Capital permits to punish killers on the best

Capital punishment also known as the death penalty is
the lawful infliction of death as a punishment. Crimes that are punishable by
the death are known as capital crimes or capital offences and they commonly
include offences such as serious types of murder, rape, types of fraud,
treason, espionage, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. To date, there
are 141 countries in the world which abolished the death penalty, (105 of them
abolished death penalty for all crimes, 8 abolished it only for crimes of
common law, and 28 did not abolish death penalty in their legislation but do
not put it into practise). But, 57 countries in the world still practise death
penalty including the United States.

Death penalty in USA is currently used by 32 states,
the federal government and the military. Since 1608 to 1900, there have been
over 15,600 executions, mostly by hanging up.     Between 1967 and 1976 there were no
executions in united states. In 1976, the court affirmed the legality of
capital punishment and since then more than 7800 defendants have been sentenced
to death; among whom there was more than 1400 executions; 159 were exonerated
before execution and more than 2 900 are still on death row. As of October
2014, there are 3,035 inmates on death row, awaiting execution, including 57
women. In 2016, there were 20 people executed; the lowest number of execution
since 1991.

We notice that more and more the number of execution
is gradually decreasing and there are some reasons that explaining it. Although
death penalty is seen as the best way to punish murderous, it is against human
rights and puts innocents lives at risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One
thing is that people think that death penalty permits to punish killers on the
best way.  

In fact, it is a matter of justice because capital
punishment is the appropriate judgement for delinquent. Justice requires that
people pay for their wrongdoing and suffer in an appropriate way for the crime.
Any accused person found guilty should pay for his deeds and a killer should
logically also be sentenced to death. This statement is goodly illustrated by
the concept of “an eye for an eye” (capital punishment UK, n d, Para.9).

But, in my opinion, death penalty is more of an act of
vengeance than an establishment of justice. Firstly, because it is
contradictory to punish a crime by a crime. Secondly, it legitimizes violence
which justice claims to fight. One of the roles of justice is to ensure that
laws are respected by the use of sanctions against deviants in order to make
them conscious of their wrongdoing and to try to reinsert them later in
society. But for instance, a person sentenced to death for killing someone
would not be conscious of the gravity of his acts if justice ends up doing the
same thing. Death penalty is therefore a veiled way of getting revenge without
it being done by oneself. Because if given the opportunity, the victim’s family
would have also taken revenge by killing the murderer.

Moreover, it brings closure for victim’s families. As
stated by Alexander K. (2016), one thing is to be in
favour of capital punishment and another is to experience pain caused by the
death of one’s family member who has been maliciously killed. In 1984, a young
18 years old man named Tiqueon Cox killed without pity his mother, his sister
and two nephews. He   was condemned to
death. But while on death row, he tried to take the control killing several
guards. So, he did his best and obtained a 66 yes votes against 62 no votes to
make him receive the worst punishment to be known, which is death penalty,
bringing relief to the families of the victims (Para.8).

It is true that it can provides a kind of alleviation
to the victim’s family, but I think that It does not bring relief to the
victim’s family but rather spreads the suffering of the victim’s family to that
of the condemned person. Death penalty is therefore not the best way of
sanctioning the murderer since it will not bring the beloved back to life.                                       In addition to
that, another role of Justice is to preserve the rights of everyone without
exception and to ensure that these rights are not affected. However, there is a
real contradiction between the concept of death penalty and what justice is
supposed to do.

The main reason for what death penalty is unacceptable
is that it is not ethical. It violates human fundamental rights.

The right to live is fundamental. As human being,
everyone is concerned by the right to life, particularly the right to not be
killed by another human being. So, whatever the degree of the crime committed by
someone, he or she should not be deprived of this right because no one has the
right to keep someone’s life even if himself has taken another one’s life. Otherwise,
we also turn into to murderer. Life has a priceless value that everyone must
respect and consider (BBC, n d, Para.1&2).

For me what makes the greatness of someone, his
strength, what raises him above the condition of animal, is his respect for
life and this respect should not have any exception.            The universal declaration of human
rights adopted by the United Nations general assembly stipulates in its third
article that every individual has the right to life. We have only one life and
even if we make some mistakes throughout our lives, we still have another
chance to rectify them and improve ourselves. So according to this, I think
that there is no justification to the violation of someone’s rights.

