Capital Punishment

The existence of the death penalty in any society raises one underlying question: have we established our justice systems out of a desire for rehabilitation, or out of a desire for retribution? 1. Capital punishment is a practice in which prisoners are executed in accordance with judicial practice when they are convicted of committing what is known as a “capital crime. ” Capital crimes are crimes deemed so heinous that they should be punishable by death. People may also use the term “death penalty” to refer to capital punishment.

Worldwide, this practice is extremely controversial, with a variety of concerns ranging from human rights to economic efficiency being raised in discussions about capital punishment. Suggest Edits The practice of executing people for certain crimes is very old; in fact, the term itself dates to a Latin root, capitalis, which means “of the head,” a reference to a common execution method used in Roman times. At various points in history, a wide range of crimes have been punishable by death, including rape, murder, treason, mutiny, and theft.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

In the military, death sentences for “cowardice” were used as recently as the First World War, when soldiers were shot by firing squads assembled from the men who served with them, providing both a punishment and a warning. As early as the 1800s, some members of society were pushing for abolition of the death penalty, arguing that it was an inhumane method of punishment. Many abolitionists were also involved with animal welfare organizations and antislavery organizations.

Their efforts were at least partially successful; by the beginning of the 21st century, only 58 nations were practicing the death penalty, and several of these nations had very restrictive terms which had to be met in order for capital punishment to be an option. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States lead the world in executions annually. Suggest Edits Arguments for capital punishment include the suggestion that it acts as a deterrent, by reminding criminals that they can pay the ultimate price for some claims.

It is also touted in some regions as a safety measure which effectively removes people who have committed horrific crimes from the street without having to worry about their release on parole in the future. Some supporters also argue that capital punishment provides closure to family members of victims. Furthermore, supporters argue, it is possible to administer the death penalty justly and humanely. Suggest Edits People who oppose the death penalty argue that it is unevenly applied, creating the potential for erroneous executions of innocent people.

Opponents are also perturbed by differing standards in judicial practice; for example, some nations allow capital punishment for crimes such as drug trafficking, and in some nations where homosexuality remains criminalized, it is punishable by death. Opponents also argue that administering capital punishment justly and fairly is tremendously expensive, and it is more cost effective to focus on incarceration. 2. Capital punishment or the death penalty is a legal process whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime.

The judicial decree that someone be punished in this manner is a death sentence, while the actual process of killing the person is an execution. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally “regarding the head” (referring to execution by beheading). 3. Capital punishment is the practice of executing someone as punishment for a specific crime after a proper legal trial. It can only be used by a state, so when non-state organisations speak of having ‘executed’ a person they have actually committed a murder.

It is usually only used as a punishment for particularly serious types of murder, but in some countries treason, types of fraud, adultery and rape are capital crimes. The phrase ‘capital punishment’ comes from the Latin word for the head. A ‘corporal’ punishment, such as flogging, takes its name from the Latin word for the body. Capital punishment is used in many countries around the world. According to Amnesty International as at May 2012, 141 countries have abolished the death penalty either in law on in practice. ARGUEMENTS AGAINST CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

Everyone thinks human life is valuable. Some of those against capital punishment believe that human life is so valuable that even the worst murderers should not be deprived of the value of their lives. They believe that the value of the offender’s life cannot be destroyed by the offender’s bad conduct – even if they have killed someone. Some abolitionists don’t go that far. They say that life should be preserved unless there is a very good reason not to, and that those who are in favour of capital punishment are the ones who have to justify their position.

The most common and most cogent argument against capital punishment is that sooner or later, innocent people will get killed, because of mistakes or flaws in the justice system. Witnesses, (where they are part of the process), prosecutors and jurors can all make mistakes. When this is coupled with flaws in the system it is inevitable that innocent people will be convicted of crimes. Where capital punishment is used such mistakes cannot be put right. 1. You can’t take it back The death penalty is irreversible.

Absolute judgments may lead to people paying for crimes they did not commit. Texas man Cameron Todd Willingham, for example, was found innocent after his 2004 execution. 2. It doesn’t deter criminals In fact, evidence startlingly reveals the opposite! Twenty seven years after abolishing the death penalty, Canada saw a 44 per cent drop in murders across the country. And it wasn’t alone. 3. There’s no ‘humane’ way to kill The 2006 execution of Angel Nieves Diaz, by a so-called ‘humane’ lethal injection, took 34 minutes and required two doses.

Other methods of execution used around the world include hanging, shooting and beheading. The nature of these deaths only continues to perpetuate the cycle of violence and does not alleviate the pain already suffered by the victims’ family. 4. It makes a public spectacle of an individual’s death Executions are often undertaken in an extremely public manner, with public hangings in Iran or live broadcasts of lethal injections in the US. 5. The death penalty is disappearing Out of 198 countries around the world only 21 continue to use capital unishment. And while countries that carried out executions in 2011 did so at an alarming rate, those employing capital punishment have decreased by more than a third in the last decade. With this clear downward trend, public pressure may help persuade the world’s biggest executors China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the USA to stop. There are countless arguments for and against the death penalty. In an imperfect world where we can never be sure we have ever got the “worst of the worst” is it ever justified to take a life?