This I Believe

Andrea - Dowagiac, Michigan
Entered on October 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.


What if you did something wrong to someone, and then the same thing happened to you? This would be defined in a couple of words as, “Eye for an eye.” “Eye for an eye,” did once exist in 1790 B.C., but in our society today we no longer have this type of punishment. I don’t believe that the punishment that someone receives for a crime should be the same thing that they have done, no matter what the circumstances maybe. “Eye for an eye,” has past, present, and personal opinions, to support if someone should believe in, “eye for an eye,” or not.

In 1790 B.C. under Hammurabi’s Code of Law, there was “Eye for an eye.” There were 300 laws of Hammurabi’s on a stone pillar. Hammurabi had three goals; to cause justice, destroy the wicked and evil, and so the strong may not oppress the weak. Under his code there were two groups of laws, criminal and civil. Some laws had to do with property, assault, taxes, robbery, marriage, murder, and bus contracts. For example, if a builder built a home, which collapse with the family inside of it, and if the family inside were killed, then the builder would be sentenced to death. In this time there wasn’t a chance of a trial, or appeal. So in 1790 B.C., even if something happened that was an accident, it didn’t matter, if someone died, so did u.

I’m surely happy that there is no longer, “Eye for an eye.” Our society established in the constitution the eighth amendment. In the eighth amendment the law prohibits any cruel or unusual punishment. “Eye for an eye,” would go against the eighth amendment, and everything it stands for. In our society today everyone is guaranteed by law, a trial by jury. Some people get the death sentence, some get time in prison, the punishment really depends on the circumstances of the case. Also if a person believes they were wrongfully sentence, or whatever the case maybe, the can apply for appeal. So in our society today a person gets trial by jury and, their punishment usually depends on the evidence, and facts of the case.

I don’t believe that, “Eye for an eye,” is right. In some cases I do believe that life in prison is right, but I don’t believe anyone should be sentenced to death. Killing someone that has done a crime doesn’t only punish them, but also their families. In some situations, life in prison can be harder, on a person then the death penalty. The death penalty, is like a way out, the person doesn’t have to face and deal with what they have done. Life in prison makes the person think about what they have done for their entire life. Some people in prison only look forward to when their families come to see them, once a month. I had a personal experience a couple of years ago with the death of my uncle. My uncle was murdered by man who shot him three times. The sad thing is that my uncle didn’t die immediately, he suffered. But I think the strangest thing of it all was that I didn’t want his murder to get the death sentence, I wanted him to get life in prison, to pay for what he had done, and for all the pain and suffering he had caused my family and uncle, by his actions. Just all altogether I don’t believe in the death penalty, at all, no matter the circumstances, or who it may concern.

“Eye for an eye,” isn’t the way of our society today, but it was in 1790 B.C. I just don’t believe that there should be, “eye for an eye.” I have stated some past, present, and some of my beliefs for, “eye for an eye.” So I firmly believe that no one should live by the saying, “Eye for an eye.”