The critical issue about the application of capital punishment also called death penalty has been a nationwide discussion in the recent years. This essay opposes the capital punishment putting into consideration different perspectives.
People have based their debates on the constitutional and the moral validity of the capital punishment. Some people argue that the punishment has imperfections in its application and it is usually applied against the mentally ill people, the poor people and the Americans who possess the African origin. People argue that there are other crimes that are so horrific and they think that death penalty is the only option. This reasoning is based on emotions rather than logic and hence capital punishment cannot be justified as the right revenge to criminals (Pojman P & Reiman H. 1998).
Some people argue that capital punishment is the right way of eliminating criminals such as serial killers, who kill other human beings or for their personal gains. They also argue that the capital punishment serves as an efficient deterrent and helps in reducing crime. Capital punishment cannot be reversed, but it is not easy to kill a wrongly convicted person because he/she is given many chances to prove his innocence and the society is assured of its safety since the criminals are completely eliminated through capital punishment.
On the other hand, the capital punishment does not deter crime in society because there is no scientific proof that the countries with capital punishment have a lower crime rates. Also killing a human being is not humane even if the person is not humane in committing crimes. This punishment is deemed a violation of the fundamental person’s right to live as it is proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whatever the form it takes— hanging, beheading, stoning, shooting or lethal injection, death penalty is the ultimate cruel and a degrading punishment. The physical pains that are caused by the killing action cannot be quantified, nor can the psychological suffering that is caused by the pre-knowledge of death at the hands of law enforcement bodies. Executing a person can be very slow and very painful and the punishment is also considered subjective to the society’s set norms (Haines H.1999).
The execution costs of the capital punishment are more than the life in prison. This is due to the costs incurred in the counsel for defense and for ensuring maximum security on separate death row wings and it diverts the resources and energy that could be otherwise be utilized to work against the violent crimes and in assisting the ones affected by it (Yorke J. 2008). Furthermore, the family members of the executed person often needlessly suffer too and yet the crime has victims too.