Capital Punishment And Human Rights Does The Death Penalty Breach Human Rights? Can It Ever Be Justified?

1180 words - 5 pages

Capital punishment violates human rights and therefore cannot be justified for any reason. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human has the inalienable right to life and the right not to be tortured or subjected to any cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. The death penalty is not always smooth and painless, and therefore it is torture. Every legal system is fallible, and it would therefore be very possible for innocent lives to be extinguished. The death penalty can be unfairly administered to the poor and minorities. The death penalty does nothing to improve society as it takes away any chance of rehabilitation and redemption. It is also immoral that some countries execute children and pregnant women. The death of a criminal is not for humans to decide, and will only serve as revenge for the victims, not justice.According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the inalienable right to life1. It is a clear breach of this right if the death penalty is used. This right cannot be forfeited even by committing a crime. The death penalty only serves the purpose of revenge, not justice. The relatives of criminals do not usually support the death penalty because they 'know' the person and circumstances and feel that it is not warranted. The death penalty is more likely to be supported by the victims of crime who go by the "eye for an eye" ideology of revenge. However, the purpose of the legal system is not to deal out revenge, but justice. The death penalty is just state-sanctioned murder and revenge.Every human has the right "to not be tortured or subject to any, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment."2 Yet methods of capital punishment such as stoning, lethal injection and electrocution, are painful and slow, and can be classified as torture. They are also inhumane; in Vietnam and China, prisoners are faced with the humiliation of being executed by firing squad in front of the public and their relatives are not told until after the execution. In Iran, adultery is met with execution by stoning. It is a cruel exercise in which "...the stones should not be too large so that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them; they should not be so small either that they could not be defined as stones."3Capital punishment violates human rights because as they are created by humans, all legal systems are fallible. It is extremely unwise to have the death penalty because there is always the possibility of error. It is unacceptable that even one innocent person could be executed. Where the presumption of innocence holds true, a guilty man walking free should be preferred to an innocent man being wrongfully convicted. Since 1973, 122 death-row prisoners in America have been released due to evidence proving their innocence. In Vietnam the trial process does not meet international standards. In both China and Vietnam court processes are corrupt, unfair and are often interfered with by politicians who want death...

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