Is Death Penalty Justifiable?

Essay, 2015

4 Pages

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A death penalty is the sentence of execution for murder and some other capital crimes (serious crimes, especially murder, which are punishable by death). The death penalty, or capital punishment, may be prescribed by any state legislature for murder and other capital crimes. The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, false prophecy, blasphemy, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, or more rarely by firing squad, and sometimes by stoning.

Since the beginning of 20th century, almost all countries started using death penalty but it is no longer used in some countries. The pros & cons of death penalty leads to debate whether it is essential or not? It is very difficult to justify. By 2006, 86 countries have abolished & another 25 countries had not used death penalty for more than ten years. Ten countries, including the United States, China, Pakistan, Rwanda and Sudan voted against the resolution. Most counties in Asia, Africa, and U.S had retained the law .most democratic countries are poor &undemocratic except U.S.A & Japan.

Firstly, the death penalty pays proper respect to the importance of the life of the victim. While others may dismiss this as vengeance and that killing the perpetrator of the crime will in no way bring back or even compensate the loss of an innocent, the view from the other side of the coin may be such that this act of retribution will not only bring consolation to the victim’s family that justice has been done, but also act as an effective deterrent to potentially dangerous characters in society such that they think twice before committing such a hideous crime.

It is even in the Bible that retribution is one of the most effective means of punishment. Exodus 21/23 says “And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, and foot for foot.” How and why should one give so much concern and respect for a murderer and pardon him from the death row when he himself could not pardon his victim from death?

In April 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Commission passed the Resolution Supporting Worldwide Moratorium on Executions. The resolution calls on countries which have not abolished the death penalty to restrict its use of the death penalty, including not imposing it on juvenile offenders and limiting the number of offenses for which it can be imposed. In 2004, in the Chinese city of Wenzhou, police presents a group of convicts for sentencing but today this practice is taken as criticism .Some countries believe that the death penalty is racist, it punishes the poor, condemns innocent to die & sometime death penalty involves medical doctors, who are sworn to preserve life, in the act of killing . Death penalty violates international human rights laws& it is no longer practiced in most sophisticated societies because they believe life in prison also guarantees no future crimes.

It was August 3, the year was 1986. A man named Esquel Banda had just raped, stabbed and strangled a 74 year old widow by the name of Merle Laird in her own house. Banda then sucked the blood from the woman's mouth. Does that describe a kind, gentle man, who is not a threat to society? A man who values life or a man that deserves life when he seems so eager to destroy it? Some people believe that the death penalty is wrong.

Some people believe that the death penalty is wrong. Is it ok for a man to commit heinous murders but not ok for our valued legal system, whose outcomes depend on ordinary people like you and me, to decide to terminate that man’s life for his crimes to others. The death penalty is just that; a penalty. Its intention is to present an example to others, to show them 'not to commit crimes, or this may happen to you.

But in still in some countries to stop the heinous crimes, death penalty may add something more. People fear nothing more than death. Therefore, nothing will deter a criminal more than the fear of death and life in prison is less feared. Deserved punishment protects society morally by restoring this just order, making the wrongdoer pay a price equivalent to the harm he has done. This is retribution, not to be confused with revenge, which is guided by a different motive. One of the main principals of punishment and the judicial system is that the penalty fits the crime. If someone violently murders another individual or numerous people, then it makes sense for the punishment to be death. Some anti-death penalty campaigners describe examples of people on death row, or people have already been killed have then been proved innocent. Today, the accuracy of modern forensics and DNA testing makes it very unlikely for an innocent person to be put on death row. Furthering this point, it is argued that the number of innocent people that may be killed is equalised by the number of actual criminals that are set free.

Putting people in prison, as opposed to executing them gives them a chance of parole, meaning they can commit more crimes. Capital punishment means there is no chance of the criminal committing another crime. So ,it is still regarded as a necessity as for eg: Use of capital punishment is growing in India in the 2010s due to both a growth in right wing politics and due to anger over several recent brutal cases of rape While support for the death penalty for murder is still high in China. One of the gang rape case happened in India upon a girl aged 23 in a bus on December 16 ,2012 in Delhi aroused the government of Delhi to give Death penalty as it was highlighted by media upto international level & moreover a huge number of people out raged over there& finally as a result of protest , Delhi high court confirmed the death penalty for the first time awarded to the four men convicted for the gang rape and murder of Nirbhaya, calling their crime "spine-chilling" and "in a sense unparalleled in the history of criminal jurisprudence. In these types of cases, state can’t escape from giving death penalty to the criminals. So, Death penalty is justifiable to the countries where the same crimes are increasing & criminals are not even touched by police. Numerous studies published over the past few years, using panel data sets and sophisticated social science techniques, are demonstrating that the death penalty saves lives. Americans support capital punishment for two good reasons. First, there is little evidence to suggest that minorities are treated unfairly. Second, capital punishment produces a strong deterrent effect that saves lives. Not surprisingly, there's a political divide, too: 71 percent of Republicans support the death penalty, while only 47 percent of Democrats do in America.

While Saudi Arabia, Western-based organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have condemned both the Saudi criminal justice system and its severe punishments. However, most Saudis reportedly support the death penalty system and say that it maintains a low crime rate. The use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia is based on Sharia (or Islamic law) and is prominent internationally because of the wide range of crimes which can result in the death penalty and because it is usually carried out by public beheading.

Bring a mentality that “victim rights are more important than criminal rights”. Think from this point of view rather than of human rights & cruelty. Murderers are not innocent people fighting for their lives; that statement describes their victims. This is the era of technology & development so there is less chance of suffering innocent victims as in the past whoever found guilty were compelled for death sentence without knowing in detail. So, death sentences for heinous crime doer should be present in every country’s law to maintain stability & peace & to reduce chaos & crimes in the family, society & country. Government cannot sit closing their eyes to some criminal acts which are unbelievable to think & threatens the humanity. People will fear think once before doing the crime that they have to be give their life if they take others. This may indirectly or may be in a small amount support the victims. Although, effective law enforcement is most important in preventing crime. People are more likely to break the law when they feel they can get away with it. So, punishment must fit the crime & criminals should feel about the same pain the victim has suffered.

Lastly, the death penalty accords due respect to the rest of society. The death penalty puts away criminals for good, most of them hard-core and repeat offenders, and thus protects society from these undesirable characters. Ultimately, it is one of the best ways to respect the safety and liberty of the people by allowing them to roam the streets without fear in their hearts for their lives and safety. Besides the obvious incapacitated state of the convicted, the deterrence effect of the death penalty is also far from negligible. The death penalty helps to keep the streets, and innocents, safe.

The debate on the death penalty will never go away. It is my belief, however, that it is justified because it alone pays proper respect to the importance of human life. It respects the human life of the victim, the life of the convicted, as well as those of the innocents. The game of life must be played, and those who flout the rules and cheat by killing off other players must pay the price, however expensive. This price is death.


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Is Death Penalty Justifiable?
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Robin Chataut (Author), 2015, Is Death Penalty Justifiable?, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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