Pros and Cons of the Death Penalty

Death penalty also referred to as capital punishment is a form of punishment that is applicable to any person found guilty of a capital offence. Capital offences include murder, attempted murder, and robbery with violence and treason. For many years there has been a looming debate on whether death penalty should be abolished. Many are of the argument that it should be done away with as it is not only unfair but also inhuman. On the other hand an equally big number believes that the only way that people will refrain from committing capital offences is by implementing the death penalty. This discussion looks at the pros and cons of death penalty with much emphasis being put on whether to retain or abolish this form of punishment (Bedau, H. 2005).

Capital punishment has got two sides to it. This discussion looks at both sides of the coin to determine whether this practice should be abolished or retained. Some of the reasons as to why death penalty should be retained are discussed below

A person who has been tried in a court of law and found guilty of a capital offence deserves to be punished through death so that they may suffer similar pain to the pain they inflicted on the victim of their criminal acts. For example, a person who has committed rape or murder has caused grievous and fatal harm respectively to the victim. This will discourage other members of society from committing crime. Capital punishment should therefore be retained as a means of discouraging people from committing capital offences (Deepa, K. 2009).

The other argument that supports capital punishment is that if a person who has committed a capital offence is put in jail and then later releases, there is a possibility of such a person committing the same crime again or even a greater crime mainly for revenge purposes. It is thus argued that the only way to keep the society safe from such people is by eliminating the completely from the society and this is done through capital punishment (Deepa, K. 2009).

It is also argued that instead of jailing a person for life for having committed a capital offence, it is far much better to kill them as it is viewed as more torturous to live in the four walls of prison for the rest of a persons life. It is thus argued that persons found guilty of capital offences should be face death penalty as it is less torturous and it also helps reduce overcrowding in prisons.

On the other hand, those who are opposed to death penalty as a form of punishment argue that it may lead to the death of an innocent person. It is therefore viewed as unjust and unfair since it is argued that most poor people are likely to face death punishment as they cannot afford the best of lawyers. For that therefore, they argue that it should be done away with (Bedau, H. 2005).

They also argue that life belongs to God. He is the giver of life and He is the only one mandated to take it away. This form of punishment is thus seen as blasphemous as it takes the mandate of God.
Many people have also argued that although the main intention of this punishment is to reduce the rate of crime in the society, it has not been able to achieve this purpose and should therefore be done away with. Crime rate is still up even though death penalty is still be implemented (Bedau, H. 2005).
In conclusion, I am of the opinion that death penalty should be done away with mainly because it has not been able to achieve the very purpose for which it was established.


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