Capital punishment uses death penalty as a form of punishment in many states and countries. It is a practice that has raised endless questions all over the world. Capital punishment or death penalty policy has changed in many countries overtime. Countries such as, New Australia, Zealand and 15 states in the US do not have capital punishment. One of the major concerns arising with capital punishment is because it causes ending of a human life. People and organizations of different backgrounds are not pleased with the practice because it undermines humanity. Society being mixed of different people there are different opinions. Some people argue that it is effective while others condemn it because it oppresses the less fortunate and the poor in the society. Notably, “a good number of Americans with a background of human rights argue that the practice is a vice that costs the lives of innocent people. They term it as a violation of right to life guaranteed in the ICCPR and ECHR” (Shin, 2007, p. 14). On the hand, those in favor of the practice argue that it contributes in curbing many evils in the society. When it comes to physical punishment and executions, there is no limit to man’s imagination. Crucifixion of Jesus is a good example which is undoubtedly among the worst forms of execution. Similar examples of cases of execution include Socrates and other influential people in Roman Empire where thousands of criminals and slaves were killed to the delight of spectators. “I assume that from the examples given, capital punishment is a wrong act that goes against human rights. It is the ultimate denial of human rights although it is done in the name of justice. It is a practice that achieves a cycle of violence and violates fundamental rights” (Edens, 2006, p. 23).
However, the practice on capital punishment sees people being treated as non-humans. Consequently capital punishment violates the fourteenth and eighth amendments which protect persons from receiving unusual and cruel punishment. “By violating these amendments, capital punishment takes away people’s right to life. In the first amendment of the constitution, people are given the pursuit of happiness, the right to liberty, and life. “With capital punishment people`s rights are denied” (Cochran, 2003, p. 41).
The debate on capital punishment continues to raise alarms particularly in issues involving human rights. Some groups are against it questioning its morality and constitutionality, while other groups back it claiming that it prevent crime. It is a controversial issue which, many governments need to review although not everyone would be pleased anyway. To decide whether or not to use death penalty, government needs to take into account what the people prefer to be done. Seemingly, since capital punishment is unconstitutional, it does not reflect the wants, demands, and needs of American citizens. Subsequently, the legal regime is immoral and subject to error. The reason behind capital punishment not being forbidden in America is simply because it is unconstitutional. The constitution clearly states that every individual has a right to life.
Being the most severe sentence, there has been consistent efforts to abolish it. Some of these efforts have been successful in some nations but in America it is a different story all together. It has been difficult to discuss these issues and circumstances of capital punishment because it is still practiced in many countries. Similarly, it is difficult to discuss and depict the penalty without outlying the cruel methods used to carry out this punishments. In the last two decades, there have been diverse methods of accomplishing it including; drowning, impaling, burning, crucifixion, shootings, and hangings. Majority of these practices have been eliminated by being hailed as inhumane. Other concern with capital punishment is that to a greater extent, legal regime is subject to error. It is commonly faulted for being unjust to the poor in the society. Just like in many other societies, the poor are often looked down on because they cannot afford to hire competent lawyers. As a result, these poor people are put on death row which is completely unfair. Notably, persons that are tried for offenses which are punishable by the death penalty are normally assigned to bad lawyers if they are unable to hire competent ones. These results, to some people being unjustly and unfairly executed. Since the justice system is biased and subject to error, death penalty should not be justified and therefore should be forbidden.
Immorality is another reason why capital punishment should not be allowed. Most of the religions are against murder and argue that it is morally wrong. However, capital punishment ignores the views of these religions. “No matter what the circumstances are, killing people is inhumane. By allowing the death penalty, humanity is lost. Therefore, capital punishment is associated with so many evils. Subsequently, because it is wrong in many ways, it creates major controversies and therefore it should not be allowed. It is immoral, unconstitutional, and it has a legal process that is subject to error” (Meltsner, 2011, p. 62). Currently, new technologies are being developed day in day out in efforts to civilize executing people. For example, in France the guillotine was recently developed a civilized and quick means of executing criminals. Today in the United States, capital punishment is conducted through many ways including; electrocution, lethal gas and injection. Statistics indicate that three states execute using a firing squad, and another three states execute by hanging. This shows that distribution of authority is deeply embraced in the US. In the entire world, there is little consensus on the developments of these issues. For example, Capital punishment in all European countries, it is also infamous in Japan and Canada as it is opposed on the grounds that innocent people will unavoidably be convicted.
