The Acceptance of Capital Punishment in our society.

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Introduction

There are four distinct forms of judgments and punishment that a criminal is subject to, and they include incapacitation, rehabilitation, deterrence, and retribution. The capital punishment is frequently referred to as death penalty[1]. There is no doubt that the death penalty is the most severe form of punishment for criminals that have committed serious offenses.

Capital Punishment is a concern that brings colossal disagreements and controversy in many countries. It does not receive complete acceptance in many nations, and mostly there is a portion of people that want it abolished. Conversely, there is also a significant percentage of the society that support the death penalty, and want it practiced for combating serious crimes. This paper addresses both sides of the coin.

Why is capital punishment accepted?

The controversy on the subject of the death penalty stems from emotional, religious, moral, financial, and even ethical concerns[2]. The section of our society that support the concept of death penalty maintain that it is justified in cases of severe crimes such as murder an argument that is built on the principle of ‘an eye for an eye’2.

The supporter of the death penalty believes that it is a vital tool to deter crimes, preserving law and order, and it is also less costly compared to life imprisonment. Their primary argument here is that “an eye for an eye” or retribution acts as a consolation to grieving families. According to them, it is also a way to honor the victim and guarantee that the felons of atrocious crimes are no longer a problem to the society. Additionally, they all appear to believe that if an individual is big enough to commit a crime, he should also gladly take the punishment that follows.

Capital punishment is a concept that is accepted by many people because they believe it shows the criminals that when they kill they will face death penalty in the court of law. The enforcement of capital punishment by the government can scare criminals from their heinous acts. Kansa is a perfect example of a place where the homicide rate declined considerably after the restoration of the death penalty[3].

Why is capital punishment rejected?

However, as mentioned earlier, there is also a section of the society that does not support the idea of the death penalty. They want it abolished and never to be practiced in our civilized society. The concept of capital punishment had its roots in the barbarian period of human civilization when branding, slavery, and other excruciating punishments were normal[4]. Those arguing against the idea of the death penalty hold the belief that there can be no valid justifications for the use of such an inexcusable method that is based on the 5000-year-old Babylonian law.

Secondly, their most crucial argument against the concept of capital punishment is on the basis of human rights. They argue that subjecting criminals to the death penalty violates their right to life. Right to life is the central concept of human civilization and no one has a right to take the life of another. The death penalty is a ferocious unethical act, regardless of how it is carried out. It shows a lack of veneration for the human life and denotes the catastrophic use of brutality and violence to solve social problems.

Thirdly, capital punishment is an excessively cruel and unpleasant way of combating criminal activities. There is a possibility that an imprisoned individual is wrongly charged[5]. Death penalty may lead to permanent miscarriages of justice in cases where a person was accused erroneously. There are instances where an individual’s innocence was proved after he was put to capital punishment5. The capital punishment unlike alternative forms of penalties such as lifetime imprisonment does not give a chance to rectify the mistakes committed. Sentencing a criminal to death may seem effective based on its illusory advantages and individual fits of wrath and vengeance. However, at the end, the consequential obliteration of social decorum and the bloodshed supersede its benefits if any.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the acceptance of the concept of capital punishment is limitless and honestly the issue may remain controversial in our lifetime. The arguments for the death penalty are valid, and so are the arguments against the death penalty. In my opinion, capital punishment should not necessarily be ended, it should rather be voluntary. Criminals need to be given an option of death or lifetime imprisonment with no parole. Life imprisonment can be cruel, as well, and we should, therefore, allow the accused to decide the way he/she would want to expend the rest of his/her life.

Bibliography

Baldus David, George Woodsworth, David Zuckerman, Neil Alan Weiner, & Barbara Briffiti. 1998. “Racial Discrimination and Death Penalty in the Post-Furman Era.” Cornell Law Review 1648-1660.

Boscia, Gerald Uelmen & Chris. 2008. California on the Fair Administration of Justice. The Final Report, Santa Clara: California on the Fair Administration of Justice.

Cassell, Hugo Adam Bedau & Paul. 2004. Debating the Death Penalty; should America have Capital Punishments? The Experts on both Sides Make Their Best Case. New York: Oxford University Press.

[1] Cassell, Hugo Adam Bedau & Paul. 2004.Debating Death Penalty; Should USA have capital punishments? The Experts on both Sides Make Their Best Case. New York: Oxford University Press.

[2] Baldus David, George Woodsworth, David Zuckerman, Neil Alan Weiner, & Barbara Briffiti. 1998. “Racial Discrimination and Death Penalty in the Post-Furman Era.” Cornell Law Review 1648-1660.

 

[3] Baldus David, George Woodsworth, David Zuckerman, Neil Alan Weiner, & Barbara Briffiti. 1998. “Racial Discrimination and Death Penalty in the Post-Furman Era.” Cornell Law Review 1648-1660.

[4] Cassell, Hugo Adam Bedau & Paul. 2004. Debating the Death Penalty; should America have Capital Punishments? The Experts on both Sides Make Their Best Case. New York: Oxford University Press.

 

[5] Boscia, Gerald Uelmen & Chris. 2008. California on the Fair Adminstration of Justice. The Final Report, Santa Clara: California on the Fair Adminstration of Justice.