Banning Capital Punishment Essay

1087 words - 5 pages

Capital punishment is the lawful execution of a person through judicial review. In the world there are 95 countries that have abolished capital punishment, while there are 58 countries that still practice it actively. More closer to home in the United States it is still practiced but it varies state to state. The states that still practice it use one of two methods which would be either the electric chair or the more commonly used lethal injection. These methods have been debated over time and have with it many ethical implications in society. Personally, I feel as though capital punishment should be banned because it infringes upon a person’s basic right to life. Regardless of the act that they have committed, I think that this right still should hold true and he or she should be able to choose a different method of punishment such as prolonged jail time in conjunction with community service and psychotherapy.
One good thing about the practice of capital punishment is that it has evolved to a more humane nature for the person being executed. Capital punishment has been practiced for hundreds of years. In the end of the 18th century Great Britain banned drawing and quartering, which was a gruesome act where “The victims were first hung by the neck but taken from the scaffold while still alive”( Hung, drawn and quartered 10). Also around the same time France had invented the guillotine. Hangings were also made more humane by replacing short drop hangings (which basically caused the “criminals” to suffocate to death) with a long drop hanging where the criminal was dropped from a longer distance which caused the neck to break and in turn severed the spine, this change in technique would lessen the suffering of the victim. In the United States even more humane ways of execution are practiced, a couple of which I stated earlier such as the electric chair, and the gas chamber; which later on were almost completely taken over by lethal injection. Some skeptics criticize the lethal injection method saying that it’s too painful to the victim, but in my opinion when we evaluate other countries methods in which they still practice more cruel techniques such as slow hangings, beheadings, and even stoning, lethal injection doesn’t seem to be inhumane or distasteful in comparison. But regardless of the method used, the truth is plain to see. We are using death as an ultimatum for these criminals and therefore, there is no way out except through suffering and torment.
There are many people like me who oppose the death penalty; one group that argues against capital punishment is amnesty international whose belief is that “The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state in the name of justice. It violates the right to life. There can never be any justification for torture or for cruel treatment” (The History of Capital Punishment 15). They believe religious beliefs of the...

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