Just yesterday morning a death row inmate Patrick Gabaakanye was executed. Capital punishment is at the centre of one of the most significant moral debates in modern societies. It has caused quite a stir in the country with some condemning the death penalty, whereas other agreeing with it. Therefore, let’s review each reason for and against capital punishment to determine if it is ethical and logical.
1. Eliminates Negativity.
Capital Punishment proves to be the best method to eliminate negative elements from the society forever thus, leading to a more humane society. Everybody likes positive environment and people around himself and these criminals especially those who perform acts which lead to hindrance of one’s freedom and life spreads negativity in society.
2. Death Penalty Saves Lives.
Some people argue that the death penalty saves lives. Repeat murders are eliminated and foreseeable murders are deterred. If a serial killer is hanged it stops him or her from taking other lives. You must consider the victim as well as the defendant.
3. It Is A Form Of Justice.
To some people, more specially those close to the victim, this is justice. Justice requires punishing the guilty even if only some can be punished and sparing the innocent, even if all are not spared. Morally, justice must always be preferred to equality. An eye for an eye.
4. Cost of Prison.
Typically, the cost of imprisoning someone for life is much more expensive than executing that same person. However with the expensive costs of appeals in courts of law, it is arguable if capital punishment is truly cost effective when compared with the cost of life imprisonment.
1. It Does Not Discourage Crime
It is noted that we need extreme penalty as a deterrent to crime. This could be a strong argument if it could be proved that the death penalty discourages murderers. There is strong evidence that the death penalty does not discourage crime at all.
2. Not Humane.
Killing a person is not humane, even if the criminal is not humane. What is humane is subjective to a person’s upbringing, education, beliefs, and religion. Therefore different people interpret what is humane differently.
3. Violates Human Rights.
Some groups of people deem death a violation of the person’s right to live. Other groups of people disagree that the death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment. There is no clear definition of what human rights are, so there will always be disagreements with whether it violates human rights.
4. No Second Chances.
Every human being is entitled to receive a second chance in life. Putting a convict behind bars is always a logical option than killing him, as there is a chance that he may improve. People who have served life sentences are reported to have bettered their earlier ways of living and have made worthwhile contribution to the society.
As we can plainly see, there are several good reasons to support and oppose capital punishment. Also, there are several bad reasons to be for and against the death penalty too. Furthermore, the general population has a wide range of beliefs concerning capital punishment. Even these beliefs of the general population are subject to change.