Issues related to death penalty punishment
Topic: Issues related to death penalty punishment
Thesis statement: Death penalty should not be used as a form of punishment to some cases due to its deterrence effects not only to the offenders but also to family members and other associated people.
The death penalty which is also known as capital punishment is a practice done by the government mostly in United States of America. The prisoner is killed in this practice as a punishment for the crime he or she has committed. Death penalty punishment is an act that is irreversible meaning that if the prison has been executed we can never reverse the act. Mistakes are bound to happen and we are humans we are bound to mistake (Sandys, & McGarrell, 2015). Death penalty punishment has been subjected to variety of issues which include biases, negative forces and many others. All these issues would be discussed in this paper.
Statistics has portrayed that racial minorities have been subjected to death penalty in United States. This means that both the whites and blacks can commit the same crime but the whites would not be subjected to death penalty as the blacks undergo each and every day of their lives. Most of the times innocent individuals are executed making death penalty a very risk act because it can never be reversed (Acker, 2013). Not every crime should qualify to be a death penalty some innocent souls suffer death penalty with the government prove whether the person was guilty or not guilty. Those crimes qualifying to be death penalty include treason, death from aircraft hijacks, espionage, murder resulting from kidnapping, genocide, drive -by-shooting as well other serious drug related crimes. This is not the case in United States as death penalty is applied to the most powerless, to the poorest individual and also marginalized persons in the society.
Death penalty has been therefore an issue to the society since early twentieth century’s. It is the high time we evaluate the damages and importance caused by death penalty and choose whether to abolish it. From research most of those people who are executed are poor and have got racial minorities (Bohm, 2011). This should not be the case as we should live like one nation. You would find that the racial minorities are subjected to execute simply because they committed crimes against the whites. The death penalty is full of discrimination and biased. It does not follow the right ways of application because it’s arbitrary.
Death penalty is cruel act which offends or violates human rights. The offender and the family members including relatives are subjected to torture, stress and other diseases related to trauma simply because it is inhuman act (MacKinnon, & Fiala, 2015). There has been no credible evidence and information as to how the death penalty deters crime in an effective way compared to other forms of punishment. Research does not even show the low levels of crimes in those states exercising death penalty punishment. Instead, crime rate is higher than those which abolished the death penalty. There are five reasons as to why these states holding to death penalty believe that the capital punishment is still important despite all the overwhelming trends posed against executions. These reasons include:
The society should be at the front line to abolish the cruel act of death penalty. Despite the above listed points as to why the world still need death penalty, there are many other reasons as to why it should be abolished. They include;
- Some individual or the state at large thinks that they need to be tough when it comes to crimes. All crimes are bad and each and every individual can hold to this truth making it as a need to stop crimes. Stopping crimes through capital punishment looks logical and at some point seems sensible. It is not a sure bet that we need death penalty so that everyone can feel that we are tough on crimes. There are many other forms of correcting an individual and giving punishment in order to mitigate future crimes.
- Knowing that the offenders committed the crimes means that they should face the time. This means that when these people acknowledge they have committed the crimes, they as well accept the punishments given to them (Vollum et al, 2014). We should be aware that most of them accept the mistakes due to fear, torture and threat they endure during jury trial. It is never too late to change these offenders to better people in the society therefore second chance should be granted.
- The criminal justice system want to prove the fairness exercised in the system. This is not the case as we already have information about how death penalty is applied. Only the poor, marginalized and ethnic minorities pass through death penalty simply because they are unable to get legal resources due to their condition as compared to rich white people.
- Cheaper and said to be more human to apply death penalty to people. Keeping the individual in prison is expensive so executing the offenders makes it cheap for the government (Meltsner, 2011). The victims pass through a lot as they are taken to remote areas where they are shot in chest and if they don’t die, the captain takes a pistol and gives a shot to the head. This information therefore is kept as a secret by the government. It is so wrong to execute humans, they have right to life.
- Those who have done horrific scenes should also be executed. The society too should not take the law in their hands even when the offenders have committed serious crimes like murder. The society should impact sense into that person as taking another life is dangerous. It should be understood that we can never take back life and we should all be opposing this cruel way of punishment.
Should death penalty cease to exist?
- Death penalty is irreversible and you can never take it back. Death executions highly affect the innocent persons. Most of people pay and frame innocent people who have no idea of committing crimes (White, 2008). An example can be seen in the year 2004 whereby Toddy Willingham was executed for a crime he did not commit. He was executed for setting fire killing three daughters. The information about the evident that he was not the offender came out to late. This means that there are so many people in prison serving punishments but they have not committed crimes. It should be taken as an example to abolish capital punishment.
- Death penalty has never been evidenced to deter criminals. Evidence reveal opposite that prison term deters criminals more than death penalty punishment. Instead, it has more harm than the good. The society is affected, the person executed might be innocent, other individuals may choose to commit crimes so that they may be executed and many more harms.
- The individual death makes public spectacle which means that some states do it publically. In Iran, death penalty is administered through public hangings which can be viewed in all social platforms (Kalish, 2016). UN human rights expert says that the public execution does not deter any crime but increases the cruelty in society, degrading human nature and the punishment. Death penalty is inhuman as they violate the right to life and should not be tolerated.