Capital punishment has two basic viewpoints. The first viewpoint is based on the fact that it is scandalous that criminals and perpetrators deserve to die without getting second chances. Secondly, juries and police make numerous errors that compromise credible judgment. Some people favor capital punishment claiming that it is absolute. For instance, if a murderer is killed, he/she will not kill other people. “Sections of the US favor the use of capital punishment claiming that it is ‘an eye for an eye’. A murderer should be put to death for killing a person. The NCADP argues that capital punishment digresses from most of its articles” (Steiker, 2002, p. 87). This suggests that it is has neither law nor values to form its base. Arguably, capital punishment is a criminal, philosophical, social, and often a cultural issue. The link seems natural since capital punishment deals with critical questions such as mortality and sin, and life and death. Generally, there is one major controversy on whether or not charges should be laid against particular individuals. The bone of contention is on what can be proven helpful if police ignore evidence to the defense? Some of these questions are weighty and a thin line should be drawn to determine good judgment.
It is challenging to discuss the circumstances of capital punishment because it occurs in numerous parts of the world. Similarly, it is difficult to discuss and determine the penalty without first outlying the methods used to carry out this punishment. Considering Immorality trends it is another reason why capital punishment should not be allowed. Most of the religions are against murder because it is morally wrong. However, capital punishment does not respect the views of these religions. Despite what the existing circumstances are, killing people is inhumane. Because it is wrong in many ways, “it creates major controversies and therefore it should not be allowed. It is immoral, unconstitutional, and it has a legal process that is subject to error” (Unnever, 2007, p. 78). Majorly, capital punishment has two basic viewpoints. The first viewpoint is based on the fact that so scandalous that criminals and perpetrators deserve to die. Secondly, juries and police make numerous errors that hinder credible judgment. There is one major controversy which lies in the area of whether or not charges should be laid against a particular individual. It is difficult to depict the penalty without first outlying the methods used to carry out this punishment. What can be proven helpful if police ignore evidence to the defense? At this point, it is coherent to note that since capital punishment is unconstitutional, it does not reflect the wants, demands, and needs of the people.
In conclusion, majority of the people are of the opinion that capital punishment involves taking human life. The debate on the right to life creates a major concern with the issue. Some people also argue that it is effective in eliminating social crimes while others denounce it vehemently. Human rights groups are against it completely questioning its morality and constitutionality, while other groups back it claiming that it deters future criminals. “When it comes to physical punishment and executions, there is no limit to man’s imagination, therefore, to decide whether or not to use death penalty, the government needs to take into account the people’s point of view as a basis of their judgment and decision. The method is biased according to many, because it oppresses the poor majority in society” (Kang, 2010, p. 21). In the society, the poor are often looked down on because they cannot afford to hire competent lawyers. As a result, these poor people are more likely to be put on death row which is exceedingly unfair. Since capital punishment is unconstitutional, it does not reflect the ultimate wants, demands, and needs of American citizens.
Cochran, J. K., Boots, D. P., & Heide, K. M. (2003). Attribution styles and attitudes toward capital punishment for juveniles, the mentally incompetent, and the mentally retarded. Justice Quarterly, 20(1), 65-93.
Edens, J. F. (2006). Unresolved controversies concerning psychopathy: Implications for clinical and forensic decision making. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37(1), 59.
Kang, M. J., & Glassman, M. (2010). Moral action as social capital, moral thought as cultural capital. Journal of Moral Education, 39(1), 21-36.
Meltsner, M. (2011). Cruel and unusual: The Supreme Court and capital punishment. Quid Pro Books.
Steiker, C. S. (2002). Capital punishment and American exceptionalism. Or. L. Rev., 81, 97.
Unnever, J. D., & Cullen, F. T. (2007). Reassessing the Racial Divide in Support for Capital Punishment The Continuing Significance of Race. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 44(1), 124-158.
Shin, H. (2007). Is the Death of the Death Penalty Near-The Impact of Atkins and Roper on the Future of Capital Punishment for Mentally Ill Defendants. Fordham L. Rev., 76, 465.