Capital Punishment and Human Rights - Does the Death Penalty breach human rights? Can it ever be justified?

Topics: Death Penalty, Human rights, Crime Pages: 4 (1168 words) Published: July 22, 2006
Capital punishment violates human rights and therefore cannot be justified for any reason. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every human has the inalienable right to life and the right not to be tortured or subjected to any cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. The death penalty is not always smooth and painless, and therefore it is torture. Every legal system is fallible, and it would therefore be very possible for innocent lives to be extinguished. The death penalty can be unfairly administered to the poor and minorities. The death penalty does nothing to improve society as it takes away any chance of rehabilitation and redemption. It is also immoral that some countries execute children and pregnant women. The death of a criminal is not for humans to decide, and will only serve as revenge for the victims, not justice.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the inalienable right to life1. It is a clear breach of this right if the death penalty is used. This right cannot be forfeited even by committing a crime. The death penalty only serves the purpose of revenge, not justice. The relatives of criminals do not usually support the death penalty because they 'know' the person and circumstances and feel that it is not warranted. The death penalty is more likely to be supported by the victims of crime who go by the "eye for an eye" ideology of revenge. However, the purpose of the legal system is not to deal out revenge, but justice. The death penalty is just state-sanctioned murder and revenge.

Every human has the right "to not be tortured or subject to any, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment."2 Yet methods of capital punishment such as stoning, lethal injection and electrocution, are painful and slow, and can be classified as torture. They are also inhumane; in Vietnam and China, prisoners are faced with the humiliation of being executed by firing squad in front of the public and their relatives are not...
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