly kill the latter. By the way, human life is the premise of all human prerogatives. So it is that the right to life is the anchorage as well of all other human rights. Without life, what is there to speak about, to defend, to care for?
The question is that why do killers, murderers, assassins and their kind are happily around and enjoying life? The answer is because of a blatant contradiction of an unjust justice system. This is the core of the malady, the centerpiece of injustice. So it is that the saying “Justice delayed is justice denied,” is but mere tautology. The delay of justice is downright injustice. This is when law causes disorder, when injustice becomes in order.