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The Use of Capital Punishment Could Never Be Justified in a Civilised Society

By ella1999 Feb 25, 2013 889 Words
The Use of Capital Punishment could never be justified in a civilised society

The issue of whether or not capital punishment should be used is a highly debated topic by all of the world’s leading political figures. There are many people who think that the use of capital punishment should continue; however, this essay will explain to you the dangers, disadvantages and misconceptions about the death penalty. Since 1973, over 130 people in the USA have been released from the death row due to evidence of their innocence, if so many innocent people continue to suffer, then why does the death penalty still exist? As there is so much evidence as to the wrongful deaths of many ‘criminals’ it seems natural that the death penalty should be abolished. Furthermore, if the death penalty was abolished, it would allow the criminal to change their ways and become a better person, however, whilst it is still in use, it completely defies the aims of punishment. If the person who committed the crime did do something back to the community and changed the way they behaved, this would actually send out a message and become an inspiration for other potential crime committers. In addition to this, the abolishment of capital punishment would prevent it being used simply as a form of revenge. According to criminologists, this is a key motive for the death penalty and this can often solidify unity against the criminal. Moreover, when the public hear about the terrible crimes that have been committed, their opinions may drastically influence the decisions made by the legal authorities and a way to put an end to all of this would simply be to do away with capital punishment. In the past, although it still occurs now but less often, capital punishment was used against certain racial, ethnic, political or religious groups, despite the fact of whether or not they were guilty. However, countries and states that still use the death penalty think that it is a deterrent. Their theory is that if they kill people for certain crimes, it will deter others from committing the crime due to fear of the punishment. On the other hand, scientific studies have consistently failed to prove this; in fact, they show that states without the death penalty have significantly lower crime rates than those with the death penalty. In 2006, the states without capital punishment had a 40% lower crime rate, this clearly shows that the deterrence theory is incorrect. Another fundamental misconception about the death penalty is that it is cheaper than imprisoning the criminals for life. Contradicting this, there is much evidence that life imprisonment is cheaper and it is also more effective towards the criminal. Many countries have abolished the death penalty, not because of moral issues, but because of the costs. They have come to the realisation that they could be saving the equivalent of millions of pounds, especially in times of economic crisis; this can be an important factor for many countries. The reason why it costs far more to execute a person is because it requires long legal procedures and well-trained lawyers need to be hired to ensure that the person is being rightly convicted. The cost of executing a person would cost at least $2 million whereas life without parole would cost $1 million for 50 years. Capital punishment violates our human rights, which everyone is entitled to have, whether they are a criminal or not. It defies the right of life which is taken away through capital punishment, even if they are proven guilty. In addition to this, the right not to be subjected to torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment is utterly overlooked. In my opinion, this is one of the main reasons why the use of capital punishment cannot be justified in civilised society, as it is breaking some of the most basic rights which every human being should be allowed to have. This reflects why capital punishment is completely unacceptable to function in an orderly civilisation. You can get involved too, by signing petitions to abolish the death penalty. In addition, you could share these shocking discoveries and statistics with as many people as possible. Capital punishment can be abolished but only if everybody put their input into it. In conclusion, I feel that capital punishment is highly wrong and should not be used anywhere in the world. The main reason why I think this is because innocent lives can be easily taken by mistake and this is truly unacceptable. The country with the highest death penalties given is China with at least 1710 people executed in 2005. With such a high number of executions, there are bound to be many innocent lives taken. It may also be used just for the sake of revenge which, in my opinion, it completely inhumane and outrageous because the ‘criminal’ may not even be guilty. However, the most important cause for why capital punishment cannot function in a civilised society is because it overlooks so many human rights which is utterly intolerable and shocking, especially because these are rights which some countries have already signed and agreed to. In my opinion, whether the person is guilty or not, capital punishment is not an acceptable or reasonable option and never will be.

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