The issue of whether death penalty should be abolished or not has been widely debated for years and there are a lot of different views. It is an important issue since it concerns one of the most fundamental human rights, which is the right to live. Death is wrong when a single person commits the murder, but when the decision if a person should be killed or not is made by the society as a unit, the act is apparently justified. This essay deals with the contradiction in the arguments being given as a support to the death penalty. It will also put forward reason for why this cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment should be abolished.
The death penalty is practiced in many parts of the world today. Amnesty International, the leading human rights non-governmental organisation, have been working to abolish the death penalty for over the past 20 years. But 58 countries maintain the death penalty in both law and practice, and thousands of people is executed annually in cold-blooded ways like stoning, death by deadly injection, hanging and the electric chair. These actions are being approved without any legitimate basis.
First of all, the death penalty is a violation of two fundamental human rights, as laid down in Articles 3 and 5 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “The right to life” and “The right not to be tortured or subject to any cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment”. Fact is, the most successful form of torture is reportedly the threat of execution. From the moment you are put in death row and the minute up to the execution is one of the most agonizing form of psychological exploitation. No man or woman should endure this kind of torment, no matter what crime they have committed. Human rights are for everyone, always, and can never be forfeited. No exceptions. Furthermore, there is a risk that it can be inflicted on the innocent, and an execution is final and a life cannot be taken back.