14 December 2012
Death penalty in USA
According to Dezhbakhsh, Rubin and Shepherd, “in recent decades, the debate has heated up in the U.S. following the Supreme Court-imposed moratorium on capital punishment. Currently, several states are considering a change in their policies regarding the status of the death penalty (1).” Sidhu states that the death penalty has been met with controversy even from the beginning of the development of the United States of America (454). There have been several arguments that have been espoused in order to denounce the implementation of the death penalty in the country. Some of such arguments include concepts of public policy as well as law enforcement. However, it is clear that the bulk of the debates regarding the matter rely on moral considerations as well as the impacts of such school of thoughts on the development of the country in terms of societal considerations. The death penalty is a legal sanction in certain jurisdictions but there are some countries that detest such practice, disapproving the same as an inhuman practice for punishing crimes. There are several arguments that support the implementation of the death penalty and there are also several arguments that are against it. Sidhu writes that “There is perhaps a no more divisive and significant issue in the United States than that of capital punishment. The debate over the death penalty is of vital import and intrigue because it involves death, the termination of an individual's known existence. Not only does the death penalty involve death, but more properly, it involves the deliberate taking of life. It is precisely because the death penalty involves the willful extermination of human life that the debate must be thoroughly examined. This article attempts to add this needed clarity by evaluating the various arguments against the death penalty (455).” Such reason may be also the primary reason why there are so many who oppose the implementation of the death penalty as a means of dealing with crime. In this essay, the arguments against the death penalty will be discussed. According to Sunstein and Vermeule “many people believe capital punishment is morally impermissible. In their view, executions are inherently cruel and barbaric. Often they add that capital punishment is not, and cannot be, imposed in a way that adheres to the rule of law. They contend that as administered, capital punishment ensures the execution of (some) innocent people, and also that it reflects arbitrariness, in the form of random or invidious infliction of the ultimate penalty (1).” The bulk of the argument against the death penalty relies on the morality of the act. Many use religion as a means to measure whether or not it is right to take away someone’s life for committing the worst form of crimes. However, some use legal provisions such as the protection of the right to life found in the Constitution as well as international agreements and conventions. The protection of the human life is also found in the basics of human rights in the international community. However, the arguments against the implementation of the death penalty as a means of capital punishment do not rely merely on morality. Sidhu states that one of the arguments against the death penalty involves the costs that are related to the implementation of such means of punishment (455). The implementation of the death penalty should be done in such a means that affords a humane way of taking away the life of the accused. In today’s world of technological advances as well as medical development, there have been means that allow for a more humane way of pushing through with the death penalty. In certain states the lethal injection is made the means of carrying out such punishment. In the use of such methods, however, there are certain costs that are entailed. The procedure requires a specialized room to be used for the...
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