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The Death Penalty And Violations Of Human Rights

2681 words - 11 pages

A contentious issue in current debate is the death penalty and its application in society. The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, occurs when a individual is punished by execution as a consequence of an offence they committed (Taylor, 2014). Although Australia does not practice the death penalty, many countries continue to employ it as a means of justice and uphold its value in society. The death penalty debate is a multifaceted issue, encompassing many aspects of society including ethics and morality, the judicial system, and politics and the economy. It will be argued that the death penalty is a morally dubious and obsolete practice that is no longer relevant in modern judiciary, as it breaches the inviolable human right to life. Ethics and morality are primary arguments for both supporting and opposing the death penalty, as some individuals believe that the death penalty is a immoral practice and others consider that it can be morally justified when prolific crimes are committed. Punishment is fundamental element to any legal system as a means of justice and ensuing that the offender is unable to commit additional crimes; however, in the case of the death penalty there can be dire consequences if the legal system is wrong. Politics and the economy are also greatly influenced by the death penalty as they determine if the practice is maintained. The death penalty breaches a number of human rights laws and some individuals support that it is immoral; however, others consider it to be justifiable due to the heinous actions of the offender.
Ethics and morality are the founding reasons for both supporting and opposing the death penalty, leading to the highly contentious nature of the debate. When heinous crimes are committed punishment is essential; however, the method of punishment is dictated by an individuals morality. Many individuals and countries still adhere that the most appropriate form of punishment when a heinous crime is committed is the death penalty. In death penalty cases the jury or judge can prosecute the offender either with life imprisonment (with no option of parole or receiving a reduced sentence) or the death penalty (Eades, 2005). Therefore, in death penalty cases it is unanimously concluded that the best method of justice is punishment by death. In some cases the offender attempts to justify their actions and the death penalty is still administered as the most appropriate form of punishment (Eades, 2005). The determination of an individual to ensure that an offender gets the highest form of punishment can be related to the theory of retributive justice. Retributive justice refers to the restoration of justice through means of punishment (Wenzel, Okimoto, Feather, & Platow, 2007). The principles of retribution are that: for heinous crimes the state possesses the right to punish the offender, the penalty should be in proportion to the offence and when punishing separate individuals for the same offence, the...

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