Furthermore, death penalty violates
the right to not be tortured. In fact, he methods used
to execute people are most of the time painful. Methods such as execution by
lethal gas or lethal injection, electrocution or strangulation cause too much
suffering. There are inhumane, cruel and degrading for the condemned and
involve negatively other people such as medical personnel and guards (BBC, n d,
Para.10).

The fifth article of the universal declaration of
human right states that nobody will be subjected to torture or to punishments
or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatments. I think that it applies to everybody
even to justice. As human beings we can’t treat other human beings as animals by
hurting them and consider that it as normal. One more time it is not the role
of justice, on the contrary. It must show the right example which begin by
respecting fundamentals principles. Moreover, apart from the condemned, the
different methods of execution, in addition of the condemned, have some
repercussions on the persons who take part in it, affecting them mentally. So,
there are other ways that can be used to punish people without imposing pain
and other damages.

 

 

 

Another weakness of death penalty is that it puts
innocents lives at risk.       

In
fact, justice is fallible. According to BBC (n
d), “As long as human justice remains fallible, the risk of executing the
innocent can never be eliminated (…) in the USA, 130 people sentenced to death
have been found innocent since 1973 and released from death row.  The average time on death row before these
exonerations was 11 years” (Para.3).

Personally, I think that it is the most powerful
argument. In fact, humans not being perfect, it is obvious that what they create
would also have some default. And that is the reason of imperfection of the
justice system. But, it is not the real problem. The problem with death penalty
is how to correct our mistakes if the punishment is definitive? It is
irrevocable. Even if we make a mistake in the judgement we don’t have the
possibility to rectify it because the condemned will be already dead whereas if
he received another sentence than death penalty he would have had the
possibility to be free. We boast of repairing a crime by capital punishment, by
taking the risk of not repairing the errors made by the justice. It is very
paradoxical.

And this fallibility is aggravated   d by the fact that death penalty is most of
the time based on race. As mentioned by Malley
(2015), justice has a big problem that people don’t deal with. Death penalty is
a materialisation of the continuation of racial injustice according to the
proportion of black people who are executed: 40% approximatively, which is three
times the proportion of the general population. Death penalty is thus such as a
racial heritage which cannot be excused where too much innocent’s live are
taken (Para.7).

The fact that it is racially based multiplies the
chances to commit an injustice. All the human beings are equals and must be
treated in the same manner. One thing is that death penalty is unacceptable for
all the reasons evocated, and another thing is that it is sentenced to people
based on their skin colour. I think it is very pathetic. If the justice system which
is supposed to make sure that the principle of equality is respected do not
respect its own written laws, I do not know why we have to rely on it. If a
sentence is imposed to someone it must be only because he really deserves it
and no according to one’s subjective opinions. I think that delivering sentences
on the basis of race is the lowest thing that can be done.

 

 

 

Death penalty, admittedly, is far from being the most
effective way of sanctioning a crime. It contributes to the violation of human
fundamental rights and expose innocent’s lives to death. From these reasons, ensue
other ones that make the death penalty unacceptable. Among these reasons we
have the fact that it is a real injustice in the sense that it does not permit
rehabilitation and it is not dissuasive, meaning that it does not help in reducing
the number of crimes. For all these reasons death penalty is not really
efficient.

 Based on my
principles, I am against death penalty and there are some principles that we
cannot break without losing our dignity. So, in conclusion, what I would
recommend is to ban death penalty and find an alternative way which will be
more efficient and in agreement with justice’s written laws. And I believe that
life imprisonment would be a better option especially because there could be a
possibility for the condemned to be released one day depending on their
behaviour during their stay in prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Alexander, K.
(2016, September 30). Letters to the Editor, Oct.1. Retrieved from https://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002000#7

 

Amnesty
International. (2017, April 11). The Death penalty in 2016: Facts and figures.
Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/04/death-penalty-2016-facts-and-figures/

 

Malley, M. O.
(2015, November 6). Why the Death Penalty Needs to Go. CNN.
Retrieved from https://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002000#7

 

Arguments
for and against the death penalty in the USA. (n d.). Retrieved from http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/thoughtsUS.html

 

Ethics:
capital punishment. (n d.). BBC. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/capitalpunishment/