The Death Penalty: Is It Out of Mode or Necessary?
The death penalty, also referred to as capital punishment is the most severe punishment that any offender can be subjected to in any state. The use of the death penalty has been the subject of many debates across the world. Since the inception of law enforcement across the world, the death penalty has been used to punish the most grievous of crimes. However, in the present days, the application of the death penalty occurs differently across the world. Through the 20th century, most countries used the death penalty. This has since changed as it has been abolished in some countries while in others; the penalty is meted only in very rare circumstances.
Proponent of the death penalty assert that the penalty helps to reduce crimes through instilling fear in potential criminals as well as through eliminating any possibilities for the crimes to be committed repeatedly. On the other hands, the opponents of the death penalty argue that it is a way for the nations to commit murder without any significant impacts on crime reduction (Stearman, 2007). In most cases, it is argued that apart from the US and Japan, the death penalty is only allowed in the non democratic countries.
Polls conducted about the support accorded to the death penalty across the nations have showed diverse results over the years. Initially, more than 70 percent of poll participants supported the death penalty. This has since changed with the results that less people propose death penalty as an appropriate punishment. The main arguments for the proposition of the penalty include the reduction of crime, following of due process and punishing rather than rehabilitating criminals. On the other hand, the opponents of the death penalty argue that the penalty does less to reduce crime; the penalty can result in the irreversible punishment of some innocent people and that criminals should be shown mercy and not subjected to too harsh punishments for their crimes (Haney, 2005). From these arguments, it is clear that the proponents of the death penalty focus on the due process to be followed without regard to acting justly in the law enforcement system.
There are various beliefs associated with the death penalty. From individuals to the presidents of the United States, the beliefs held concerning the death penalty are very diverse. While some argue that it does not help to reduce crime, others are of the opinion that the death penalty can help to reduce crime. For instance, Schabas (1996) asserts that determining the effectiveness of the death penalty should be based on the four principles of criminal punishment. The objectives of punishing criminals include protection, retribution, rehabilitation and deterrence of future crimes. The death penalty does not accomplish rehabilitation nor retribution hence cannot be considered an appropriate form of criminal punishment. This could explain why countries such as China implement the death penalty differently. This is through giving those sentenced time to rehabilitate. It is only on failure to rehabilitate that the death penalty is meted.
Proponents of the death penalty have different arguments on its effectiveness. For instance, in arguing that the death penalty should be substituted, there are concerns that there are not alternatives to the death penalty. This is because the prisons are already crowded and it would not be justifiable to ask tax payers to contrib.ute for the building of more prisons. In addition to this, there is the argument that the death penalty helps to provide justice to the victims of serious crimes (Slack, 2008). In conclusion, the death penalty is only a way through which he national governments commit murder.
Haney, C. (2005). Death by Design: Capital Punishment As a Social Psychological System: Capital Punishment As a Social Psychological System. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Schabas, W. (1996). The Death Penalty as Cruel Treatment and Torture: Capital Punishment Challenged in the World’s Courts. London: UPNE.
Slack, G. (2008). Arguments in favor of the death penalty. http://www.helium.com/items/956369-arguments-in-favor-of-the-death-penalty
Stearman, K. (2007). The Debate about the Death Penalty. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group.
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