The Death Penalty: Fair Result to Particular Crimes or An Unfair Result When Others are Enough Essay
The debate over capital punishment has started in the 18th century and it still going on. The question to be answered is should a person convicted for an atrocious crime be punished with death. Some people believe that certain crimes should carry death sentence and it is a fair decision. When a person murders someone, in a sense, he does not deserve to live. Because life is very valuable to everyone and people realize it only when they lose someone very close to them. Generally, there are some punishments which deserve capital punishment, for example crimes like high treason. But some other people believe that capital punishment is wrong. As far as possible, the death penalty should be limited. But advocates of the capital punishment argue that there are certain type of cases it should be awarded. For example, in Tans mania, in Australia, a person named Arthur Bryant, shot 33 people. According to them, awarding any other type of punishment is really a mockery of criminal justice system and a great injustice to victims families. As a result of abolishment of death penalty in UK, crimes have increased drastically. Moreover, it is alleged that criminals are treated better than the members of the victims families in UK. “Abolitionists claim that the death penalty is a means of revenge. It is not. One way for the victim's family to get revenge would be to go out and murder a member of the murderer's family in order to get him to experience the same type of suffering he put them through. If the purpose of the state in executing murderers was retribution or revenge, then criminals would be executed in the same way they that murdered their victims. But alas, the point of the death penalty is not to see how much pain can be unleashed on the murderer but to bring him to justice.”
Though, capital punishment is really horrifying, in a sense it is a measure to eradicate criminals from healthy society where they might commit heinous crimes, if given lesser punishment. Moreover, it will send strong warning to perspective killers. It is argued that capital punishment will serve as a deterrent to crime. According to statistics, countries which do not have capital punishment have a higher number of murder. Moreover, majority of the people support it. Most of countries which abolished capital punishment are not done through it referendum. Moreover, some of the surveys, death penalty supported by 2 to 1 margin Another advantage of the “ death penalty is that it gives a victim's relatives and friends closure. The victim's family has peace of mind when they know the killer can never murder again.”
On the other hand those who argue for the abolition of the capital punishment argue that “the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It violates the right to life. It is irrevocable and can be inflicted on the innocent. It has never been shown to deter crime more effectively than other punishments” (http://web.amnesty.org/pages/deathpenalty-index-eng)
and it is really an unfair decision when other sentences like imprisonment for life are available. Their arguments are based on the following discussions. It is quite strange that USA is the only country in the western world which imposes death penalty, but still has highest crime rate in the western world. Often people advocate, life imprisonment without parole as a n alternative sentence for capital punishment. The abolitionists of death penalty arguments are based on the facts that many times innocent defendants are put to death. Moreover, all procedures are so barbaric that it cannot form a part of a civilized world. It is not fair to accept the victims family members to pay taxes for the expenses of the murderer who has been kept in jail. Abolitionists argue that death penalty is the final denial of human rights, cold-blooded and premeditated murder by state in the name of justice. It is against the right to live which is mentioned in the universal declaration of human rights. It is a very degrading, cruel, and inhuman punishment so it should be abolished or replaced with other less foam of punishment such as life imprisonment without parol. Often death penalty discriminatory and more often used against blacks, minorities, poor etc. “Racial, ethnic and economic factors influence who is arrested, with a higher proportion of minorities and disadvantaged people likely to be on death row”
There is a possibility that innocence lives are taken away by the arbitrary actions of the state due to the fault in human justice system and “politics, quality of legal counsel and the jurisdiction where a crime is committed are more often the determining factors in a death penalty case than the facts of the crime itself. The death penalty is a lethal lottery: of the 22,000 homicides committed every year approximately 150 people are sentenced to death.”
(http://www.deathpenalty.org/index.php?pid=facts&menu=1%22)By arguing against death penalty we are no way showing disrespect for victims of violent rime and their families because it is an attempt to prove the cruelty inherent in the death penalty, which is not incompatible with the established norms of the civilized world. Moreover, it is often used as a apolitical tool for oppressing opponents. Hundreds of people have been put to death by a government only to be found out that they are innocents when the new government comes to power. So long as death penalty remains , there is a very high possibility of its misuse remains. Only abolishment of death penalty can make sure that such misuse don’t occur again. Many people support death penalty because they see it as an important tool for state to fight crime. But actually death penalty do not offer protection but further brutalization. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that death penalty is deterrent to crimes, in fact where death penalty has been active, the crime rate has grown up gradually. A study conducted by the united nations in 1996 on ‘death penalty and homicide’ rate fail to provide any scientific proof that death penalty has any great deterrent effect upon murderers. Often people who commit murder do not think about the consequences, they do it when emotions prevail over reason or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Sometimes, it is possible that, they are mentally unstable too. In the case of serial killers, they continue to commit crimes in the belief that they will not be caught. Probably, the methods to deal with such type of crimes are increasing the possibility of detection, arrest, and conviction. Moreover, there is a possibility that judges might commit mistakes something which cannot be corrected. In this case, capital punishment cannot prevent repeating crime which they did not commit in the first place. People should not make the assumption that a person who commits murder is likely to repeat it. By awarding death punishment to the offender we negate the principle of rehabilitation of criminals. Moreover, the experiences show us whenever, capital punishment is enforced some people are brought to book while some others who perpetrated more heinous crimes are escaped. The prisoners who are awarded capital punishment are not necessarily perpetrated those crimes but those who were poor to employ advocates or those who faced harsher judges. Some of the arguments of the advocates of the death penalty are not acceptable. For example, they talk about the money which has to spend for keeping a prisoner for life in jail. They say that it is illogical to spend huge amount of money on a person who is convicted for heinous crime. This money, according to them could be used for several community based programmes.
Terrorism and political violence are some of the reason which are pointed out the advocates of the capital punishment for not abolishing it. Actually execution of a terrorist can make him a martyr, and he may become the rallying point for the organization. So rather than a deterrent, it may serve as an incentive for terrorism and political violence. Moreover, terrorist groups use violence as a justification for their loss thus continuing cycle of violence. Abolitionists of capital punishment often argue that life imprisonment without parole as an alternative. But it is pointed out that sometimes, it is more cruel form of punishment than the death penalty itself as he prisoner condemned to spend entire life in his cell. But we should not forget that, the prisoner can hope for rehabilitation or exoneration in case he is subsequently found to be innocent. Death penalty removes the possibilities of exoneration or rehabilitation.