Capital Punishment

Topics: Death Penalty, Prison, Murder Pages: 3 (895 words) Published: September 2, 2010
Capital Punishment Discursive essay

Capital punishment, or the death penalty, is the execution of a person as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. In some countries death penalty can only be used to punish people for wilful murder. In other countries it is also used as punishment for other crimes, such as dealing drugs or in some countries even for adultery. When it comes to executions and other types of physical punishment, there has been no limit to the imagination of man. The most famous execution is undoubtedly the crucifixion of Jesus. Another historic execution took place in the ancient Greece, where Socrates was forced to drink the poisonous juice of hemlock flowers. In the Roman Empire thousands of slaves and criminals were killed by lions or other predators, to the great delight of thousands of spectators. Hangings, burnings, decapitations and shootings have also been events that could draw huge crowds of joyful spectators. Another biblical form of execution is to be stone to death, a type of execution that has been used as late as the 20th century.

The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United Nation proclaims the right of every individual to protection from deprivation of life. It states that no one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment. The death penalty violates both of these fundamental rights and perpetuates a cycle of violence. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and has no place in a modern criminal justice system. Over two thirds of countries in the world – 137 – have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. 

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