Some people call it capita punishment, death penalty as it is commonly referred to have been practiced in majority of countries across the globe. In the recent days though, many countries have abandoned this practice. This decision by such countries has been reached at through their need to democratize. However, some countries still practice death penalty. America is one example of such countries. McGuigan (3) observes that death penalty is handed out to a person for a number of serious crimes that include disloyalty to the country, murder and espionage. Different countries execute death penalty to such serious offenders of the law in different ways; but however much painful or quick and simple the whole process may be made, death penalty is still morally unacceptable, “another injustice” as two wrongs don’t make a right and pit is problematic so to say.
The social and economic problems related to death penalty on the populace and the government defeats its justification in countries where it is used as way of preventing people from committing crimes such as murder. To start with, studies in the United States have shown that costs incurred to process death penalties by the government are far much higher than what it will cost to maintain the criminals through life sentence. The costs are estimated to double or 5 times higher. This comes about as a result of prolonged court cases that make the whole thing costly. Additionally, as a result prisoners on death row stays in custody like forever and this only contributes to higher cost of their maintenance in terms of food and other basic needs. These costs are passed on the tax payer.
Secondly, death penalty is an outdated way of punishing criminals regardless of the manner in which it is carried out. Different countries that still practice death penalty use different ways to execute the penalty. These include electric chamber, deadly injection, hang, or firing squad among others. In fact every person has a right to life and by handing out death penalty to those who have committed murder, sedition or espionage does not make right. In fact it is a big violation of human rights as it is stated in the clause on the list of human rights in the constitutions of many countries.
To add onto the reasons as to why death penalty is problematic, I can say that the whole process in deciding the case is very lengthy. As a result, this has caused pilling up of court cases as much time is spend on few murder cases among others that calls for a death penalty to determine charges. Countless court hearings, debates, appeals and reports work out the employees of the judiciary.
Haney (5) adds that death penalty has also played a very big role in hindering civilization in most countries that still practice it. Usually, death penalty is revenge in a way. Normally, revenge has never been the best way to solve any violence. This is very evident as gang violence still remains a big nightmare to the American society and they continue to strike each other for revenge making the whole situation poorer.
Additionally, death penalty is wrong in every sense as two wrongs don’t make a right. As much as justice should be done in cases where one commits a crime and if possible prevent other such crimes, the government is not justified to use murder to fight crimes such murder itself and treason among others (Messerli, 1). Besides, life sentence being cheaper compared to death sentence, it serves as an effective punishment and restraint. Prison life is the kind that one would not wish to have even for a single day as there is all sort of violence, immorality such as rape and animalistic treatment. This is enough punishment for a murderer because with a life sentence, this suffering will go on for as long as he or she lives.
The continued use of death penalty by some countries such as America has led it to earn many enemies especially in Europe. This policy has made other countries in Europe to view America as a vengeful and violent. America was also heavily condemned by most European countries for continued slave trade long after it had been abolished.
This policy has loop holes in that innocent people are sentenced to death. Some people are found “guilty” just because they are not able to defend themselves in cases where they are falsely accused of murder or any other crime that qualifies death sentence. There is always no procedure to ensure attention for such people. In such cases, it is not right to blame the judicial system but rather the policy of death penalty (Haney, 6). More so, some people kill or commit other crimes of the same magnitude because they are mentally ill. Technically though, the constitution don’t allow putting such people on death sentence, it might be very hard to convince the arbitrator that the accused is mentally sick.
According to Bedau & Cassell (40), regardless of the many social and economic problems that come with the policy of death penalty, some countries still practice it. The first example of these countries is the people’s republic of China. In china, even the not so serious crimes could earn one a death penalty. Example of such crimes included drunken-driving and bribery. Recently; in 2010, China’s high court made reforms and from then death penalty only applied to really serious crimes. Apart from China, many countries in Asia still practice capital punishment. They include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Japan and North Korea among. China has had the highest number of executions so far.
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The other country that still practices death penalty is the United States of America. In the United States of America, death penalty differs from one state to the other. Out of the 50 states, 15 states have no death penalty. The executions are done by deadly injections, electrical chair among other methods.
However, there are countries especially in Europe and Latin America that abolished capital punishment. They include Portugal, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France and Norway to mention but a few. In Africa, we also have countries that abolished capital punishment. These include Liberia, Angola, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Mauritius and Guinea Bissau. Other countries only abolished death penalty for less serious crimes (Bedau & Cassell, 46). These are the countries that still practice death penalty on serious crimes that include murder. Example is Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Peru, Canada, Turkey, and Paraguay among others. In Africa we have South Africa.
Death penalty has had a number of effects on countries that still practice it. First most of these countries that practices death penalty are dictatorships. This has led to lack of liberation from this oppressive system of government. Death penalty is barbaric way of enhancing justice, perpetrates hatred and violence and delays civilization.
Such countries also continue to earn international enemies especially from nations that support for the abolition of capital punishment. This hinders good international relations with a great potential to hurt the economy. Additionally, death penalties are expensive to carry. They involve lengthy hearings, appeals and reports before determining the case. As a result, they are costly in terms of time and finance. High financial costs are passed to the tax payer. On the hand, a lot of time wasted on death penalty by judges leads to pilling up of other cases. This makes the judicial system ineffective.
On the other hand, countries that abolished death penalty have had the exact opposite of what their counterparts have had in terms of international relations with other countries, financial cost for death penalties to the nation, judicial efficiency and last but not least, upholding morality in system of governance that protects its citizen’s basic human right to life.
The most viable solution to death penalty is life sentence. This is because the later is two to five times cheaper than death penalty. This is according to studies carried out in the US.I also recommend life sentence because it does not violate a basic human right to life by killing the murders or other offenders of the law (Bedau & Cassell, 50). Though it might be hard for most of us to imagine, but it is very true that life sentence is a more severe punishment than death sentence because it last for the rest of convicts’ lives for as long as they live. Life in most prisons is “hell” as inmates are treated like animals. Lastly, the prison provides an opportunity for reform programs. Some people commit these crimes unknowingly or in mental sickness. It is only just for such people to be given a chance to reform into productive people to the society and a nation as a whole. They can be made to work and their earnings remitted to their families, they also contribute tax to the government.
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In conclusion, death penalty is putting someone who has been judged for a crime of a magnitude to deserve such punishment. Death penalty is not an effective way to justice or deterrent. This is because I violate the basic human right to life, it is costly to taxpayers than life sentence, time consuming, and there is no automatic lee way for people with special needs e.g. the mental cases. Majority of European, Latin American, and some African countries have so far abolished capital punishment. On the other hand, China among almost all Asian countries and the United States of America are still practicing death penalty. Abolishment of death penalty has let to positive effects respective countries.
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