Capital punishment is the act of killing a person for his/her committing crime. The death penalty is usually “given by the government of a country to people who have committed serious crimes like rape, homicide, etc” (Appleton & Grover, 2007). Long since it has been a method of punishing people. Ways of executing criminals are hanging, shooting, electrocution, and giving lethal injections. There are some countries that still use such a way of punishment, although the majority of them have already abolished its Capital punishment is still practiced in the USA, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries (Habert, 1996). However, in the US, 13 states do not execute the death penalty (Habert, 1996). Capital punishment is the only way to be sure that the killing will at least end with a particular criminal, but if it is right or wrong remains an issue to discuss.
There are many people who are sure that the capital punishment should exist, and there are others that think that it should not be practiced in the society. Opinions differ, as, on the one hand, the capital punishment seems to be a good punishment for those who have committed a terrible crime. On the other hand, it is an action that goes against the morality and values of humanity. In addition, there are some people that find themselves neutral to this issue and do not think that it really matters, as they feel that everything what happens would be right if it was brought to court and decided by it. The execution is an effective method of keeping people in a fear and organizing things in a right way in any country. However, this procedure has its disadvantages, and this paper covers and analyses most of them.
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Disadvantages of Capital Punishment
The first disadvantage of the capital punishment is that killing a person, even if he/she is a criminal, does not differentiate the common people from him/her, as both he/she and they commit a crime. It is important not to stoop at his level and be wiser and more ethical. Plenty of other ways of punishment exist, and they are thought not to be easier to overcome than the execution.
Moreover, one cannot ignore a mistake issue in the death penalty question. There exists a great possibility that a person is innocent and might be wrongly charged for a crime which he/she has never committed. Jurors, witnesses, and prosecutors can make mistakes since they all are humans. Who will be responsible for such a mistake remains an incomprehensible issue without a reply. Some cases are known in the history when persons were released after being given the death sentence, as they were proved innocent. Moreover, cases of the irreversible mistake are renowned when a person was proved innocent after his/her death. The constant menace of execution makes the crucible of those who are wrongly convicted particularly horrible.
What is more, the death penalty is not always fair and honest. It specifically concerns poor people who can not allow themselves, expensive lawyers, to protect their stance. The rich are rare to be pronounced a death penalty, as money is extremely influential. In addition, a person from the minority community is more likely to be executed. From all criminals who are convicted to death, 75 per cent of those who are appointed a legal lawyer can be sentenced to the execution. A figure drops to 25 per cent if the defendant can allow himself to pay for a lawyer (White, 2009).
In addition, considering moral and ethical principles, it is obvious that everyone has a right to live, and no one can take one’s life even for a serious crime. Some people think that if a person can by his/her actions lapse human rights, then murderers loss their right to life. Partially, this statement makes sense; however, it is a subjective opinion and can not be a compelling argument in favor of the capital punishment.
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Another point against the execution is that every person has the right to a second chance in life. Despite having committed a crime, each person deserves one more try, time to rethink and analyze the behavior, make conclusions, and start a better life. It was reported that people who were sentenced for a lifetime imprisonment, improve their earlier ways of living, and some of them have even made a worthwhile contribution to the society (“Arguments against capital punishment”, n.d.).
One more con of the capital punishment is expenses. A good example of this can be the USA, where the death punishment costs a great deal. Surely, justice should not be considered in financial terms, but this factor cannot remain unnoticed. Some people can provide a counter-argument that execution costs the same as lifetime imprisonment for criminals. Even if this statement makes sense, it is important to remember that a criminal, while sitting in prison, still can make many useful things for the society, do a community work and, thus, pay way. Considering a situation from this side, it is clear that the capital punishment seems to be more expensive or equal-cost business than lifetime imprisonment, but less ethical.
It is also known that there exists no relationship between the death penalty and crime rate. It sounds surprising, but the capital punishment does not reduce the level of crime rate in the country (Hodgkinson, 1996). The number of crimes is almost equal in both countries where the execution exists and in those where it does not. The explanation to such a situation is that the execution does not restrain people from a crime. The thing that really deters them is the thought of being nicked and punished. It means that the kind of punishment is not so important for criminals; they bother more about the process of being copped.
Despite creating new methods of the death penalty, which are thought to be painless, all of them bring a great deal of torture to a person who is executed. Strangulation, lethal gas, and electrocution make a person suffer greatly. It is generally admitted that a lethal injection is the best way to make execution, as it is quick and indolent. There are several counter-arguments to this issue. Firstly, this procedure involves medical personnel into direct killing. This is in contradiction to medical ethics. It is generally known, that doctors swear an oath to serve in favor of the humanity, but in this case, the truth of their words is doubtful. The second con is that the latest researches proved that lethal injection is not as “humane” as it was thought. Recently, examinations indicated that levels of anesthetic that was found in criminals left them wakeful and able to feel pain. With no doubt, it is a horrible fact that makes the capital punishment necessary to be abolished all over the world.
Taking all the issues into consideration, it is reasonable to mention that the execution is not really necessary for the modern society. It has been practiced from the ancient times and might have worked then but not now. Despite the new ways of the death penalty and banning of some methods that were considered to be too cruel, the execution remains painful and agonizing. It is also against ethic and moral principles and makes the society behave in the same manner as a criminal does. Neither an offender nor the community has any right to take someone’s life. People should be honest and fair accepting this fact. Undoubtedly, the criminal has behaved wrong committing a crime and, surely, the fact of murdering makes some people angry, as they would like to punish the offender. Moreover, the relatives and family of a victim suffer the most and ask for revenge. It is their right and the criminal should be definitely punished. The question is if the way of punishment is correct or not and if it is according to moral and ethical law or not.
Moreover, due to all facts that are put against the capital punishment, it is obvious that the execution is useless nowadays, as not only the time has changed incredibly but also the way of people’s thinking. The death is the easiest way to end someone’s life. This person will not rethink or analyze his/her behavior, work on it, or make something good for the society. He/she will just die without making any conclusions and waste his/her life for nothing. However, the second chance and the second life try will be a real challenge for that person, and they will force him/her to “regenerate” and start a new life. It is more complicated than just a death. He/she will be forced to overcome plenty of difficulties and improve the way of his/her living. A great deal of work should be done with people’s minds and their worldviews. It is important to grapple with criminality as wise and clever human beings in the modern world, but not as animals that live due to ordinary laws of nature. It is significant to remember that a person is the cleverest creature in the world, so people need to use their brains and possibilities profound. This is what differentiates people from other beings in the world.
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