Death Penalty as Capital Punishment — School of Conscious Confusion


I believe that we should not have capital punishment or the death penalty. Imagine you were the judge and you had to give out a decision for life imprisonment or the death penalty. To me, I would give everyone who committed a murder life in prison and no chance of parole. The reason why is because if they kill someone else while they are incarcerated, then their sentence will be carried out.

Another reason is that people make mistakes all the time and killing them isn't going to be right for what they did. Taking someone's life might sound like an easy way out but it's not worth it because no one knows if they will change or won't change.

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There are a lot of studies that show that capital punishment does not reduce crime rates. Yes, you may talk about laying out an example for the criminals. Death penalty would discourage them. But it does not mean that they would change. Also, people will still commit crimes even if there is a price for it because the urge to do something bad is bigger than being afraid of being punished.

Another thing is that if someone commits a crime, it's not just one person who gets affected by what happened, but several families are hurt.

Capital punishment or execution of someone is cruel and unusual.

Methods of capital punishment include decapitation, hanging, electrocution, firing squad, lethal injection, stoning, hanged to death, etc. There is no way to know how much pain is involved during the process.

It seems barbaric and cruel. Also, no society should have the right to kill. It is unusual since one murderer may get the death penalty others may not. There is no certain bar.

Death penalties are irreversible and deny due process of law.

Let aside constitutional rights, we can find thousands of cases where someone has been wrongly accused and punished. It can be arbitrary and irrevocable. Punishing someone with the death penalty takes away their right to provide new evidence or new laws which may benefit them.

There is no absolute proof someone actually committed the crime unless there was an eyewitness. Also, there is no certainty of guilt or innocence until proven innocent beyond a reasonable doubt by a judge and jury.

Also, there are other options such as life in prison without parole. Life imprisonment also denies due process of law since it denies basic human rights such as freedom and pursuing happiness that can never be achieved again even if they serve their sentence. It takes away from the opportunity to do good deeds and pays restitution to any victims who suffered the loss.

The death penalty violates the principle of equality before the law or equal protection of the law. The poor are typically unable to afford a proper legal defense, and they are less able to rely on the discretion of judges or prosecutors when seeking lesser penalties. Thus, in many cases, it is only available to defendants who can hire an expensive attorney.

There is no standard to it, one may get the death penalty for a certain crime, where others may not get it. Actually, it can be found in practice that certain classes or races are facing the death penalty more than the other class. Talk about geographical location, social status, race all these factors sometimes affect the judgment.

The death penalty doesn't deter the crime rate. In fact, it might lead to more violence. There are too many innocent people being sentenced to the death penalty wrongly. Most crimes do not even deserve a death penalty sentence anyway.

Many people do not plan or premeditate a murder. They do it in a sudden rush of the moment. Sometimes some accused/criminals are in the wrong place at the wrong time and boom they are getting a death sentence. The penal code also punishes all the persons in a crime where it is assumed that "Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention" (Penal Code 1860, section 34-38). To illustrate it means, When a criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of common intention of all, each of such persons is liable for that act in the same manner as if it were done by him alone.

For example, X is hanging out with some of your friends, and they decide that they will beat up their friend Z who assaulted them earlier. Y, R, S beats Z with the intention to kill. But X and T had no intention to kill Z whatsoever. Later when Z died, all of them got the death penalty. It is so unfair and difficult to judge since the intention is a tough matter to prove.

In my opinion, I think that there is always a chance of redemption for a criminal in their life and whether or not they commit a crime with a deadly weapon doesn't mean that they deserve to be killed in return for their crime. Even if the person deserves another punishment, I believe that putting them through something like a prison can rehabilitate them into becoming better citizens of society such as having job training so when they get out of jail they will have an occupation and not go back to committing crimes again.

Wrap Up

This is a very sensitive and debatable issue. Both sides have some solid reasons in this matter. Though I stand not to punish people by death, I am always open to hearing people’s opinions. If you disagree or agree, let me know. I wish to write more in this regard. And thinking to combine this thought with the IDEA OF JUSTICE. Well, I might relate Amartya Sen’s Idea of Justice as well.

This is a part of my series named School of Conscious Confusion. Feel free to write in this series. If you want you can read Why Abortion Should Be Legal

Why Abortion Should Be Legal


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