The death penalty is also known as corporal punishment and is a mode of punishment for convicts who have committed capital offenses. It is documented that 58 countries still practice it, including China, India, Indonesia, and the United States. Ninety-five countries in the world are doing away with the law, some having not practiced it in a while, say ten years.
This paper seeks to establish that corporal punishment is not the best way to correct the wrongdoers. It further goes on to show how the death penalty is applicable and effective. Finally, it shows how, with the considerations of both sides, how effective or ineffective the death penalty can be.
Part 1: Corporal punishment is unfairly used
The death penalty, first and foremost, is a violation of rights, in this case of the criminal’s and his or her relatives (Amnesty International, 2007). Some of the ways in which it is executed include lethal injection, electrocution, firing squad, hanging, stoning, and gas chamber.
It is forbidden in any of the states that are members of the EU to use the death penalty according to article 2 of the Charter for Fundamental Rights of the European Union. In no way is killing a person using 2000 volts of electricity justifiable to any standards, not even to the meanest person alive. I think even as the Bible states, that let him who is without sin be the first to cast the first stone.
The governments that still practice this inhumane law should be given a little lesson on love. There are better ways to correct people rather than electrocuting them. One can imagine how an aunty is supposed to explain to a niece that the dad was electrocuted to death for defending themselves. This puts a question mark on the society’s integrity, how is a vice corrected by another vice, murder, because that is murder in cold blood. The death penalty law infringes on a criminal’s right to life.
Sometimes the people on death row are innocent and have been framed. They end up dying just because they lack the capacity and the funds to higher good lawyers to defend them well.
Once they are dead, they have no way to prove they are innocent even of the family pushes on, they can’t have them brought back to life. This means a loss of life just because the law is in a rush to prosecute someone. No one can fathom the pain undergone by the immediate families of such innocent victims.
The law also tends to discriminate against the minor societies and the poor in society. For example, according to statistics 96% of the reviews done in states that still practice corporal punishment, there was a tendency of discrimination depending on the race of the victim or the defendant (American Civil Liberties Union, n.d). The death penalty only drives the racism wedge even deeper than it should be.
For example, in the states hip hop culture is associated with crime, and so is a crime of any kind punishable by law. It is a stereotype in that its very easy for a judge to charge them with the death penalty than other races. This makes the law be misused by the judiciary, which makes the hope that we have for justice in the judiciary dwindle because it hangs on the edge of such a breakable thread.
The punishment, however, does not necessarily thwart crime any more than other forms of punishment, so insisting on killing people to show society that they should not kill is not a very smart move on the side of the state for the countries still practicing the mode of punishment.
This notion that they want to prove to the society that they are tough on crime is not more important than humanity. By killing people, all the state is saying is that it is more important to them that they prove what they can do as the arm of the law than the safety of individuals, this has to change.
The death penalty is actually premeditated murder by the state because in no sense is it a means of protection or self-defense against immediate danger (The Texas Catholic Conference, n.d). This person could equally be dealt with well by other means of punishment by the government; it does not have to be death surely.
Part 2: Critique
On the contrary, according to the law, the judiciary has the authority to inflict punishment that it deems necessary to all criminal offenses even if it means death within the confines of the law, though. This is their way of protecting the society from villains, so by convicting criminals to death, it is just ridding the society of wrongdoers and should not be looked at in any other way. That is what laws are for anyway, to keep the peace.
In addition, when people know a crime is punishable by death, they tend to avoid such forms of crime, which means crime rates drop with a commendable rate; no one likes to die.
Furthermore, if this scale of punishment is done away with, as many people want, criminals will continue committing minor offenses knowing the worst that could happen is that they would get imprisonment. And when in jail they can always appeal and get parole and or even escape. When it is the death penalty, on the other hand, they will definitely think twice.
The judiciary has also argued, and I kind of believe them, that the death penalty will always serve as a good example to those who intend to commit crimes that warrant that kind of punishment. Its effectiveness never declines because no one is ever ok with seeing people die and not twitch; it always sends a chill every time.
Some religions condone corporal punishments in various versions. The Shariah law condones the stoning of individuals for certain offenses. The Roman Catholics consider it a form of lawful slaying that cannot be evaded as punishment for some offenders.
Part 3: Revision of part 1
It is still not fair to kill people all in the name of teaching people a lesson. So far, there is no tangible relationship between executions and a drop in levels of crime in society. This is partly because most capital crimes, if not all, are not committed in the right sense of mind. Most are in temporary madness, or in self-defense, some do it believing they won’t get caught.
Furthermore, in the case of combating terrorism, the death penalty may even serve as an incentive to suicide bombers. They find justification in taking their own lives because they learn from a society that there is nothing wrong with that.
In terms of the law, politically, government officials use the law in that manner to get rid of people they do not like, for example, activists. In condoning corporal punishment, they keep using the law to propagate regression and oppression in citizens by so doing they keep the cycle of violence going.
I believe there are less harsh means to punish all forms of crimes; however, major than the death penalty. What the executions don’t do is give room for rehabilitation or change.
They ignore the fact that humans can be remorseful and actually regret actions done in momentary madness. By giving convicted criminals a second chance to rehabilitate, we would be sending a better and stronger message to the younger generations than killing the offenders.
On the note of serving examples to other intending offenders, no one stops to think about what happens to the relatives of the victim and what if the victim was innocent. Any justice got after they will not be the same, so governments can abolish the corporal punishment law for justice to prevail when the criminal or the accused can defend themselves.
By killing a person, the judiciary actually deprives the society of the benefits it would get from such a man if they were to live and change. No one knows what they would surmount to, a president maybe. Any way what good is a man if he is dead, the answer is he is good for nothing. He is more helpful when alive because then there is potential to develop to something.
Religion has been manipulated by many people to appeal to their egos. What people do not get is that it is all about personal conviction. Some Christians hold onto the Old Testament rule that says “thou shall not kill,” and so they support corporal punishment. However, they are quick to forget the aspect that they also do wrong, and most important of all, they forget mercy and compassion that the bible preaches with such emphasis.
In conclusion, the death penalty has raised many eyebrows and has brought controversies in how it is viewed. It has been seen as a violation of rights, depriving criminals of the right to life. It has also been seen as a hypocritical behavior by the states that still practice it since it uses one vice to get rid of vice. It has been criticized to give no room for rehabilitation and second chance.
The paper has also highlighted the fact that the states that condone it think it helps to serve as an example to intending offenders and that it will always be effective in that sense. Some religions also support the law, for example, the Muslims and Roman Catholics. Some states argue that the law has the duty to protect society from harmful people in whatever ways it sees necessary even if it means death.
Corporal punishment appeals more to other people than it does to others. We all have preferences in everything, so it is the same, even for this case. For the people that have been convinced that it is a good thing, it is mostly because they have been fed the wrong information and doctrines. Or, they just don’t know any better. Those that see it for what it is are known not to condone it because it is a total violation of human rights.
American Civil Liberties Union, (n.d.) Race and death penalty.
Amnesty international, (2007). Death penalty Q $ A.
The Texas catholic Conference, (n.d.). Death and Penalty.