- There is no humane way or right to kill. Death penalty is cruel, painful and inhuman. The way execution is done brings more violent behavior as the hangings, shooting and beheading is traumatic. The execution leaves a lot of stress and trauma to all people.
- Today, death penalty is disappearing as many states are abolishing it. Research shows that each year, a certain number of countries abolish the death penalty punishment. For instance, in 2017, Mongolia and Guinea abolished capital punishment for all crimes. Approximately 117 countries worldwide have been witnessed to abolish and turn their backs on death penalty.
- Every country should abolish death penalty. Legal professions have already been provided arguing that not even a single individual who should be subjected to the capital punishment.
- Legislative arrangements should be done in order to review the current trades in extradition and mutual assistance.
- Those countries that have not yet made reforms on death penalty should be subjected to public campaigns for the world to understand that the death penalty does not deter crimes but make crimes worse (Rankin, 2018). Therefore death penalty should be abolished worldwide.
- The right protocols should be used in dealing the crime. This means that the criminal justice system should be fair and protect all the citizens equally without discrimination (Meltsner, 2011).
In a world full of o cruelty, it is never justified to take away life. The more death penalty is applied, the more the citizens become violent. It is clear that death penalty does not deter criminal instead it is opposite. We should be able to look on past, present and future outcomes of death penalty. First, it is biased, arbitrary and discriminates ethnical groups. Despite the few reasons argued above for retaining death penalty, it has not been proved to deter criminal. It should be abolished in all countries (Kalish, 2016). There is no humane right to take another life. The society should be supporting the abolition finding other ways of dealing with criminals. In addition, the Government, the State in conjunction with criminal justice act should implement other ways through which crimes are dealt with. Reforms also should be done in criminal justice policy making to ensure that every step for delivering justice has been implemented.
Do victims of violent crimes and families deserve justice?
According to Bohm (2011) those individuals involved in violent crimes and their relatives are so much into knowing justice prevails. They need the responsible person for the violent crimes to face fair trial. They need the offender to be held accountable for the crimes committed. Yes these families desire justice but there is no way you can reverse murder. Even when your close person has been murdered, administering death penalty to the person who has committed crime would not relief the pain they have for the loss. The truth is, the family should be told the truth concerning the crime giving them full evidence. There is no need of taking another life for committing a crime. It pains most than creating happiness in death penalty. Sometimes, death penalty protects the real perpetrator from been held responsible for his or her actions. This is where the wrong person is executed for the crimes he or she has not committed. So, it is advisable for the families to know the truth and abolish the death penalty so that the real perpetrators are not protected from real
Why most of some State personal Rights oppose the death penalty punishment
To start with the Egyptian Initiative, it strongly opposes the capital punishment as it goes against human rights (right to life). The death penalty in Egypt was conducted unconstitutionally by laws which were not proven. The program states that it is impossible to bring back life which has been executed. Other fair justice ways can be used to deal with the individual. Other countries and states have therefore joined the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in opposing and abolishing death penalty (Kalish, 2016). You can imagine how it feels like in those administrations where death penalty is carried out publicly. It is traumatizing, stressful and can lead to other complications to family members.
When the death penalty was established, there were those specific crimes that qualified for the individual to be executed. But the level of harm the death penalty leaves to the society is overwhelming which need to be changed and abolished. The death penalty has been proved to be administered to the poorest and those people who are powerless (White, 2008). Despite the unfairness in death penalty, it also violates the Eighth and Fourteen Amendments in the constitution. It can be ruled out that the death penalty in United States is broken from where it started until the end because of the process used in its application. No one desires to die in cruel way. Every individual has right to life.
Death penalty has been discussed in details providing concrete examples as to why it should be abolished. Death penalty has got more harm to the society and to the nation compared to the positive impacts. There should be no condition under which a person should be executed and that’s why other methods of punishment should be employed.
Sandys, M., & McGarrell, E. F. (2015). Attitudes toward capital punishment: Preference for the penalty or mere acceptance?. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 32(2), 191-213.
Acker, J. R. (2013). A different agenda: The Supreme Court, empirical research evidence, and capital punishment decisions, 1986-1989. Law & Soc’y Rev., 27, 65.
Bohm, R. M. (2011). DeathQuest: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Capital Punishment in the United States. London, England: Routledge.
MacKinnon, B., & Fiala, A. (2015). Ethics: Theory and Contemporary Issues, Concise Edition. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Meltsner, M. (2011). Cruel and Unusual: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment. Quid Pro Books.
National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Committee on Law and Justice, & Committee on Deterrence and the Death Penalty. (2012). Deterrence and the Death Penalty. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Vollum, S., Carmen, R. V., Frantzen, D., Miguel, C. S., & Cheeseman, K. (2014). The Death Penalty: Constitutional Issues, Commentaries, and Case Briefs. London, England: Routledge.
White, J. E. (2008). Contemporary Moral Problems. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Kalish, R. A. (2016). Some variables in death attitudes. The Journal of Social Psychology, 59(1), 137-145
Rankin, J. H. (2018). Changing attitudes toward capital punishment. Social Forces, 58(1), 194-211.