For the same reason that a murderer has no right to take away the life of another, I have no right to take away their life; nor does anyone else. Taking the life of another is so far from being a “right” that it cannot be a right held temporarily. Under no circumstances do I, or anyone, develop the right to take another’s life. You can’t earn the right to kill someone.
There are of course circumstances that could mitigate, whereby one might be forgiven for taking a life, but this doesn’t translate into having the right.
If I’m attacked, and I fear for my life, do I have the right to take the life of my adversary?
No, it may be something I have no choice but to do, but it is not my right to do so.
If I’m attacked, and I fear for my life, should I be punished if I take the life of my adversary?
If it is determined, in a fair and just way, that I had no choice and all other options could not have been successful then no, I should not.
If it is determined, in a fair and just way, that my actions were inappropriate and it was said I acted beyond what was necessary then yes, I should.
It is not my right, nor the right of any other, to take away the human rights of anyone. Not even those of a criminal. It is often necessary to ameliorate the potential of a criminal’s opportunity; by removing him or her from the same environment we all enjoy our rights. But the rights themselves should not be taken away.
Human rights are, among others: the right to eat, to be sheltered, to live a life of free choice, the right to work, the right to education and the right to not be tortured.
Yes, there should be consequences. As long, as those consequences don’t take away a person’s human rights, or reduce the capacity of those human rights more than absolutely necessary.
Prison, for short or long term, is one of our only options for serious crime. Prisons are overcrowded, and thus cost lots of money, but this should not be a deterrent from the idea. We, as members of society, are responsible for maintaining the freedoms of others, and where the rights of others are not withheld in the case of a victim’s right to life is taken, it is society as a whole that is to blame.
It is society as a whole that is to blame; you, me, every other person on the planet share the blame for the discomforts in life. We should not let this happen in the first place, unfortunately, our incompetence as a species mean that they do. When it does happen, we should not shirk responsibility. It is the price we pay to live in a “civilised” world.
My greed, my opulence and extravagance can be exchange for my freedom any day. So to can those things be sacrificed for the rights of others.