Running head: Death Penalty Essay

Death penalty or capital punishment is when an individual is sentenced to death by the state through a legal process as a punishment he or she has committed. Not all crimes result to death penalty but capital offenses. Historically, most of the capital punishments were done in public to serve as a warning to citizens and members of some notorious gangs. Few countries practice death penalty globally whereby 90% of these countries hail from Asia. This is because much of the rest of the continents practice Christianity which is against killing fellow human being.

Death penalty should be abolished due to a number of reasons. First, capital punishment does not prevent crime effectively. It lacks the restraining effect that is always alluded to by its proponents (Donohue III & Wolfers, 2006). Secondly, death penalty is against human rights. It violates the most basic human right, the right to life and therefore undermining human dignity. Thirdly, by advocating for death penalty, a state risks killing innocent citizens. Also, capital punishment is mostly applied randomly and this can be a cause of innocent people being executed (Schabas, 2012). There have been cases where individuals have been executed wrongly whereby the injustice cannot be ratified at any cost. Lastly, death sentence is against most religions and is therefore regarded as immoral.

In my opinion, judges should decide the factual issues about whether to impose the death penalty or not to. This is because unlike in the jury case, one does not give opening statements. Secondly, one does not deposit jury payment to the court. Lastly, a judge is likely to ignore any evidence presented to him or her from the prosecutor. Normally, in a jury case the evidence is objected to by the acting attorney (Zimring, 2008). In brief, death penalty should be completely abolished globally and no state should be allowed to practise it.


Donohue III, J. J., & Wolfers, J. (2006). Uses and abuses of empirical evidence in the death penalty debate (No. w11982). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Schabas, W. (2012). The abolition of the death penalty in international law. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.

Zimring, F. E. (2008). The contradictions of American capital punishment (p. 181). New York: Oxford University Press.