Criminals are punished through numerous means and these means may sometimes be termed as cruel. Death penalty is an example of cruel punishment to persons who are found guilty. The death penalty is executing someone as a punishment due to crimes committed. Numerous methods exist in which execution of a criminal can be accomplished. Some of these methods include lethal injection, hanging and electrification. The type and method of execution does not try to authenticate or create credibility of the death penalty. The aim of this paper is to argue that the death penalty should be abolished even if crimes committed resulting death.
The aim of sentencing a criminal is to allow rehabilitation. However, rehabilitation is not possible if the death penalty is actualized (Hood and Hoyle 54). Executing a criminal does not bring the victim back to life or make the criminal remorseful (Guernsey 21). Rehabilitation of a criminal is better because other criminals will learn from the person hence will not be associated to the crimes. Countries that have passed death penalty do not witnesses fewer crimes resulting to deaths compared to countries that do not use the death penalty as punishment. Therefore, rehabilitation is better than convincing an individual to death (Hood and Hoyle 34). In addition, the aim of imprisonment is to correct a criminal and therefore it is contrary to this aim if the death penalty is encouraged. Moreover, a criminal sentenced to death may not mean that the individual committed the offence.
Numerous cases have been reported whereby an individual is wrongly convicted. Many people who had originally been convicted to death have been released because evidence indicates that they were convicted wrongly (Yorke 43). Therefore, it is better imprisoning a person for life rather than death so that such issues if it occurs can be addressed promptly. This is premised on the aspect that death does not bring an individual back. Criminals are supposed to be corrected, and innocent persons may pass through a wrong process and therefore, the most important aspect is life imprisonment whereby the wrongs may be corrected. Hence, death penalty should be abolished.
Apart from wrong conviction, death penalty is more expensive when compared to life imprisonment. When executing a criminal based on the death penalty, numerous procedures should be followed and adhered. These processes require financial and different resource utilization. The expenses are attributed to continuous appeals, legal wrangles and other processes that are required before proceeding with the procedure (Stearman 21). Therefore, if these expenses and resource utilization are weighed against life imprisonment, the life imprisonment is cheaper compared to the death penalty. The government also plays a major role in the entire process.
The government is responsible to meet these expenses, but the same government states that it operates based on the constitution. The constitution clearly defines the rights of individual and ethical considerations. However, executing or killing an individual violates constitutional requirements. The constitution champion right of life and it is not appropriate to execute an individual in front of many people (Bedau and Cassell 91). The constitution of United States of America categorically states “cruel and unusual punishment” according to the 8th Amendment (Guernsey 54). Therefore, death penalty violates the spirit and letter of the constitution.
Apart from constitution, death penalty is against religion such as Christianity; it specifically states that a person should not be killed according to one of the Ten Commandments, which states “Thou shall not kill”. The Christianity teachings categorically states that a person should not be executed (Banner and Banner 21). In addition, the world is controlled and based on principles of morality, integrity and ethical dispensation (Stearman 44). The death penalty does not consider these virtues and hence it is inhumane.
However, some people acquire that punishment should be equal to the crime. These people argue that if somebody kills someone, the person should be killed so that the family of the victim feels justice is served. This is attributed to the perception that the deprived family will not be comfortable with any other punishment apart from the death penalty. Conversely, this point of view is not viable because two wrongs cannot make something right. This means that if killing a person is right then the original crime should be presumed right and hence punishment should not be accorded (Banner and Banner 106).
The mentality for killing because someone killed another person does not hold. A philosophy of revenge cultivates a situation whereby a circle of death and violence is created. For example, gang violence and revenge attacks occur across the world, and this are attributed to decisions that were made hastily. Death penalty will never reduce crimes or bring back the dead, but it is important to create an environment whereby an individual becomes remorseful and requirements their actions. Therefore, the constitution and correctional department should formulate measures, frameworks and strategies to ensure new mechanism to address the most serious offences and criminals are death with accordingly.
- Banner, Stuart, and Banner Stuart. The Death Penalty: an American history. Chicago: Harvard University Press, 2009. Print.
- Bedau, Hugo, and Cassell Paul. Debating the Death Penalty: Should America Have Capital Punishment? The Experts on Both Sides Make Their Case. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
- Guernsey, Joann. Death Penalty: Fair Solution or Moral Failure? London: Twenty-First Century Books, 2009. Print.
- Hood Roger, and Hoyle Carolyn. The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Print.
- Stearman, Kaye. The Debate about the Death Penalty. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2007. Print.
- Yorke, Jon. Against the Death Penalty: International Initiatives and Implications. California: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2008. Print.