Evidence suggests that the death penalty does not deter people from committing crimes. It is a cruel and cold blooded form of punishment and there have been instances where innocent people were sentenced to death and later found to be innocent.
The most common methods of execution are hanging and shooting. Countries like the U.S. use electrocution, gas chambers and lethal injections to dispose of the convicted. Some countries, like the U.S., have tried to minimise the pain of execution by introducing the electric chair. In some parts of the world, more pain is deliberately inflicted on the condemned, such as in the Islamic countries and Nigeria. In Nigeria the executions are done in public by a firing squad. The convicted are executed slowly, by firing bullets at intervals, starting at the ankles. In Islamic countries the condemned are stoned to death. But there are special rules for these executions; (Amnesty International article1), "The Islamic Penal Code of Iran stipulates: "In the punishment of stoning to death, the stones should not be so large that the person dies on being hit by one or two of them."1 This is the kind of cruelty which is inflicted on the executed in those countries. Other methods of execution, like the electric chair and hanging, are also quite cruel to the convicted. That is one of the reasons the death penalty should be abolished.
Does the death penalty really deter criminals?
There is very little valid evidence to suggest that capital punishment deters criminals. The most recent study of research findings on the relationship between the death penalty and homicide rates, conducted for the United Nations Committee on Crime Prevention and Control, in 1988, has concluded that:"this research has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater deterrent effect than life imprisonment."1. Many murders are committed under the influence of alcohol and drugs, some...