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Abolish Capital Punishment Essay

1563 words - 7 pages

Death Penalty or also known as Capital Punishment is the legal process whereby the accused, who is proven guilty, is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime he is convicted of ( Fieser, 2008 ). This essay will discuss the controversy behind this punishment and why capital punishment should be abolished. In this present time, the most common execution methods are through lethal injection, gas chamber, firing squad, electrocution and hanging ( Frater, 2007). Generally, lethal injection is carried out by first injecting the inmate with sodium thiopental, and anesthetic. After which, pancuronium bromide is injected to paralyse the inmate’s muscular system and to stop him/her from ...view middle of the document...

One of the main arguments against capital punishment is that we have to move away from the need of retribution. Human instincts work in a way that we want to immediately hurt the person who wronged us. This notion of revengeful justice is not a good enough reason to support capital punishment. We should as a maturing society, be respectful of all life regardless of the act performed. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world go blind”. Thus, we should not allow executions as they are just a form of payback with sanctioned legal violence. This vicious cycle of violence will just continue and this ‘life for a life’ concept will brutalize the society which utilises it.

By allowing capital punishment, we are essentially showing that a human’s right to live is important by taking it away from others. For murderers, we are killing people who have killed others with the sole intention to show the public that killing is wrong. The irony of the situation transcends belief. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Chng (2012) states that “Everyone has the right to life”. Thus, our legal and justice systems should work towards correcting the wrongs of these people not killing them.

One of the most common arguments against the death penalty is the fear that one day an innocent person may be executed by mistake. Judges and lawyers are humans. Errors may occur due to flaws in the legal system. Nothing can be amended if a mistake has been made due to the irrevocability of the death sentence. There have been many cases where people have been released from death row after evidence emerged which found them to be innocent. One example would be how in Colorado, new evidence was brought to light about a murder after the execution of the accused resulting in a posthumous pardon(Wolf, 2011). It can be agreed that everything has its risks such as construction and pharmaceuticals. In these industries, huge measures are taken to prevent fatalities. In this case we have a risk which can be eliminated with the abolishment of the death penalty.
The main purpose of a punishment is for a person to understand that what he has done was wrong and for him to change from it. Just like our parents punished us to teach us right from wrong, time in prison is a punishment most offenders should learn from. Having their freedom taken away and every move being controlled leads them to reflect on their mistakes. Sending the person to their death does not in any way allow him or her to repent for their mistake or to even bear the consequences since they will be in the afterlife.
If the main purpose of the death penalty is to disincline a criminal from committing a heinous crime such as murder, there would be significantly lower murder rates. However in the US, there were still 15,000 homicides in 2012 leading to a murder rate of 4.8 victims per 100,000 people(Witherow,2013). This means that despite capital punishment being in effect, criminals were not...

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