Over the years, death penalty has been implicated on murder offenders. It is believed (by its proponents) to serve justice to the victim and their loved ones. It is mainly executed in five different ways: either by lethal injection, electrocution, firing squad, hanging, or gassing. It is carried out mainly to discourage others from practicing murder. Death penalty, although it is the most preferred form of punishment to a murder crime offender; no one would like to die and such a punishment is not in anyone’s mind. Furthermore, it is taken more of revenge than deterrence. Archbishop Desmond Tutu puts it, “to take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, it is not justice”. The business number one of any court of law is to administer total justice to all human beings. Committing a murder crime does not make the offender any less human.
Why some people support it.
It serves as an example to others who would be colluding to commit a similar offence. It triggers deterrence to committing the crime in the society. It is instilled as a form of a threat.
Second, it serves due justice. According to the principles of justice, the accused should be punished according to the measure of the crime committed, and in such a case murder criminals deserve death.
Third, it saves on taxpayer’s pocket in that it saves the cost of keeping a criminal in a prison for a lifetime imprisonment.
Fourth, death penalty holds people accountable of their character. You get to know the consequences of any action against another human being. Death penalty thus encourages respect to human dignity.
Fifth, prevents re-offending. When a murder criminal is killed, there is zero percent likelihood that they will repeat a similar mistake.
It also shows toughness of a crime. All criminals and anyone else fears death. No one wants to die anytime soon and realizing this is the punishment would result into lesser murder crimes.
Why some people do not support it.
To start with, it is hypocritical. We are the same people who put in place laws like right to life for all human beings. It is paradox to be taking it away from others.
Second, it is always cruel. Although it is done in such a way that there is reduced pain, the criminals go through some pain. Also, others are subjected to torture in solitary cells for some years before being executed. It leads to mental torture. This is degrading the criminal and according to the human universal rights it is inhumane.
Third, it does not meet the principle of justice that entails providing treatment and rehabilitation of the offender. The criminal dies before being given room to change and conform to the normal societal order.
Fourth, in some cases, it leads to execution of innocent persons. Murder case may be implicated on a wrong individual (false testimonies). If the individual tends to have an attorney who is weak, or rather the case ruled in favor of the complainant, the individual is thus subjected to undeserving punishment.
Fifth, murder case is a criminal offence like rape, robbery with violence and others. It recurs each day as the other crimes. In other crimes, criminals are sentenced to jail for a certain number of years and then released scot free. They are reabsorbed in the society in a more constructive way for service. Death penalty can thus be described as a partial form of justice.
Also, the prison itself is a hell on earth. There is no “code of honor” in prisons according to the nature of crime committed. Our prisons are good enough to rectify the criminals.
Death penalty sounds relieving to the loved ones of the victim. Also the society tends to take it as a fair treatment to the criminal for the offence.
However, this punishment does not deter the offence. People are stilling killing each other despite the existing execution laws. It is thus not a remedy to murder cases.
Our courts of law and the whole judicial systems have the capability to administer justice to every individual. The universal human rights should be the first priority towards any ruling. The rights and justice to the victim (with the loved ones included) should compare to those of the criminals involved.
The society cannot solve a murder case by killing the criminal. We will be acting against the rights of the criminal. Furthermore, killing a criminal will not bring back the victim. As Michael Hayworth says, “whichever way you look at it, killing another human isn’t humane, not even close. And when you get to the details it is simply vengeful and cruel”. Society needs to discourage revenge and one way is to totally disagree with capital punishment.
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