Thedeath penalty plays a contradictory and emotional role in Americansocial and political culture. Recent evidence, however, suggests thatthe death penalty as a method of preventing capital crimes has aparamount role in averting as many as eighteen or more murders foreach execution. This evidence greatly unsettles moral objections tothe death penalty, because it suggests that a refusal to impose thatpenalty condemns numerous people to death.
Thispaper scrutinizes and clarifies strong reasons as to why theexistence of the death penalty is essential to peace and tranquilityof the society as a whole. It is a contradiction of the common beliefthat an innocent person may be sent to the gallows by a falseconviction.The paper goes on to explain that various checks andbalances have become available, that ensure that no innocent personis condemned while at the same time providing that no person who isguilty of the heinous crimes is allowed to go scot-free. Thepaper supports the existence of death penalty as it deters and helpsto lower the crime rate among other advantages.
Thedeath penalty laws have faced a lot criticism from individuals in therecent years. Some people claim that it is a necessity which must beawarded to the most heinous crimes. Other individuals who advocatefor human rights are dead right against the notion of the continuanceof death penalties. They allege that any death penalty issued is aviolation of the fundamental human right to life. They assert thatthe state has no right whatsover to end human life[ CITATION Rob09 l 1033 ].Thispaper will go on to elucidate the reasons why the existence ofcapital punishment is material to achieving justice in the state.
Deathpunishment refers to the verdict, which legally terminates thenatural life of a person. As a result, a person’s life can be endedlegally by taking recourse in the law, connoting that a person`s life can be cut short from the natural span of that person’s life
Deathpenalty is not a modern-day concept it has been in existence sincethe ancient times. In the ancient times, the death penalty usuallyinvolved beheading the person and was awarded by the king for theexplicit non-compliance of a person. In the 20thcentury, there was a movement for the abolition of the death penalty.In the year 1992 in a monumental ruling by the Supreme Court, all buta few penalty statutes in the United States were consideredunconstitutional[ CITATION Fru92 l 1033 ].Consequently, each of the 630 or so inmates then on America’s deathrows was resentencedto life imprisonment
Byconferring the most stringent punishment for the most heinous crimes,future crimes may be prevented. The majority of the advocates for thedeath penalty support it due to its deterrence function. Society hasa high interest to prevent murder hence society should use thestrongest punishment available to deter crime. The fundamentals ofpsychology state that, when a person knows he is likely to getseverely punished for a particular act, and the burden of that actionfar outweighs the benefit, it is only obvious that the person wouldnot commit that act. The argument is that we must punish offenders todiscourage others from committing similar offenses. CriminologistRobert Caldwell asserted, “The most frequently and widely acceptedargument for the death penalty is that the threat of infliction,deters people from committing capital offenses.” Hence by awardingthe most stringent punishment for the most heinous of crimes, futurecrimes may be prevented.
Thedeath penalty seeks to ensure justice. The preamble to theconstitution of the USA, aims to achieve all its citizens’ justiceamong other things. A just society requires the death sentence fortaking a life. When somebody takes a life, the equilibrium of justiceis disturbed. Unless that balance is restored, society succumbs to arule of violence. Simply the taking of the murderer’s life restoresthe balance and allows the social order to show captivatingly thatmurder is an unendurable crime which will be chastised in kind. Anylesser punishment would undermine the value society places inprotecting lives. We do not need to appeal to a religiousjustification for capital punishment. We can site the role of thestate in dispensing justice. Now is it not fair to that a person whohas committed the heinous of crimes, an individual who is potentiallydangerous to society as a whole or individuals who have no ounce ofremorse in them be shown the gallows? It will not be justice ifpeople who have behaved in an inhumane behavior will be treated inthe same manner as humane individuals.
Thedeath penalty is applied fairly and may be used. Under the USAconstitution, capital punishment is not awarded without any basis orarbitrary without any rationale or reasoning. It ia awarded only inthe rarest of rare cases. Second, even if the death sentence ispassed, the convict has a right to file a mercy petition, or due tounreasonable delay, there is a possibility that the death penaltymight be commuted to life imprisonment. Discretion has consistentlybeen an essential part of justice. Not a single person expects theprosecutor to pursue every possible offense or punishment. Each crimeis unique, both because the circumstances of each victim aredifferent and because each defendant is different. The USA SupremeCourt has held that a mandatory death penalty which applied toeveryone convicted of first-degree murder would be illegitimate. As aresult, great care and restraint is taken before capital punishmentis awarded. That being the case it is plausible to conclude that thestate does have a high regard for the life of its citizens and thatit exercises the utmost care and caution before the death penalty isawarded.
Bykilling inmates, the death penalty removes the burden and cost ofaccommodating them within the penitentiary system. The stateundergoes huge costs to keep convicts alive. There is also a chancethat a convict may escape from prison. Such convicts may be dangerousto the safety of the public. The possible risk to the society by aconvicted criminal cannot be kept at bay under the cloak of humanrights. Large numbers and overstretched resources are critical issuesin prisons in many countries. Due to the cruelty of prisoners’crimes on death row, it costs much more to nourish, house, andisolate these often dangerous inmates than if they were merely put todeath.
Thereis also the honorable aspect of morality. Though individuals mayargue that it is immoral for the state to take the life of a person,the same position holds good for the contrary as well. It connotesthat the presence of capital punishment means that the state confersindividual dignity upon convicts, by treating them as persons who arecapable of choosing the paths they want to tread on and taking fullresponsibility for the consequences of their actions. If the deathpenalty is to be abolished on the grounds of immorality, then it isequal to treating the convicts as animals who do not have a sense ofmorality and must be excused for even the most heinous crimes. Iflife is considered sacred, then it only disregards the life of aninnocent murder victim, if the convict is allowed to live. The statemust look for the common good of society. It is from this verycommitment that the state derives the power to enforce capitalpunishment.
Theexistence of the death penalty can be viewed to be based on theprinciple of free will. A convict is acutely aware of theconsequences of his actions. Hence, it is only just to ensure thatthe convict is adequately punished for the crimes he or she hascommitted. A contemporary society where each man stands for himself,the death penalty is a requirement. It is required to keep thepotential convicts at bay, and ensuring that the society is notharmed or the peace, tranquility, and epoch of society is notcompromised. The state cannot jeopardize the lives of hundreds ofinnocent persons only for the life of one convict who does not evendeserve to live to compromise it. Thus, the death penalty mustcontinue to exist.
Fruman V. Georgia, 238 (Supreme Court 1992).
John, J. D. (2011). The : No Evidence for Deterrence. The Berkeley Electronic Press.
Justice, L. a. (2012, April 18). Deterrence and the . pp. 2-4.
Richard, C. (n.d.). The and Human Rights.
Rob, W. (2009). Reflections on Capital Punishment. Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, 11-12, 23-27.