Why we should be far more skeptical about the death penalty Essay
It is apparent that the issue of the death penalty has been debatable for quite a long time. Nevertheless, not a single study has ever elucidated on whether the death penalty should be endorsed or not. Basically, the bone of contention has always revolved around religious beliefs, and the application of utilitarian theory whereby the advocacy has been to go by the side that yields greater benefits. For those that advocate on the death penalty, it is evident that they wish for the end results to have impact on reducing the number of crimes. On the other hand, those that feel that the death penalty is not a better solution hold the view that there are other ways through which penalties can be applied in order to curb the crime menace (Shaykh 84).
Nevertheless, whichever the side that people go by, it is apparent that the underlying principle is for everyone to be skeptical about the reality on the ground. As Bertrand Russell argues in his article, it would be necessary to consider articulating on uncommon opinions, which would in a way be of help in the transformation of social and political systems. In this regard, it is analytically correct to argue that the side that people could be less skeptical about could be the side with potential to offer solutions to an issue with dilemma. For example, it is unclear if many people endorse the death penalty. Nevertheless, going by the hypothesis that many people do not advocate for the death penalty, it could have some implications that having the death penalty in place could help in reducing the incidences of crime (Yorke 205).
For example, one would argue that putting the death penalty in place would create some fear to persons with deviant behaviours. In fact, in another dimension, some victims of deviant behaviour by the defendant would only feel that justice has been done if the death penalty is executed on the offender. Perhaps, this would go in line with what others would term as favoring offenders if the death penalty is not imposed on them.
All in all, I would not advocate for the death penalty. It is evident that those that advocate for it would be less skeptical about it. Nevertheless, I would argue that having the death penalty in place would not for example cause resurrection of somebody killed by the offender. If anything, this would be causing another crime of murder. This is where the issue of religious beliefs comes in. Many religions do not advocate for the death penalty as it is associated with going against the will of God (Stewart 102).
In a broader sense, if an alternative punishment can be put in place, it is apparent that the offender would in a way be helped and could probably change his/her behaviours. This could arguably be true because, for example, if the offender is subjected to parole or probation sentence, there is a possibility that the offender could be reformed and change his ways.
However, since the death penalty has been viewed as an inhuman act that violates human rights, civil right groups have been campaigning to have it fully eliminated. Many countries have abolished execution and adopted other forms of punishment. Many people have argued that the death penalty is useless and does not help the victims or even the offender himself.
Opponents of the death penalty belief that right to live is the most important human right and needы to be honored. The death penalty cannot be compared to normal death as it comes with physical torture to the victim from the time one has been convicted to the death penalty. One is subjected to a state of fear and mental torture as he has been made aware of when he will die. An act as this one should be discouraged as it is against the human rights.
In another dimension, opponents of the death penalty argue that in the quest to have justice done, many people are punished for the crimes they did not commit. Many innocent people have been subjected to capital punishment as at times arm of justice fails to get the right culprit. A survey conducted indicated that 39 executions in United States from 1992 to 2004 were of innocent persons. Many countries believe in the decree that it is better to set one thousand criminals free than see an innocent soul put to death for an offense he did not commit (Stewart, 102). In light of this, they argue that the death penalty, therefore, should be abolished in order to ensure no innocent individual will ever be put to death as death sentences are not reversible.
In another dimension, opponents of the death penalty believe that the death penalty is an expensive affair. The argument is that law does allow many appeals to those convicted to capital punishments. Criminals use such appeal as a means to delay the final judgment thus a country ends up spending a lot of money going through the judicial procedures. In most cases, money spent on prosecution usually exceeds the cost of keeping a person in prison (Johnson and Zimring 45). In fact, it can be argued that such resources could be utilized in rehabilitating the offender and reconciling the two parties.
In another dimension, opponents of the death penalty believe that the death penalty also tends to be biased. People with more money and social status tend to have an advantage as they are able to employ capable lawyers, as well as paying witnesses. Some of the cases reported have revealed that juries do give judgment in favor of the rich (Houdmann 584). In this regard, opting for the death penalty would not mean any change in the sense that the penalty is not executed fairly. Besides, this attracts some long-term conflicts between the offender and the victims or their families especially when the offender bribes the court and goes out freely.
With all these deliberations out, proponents of the death penalty may be skeptical about my argument and that of other opponents because they argue that as long as the punishment is directed at the right person, it is fair enough especially where capital crime is committed. They tend to think it is unjust to give such criminals a chance to continue living. Some of them believe that punishment should be in the same measure as the crime committed. In addition, they believe that the death penalty deters criminals from engaging in horrible crimes and also ensures those who commit them do not repeat them again.
With such deliberation from persons that endorse the death penalty, it is apparent that they would be skeptical with my view of not advocating for it. Nevertheless, the consensus of the side to go by does not go in line with what Russell argued that uncommon opinion would in a way completely transform our social and political systems. This means that according to the opinion of not advocating for the death penalty, the uncommon opinion of advocating for the death penalty would not offer solution to the controversy. Therefore, it is apparent that Russell would be skeptical about my view on why the death penalty should be abolished. In fact, the view of the death penalty being a law would mean having unlawful acts to offer solutions to unlawful acts. In another dimension, it is correct to argue that since the death penalty cause another set of problems to the offender and his family, it would be better to look for an alternative solution that does not magnify the problem.
Houdmann, Michael. Got Questions? Washington: Winepress publishing press. 209. Print.
Johnson, David and Zimring Franklin. The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2008. Print.
Shaykh, Hannan. One Thousand and One Nights. UK: Bloomsbury Publishing. 2011. Print.
Stewart, Devin. The Princeton encyclopedia of Islamic political thought. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 2012. Print.
Yorke, Jon. Against the death penalty: international initiatives and implications. UK: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008. Print.