The death sentence, though cruel has always been used to punish criminal murderers. It has been referred to as the most inhumane punishment ever. Supporters of capital punishment say that it is appropriate to take life of a person who kills another. Many other people refute of this idea and say that capital punishment should be abolished. The most astonishing part of this matter is the fact that innocent people have been sentenced to death. As a result, many people have constantly changed their perception on the death sentence.
On the other hand, evidence has pointed that death sentencing has not helped the society improve in its conduct. On the contrary, victims of capital punishment do not feel remorse when given capital punishment (Siegel 2009). Hence, the crucial question remains unanswered, is the death penalty effective? In this context, this paper will discuss the pros and cons of capital punishment. The discussion will begin by highlighting the genesis of death sentencing. This will follow by the effects of capital punishment to the accused and the family of the murdered victim. The paper will end with a clear distinction of the advantage and disadvantage death penalty on individuals and society.
The use of death penalties began way in 1700, in Ancient Babylon. During this time, the role of the death penalty was used to punish people who have committed serious crimes including adultery, theft, and murder. Other empires adopted the idea into their judicial system. In 1600, the English gave their prisoners options to serve as slaves for 14 years or be sentenced to death. This decision came up when they realized that their prisons were overflowing with prisoners. Most prisoners opted for slavery. Hence, they transported the prisoners to America to be servants without pay.
While serving their terms, most of the prisoners changed and became decent people. At this time, people started voicing put their concerns on the innocence of these convicts (Guernsey 2009). That is if such people can be convicted and reform, then they should be given another chance. Hence, death sentencing should be abolished.
As time goes by, more reasons to abolish capital punishment have come up. According to Allen, Clubb, and Lacey (2008), death sentences were not fair. Most of the convicts that were executed were either minorities, or the African-American convicts. This trend has since continued till date. In recent reports, more than 50 percent of death cases were reversed. This is due to the help of lawyers who advocate for the accused person. Many convicts were found innocent and acquitted of their charges. In view of this matter, many other countries have so far abolished capital punishment. 129 countries have stopped capital punishment.
While protesters against the death penalty increase, another group of supporter waits for justice in the law courts. It is high time that many people endeavored see justice served in the corridors of justice. Many people loosed their loved ones through merciless and brutal murders. If the question is given to a victim of murder (for instance the parent of a deceased teenager), he or she should advocate for capital punishment on the accused. People who support the death penalty ask one vital question. Is there a punishment that can be compared to murder other than a murder sentence (Bohm 2011)? Many have failed to reason at this point. The supporters of death sentencing say that a criminal has no regard for life. Hence, his life should not be treated in the same regard.
The argument on this issue lays heavily on the effect of capital punishment on the accused. The main purpose of having an individual punished is to have the behaviors of the person changed from a careless and irresponsible person to a good, responsible citizen. However, such a case is not applicable to all criminal convicts. If a criminal gets a life sentence and lives to be reformed, then he or she deserves another chance to live. Another criminal may be given a lighter sentence, but never reform. Instead, once released from prison, the person becomes worse than before. It is believed that the walls of prison will only limit the prisoner, but once released he has the will to do another crime.
Another case that has brought in a lot of conflict in this matter is sentencing a mentally retarded person or a minor to death. Such cases have not been agreed upon for many years. Justice cannot be justified if the court sentences a person to death with no enough evidence. It should be beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, it is not divine to take any person’s life. Capital punishment is also murder as a person is being snatched of his life. Life is sacred, and every human being has a right to live. Hence, every person should be given an opportunity to live right. For instance, there are young people who have not lived to achieve much in life. These are people who are energetic and can be fruitful and useful to the society in the future. The court can take it upon itself to put up corrective center where such individuals can reform.
In conclusion, there was a man who was a convicted murderer. Williams had been known to be aging member too. His lawyers tried to advocate for him, but their efforts were in vain. While serving his term, Williams changed and renounced his evil ways. He later participated in campaigning against gangs and drugs. Many people came to believe that Williams had changed. His supporters protested against his death penalty when he received a death penalty (Guernsey 2009). He later died by a lethal injection. In as much as a murder suspect deserves a capital punishment, executing a murder suspect could as well be killing a blameless person, or somebody who can change the society in the future.