The death penalty violates the most fundamental human right – the right to life. It is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment . The death penalty is discriminatory. An innocent person may be released from prison for a crime they did not commit, but an execution can never be reversed.
In the Hebrew Bible , Exodus 21:12 states that “whoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death .” In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus, however, rejects the notion of retribution when he says “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”
Arguments in favour of capital punishment Retribution . Deterrence. Rehabilitation. Prevention of re-offending. Closure and vindication. Incentive to help police. A Japanese argument.
The argument most often cited in support of capital punishment is that the threat of execution influences criminal behavior more effectively than imprisonment does. As plausible as this claim may sound, in actuality the death penalty fails as a deterrent for several reasons.
Some of the reasons for the high cost of the death penalty are the longer trials and appeals required when a person’s life is on the line, the need for more lawyers and experts on both sides of the case, and the relative rarity of executions.
Lethal injection era From 1976 to 1 February 2021, there were 1,529 executions, of which 1,349 were by lethal injection, 163 by electrocution, 11 by gas inhalation, 3 by hanging, and 3 by firing squad.
Thus, capital punishment is not a violation of an offender’s right to life, as the offender has forfeited that right, and the death penalty is then justifiable as a morally permissible way to treat murderers in order to effect some good for society.
Human Rights Watch opposes the death penalty in all circumstances because it is inherently cruel and irreversible. In 2007, the Philippines ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights , which requires countries to abolish the death penalty .
The case against capital punishment is often made on the basis that society has a moral obligation to protect human life, not take it. Nor is the death penalty necessary to ensure that criminals “get what they deserve.” Justice does not require us to punish murder by death .
Many modern Church figures such as Pope John Paul II, Pope Francis, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have actively discouraged the death penalty or advocated its outright abolition.
A: No, there is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than long terms of imprisonment. States that have death penalty laws do not have lower crime rates or murder rates than states without such laws. The death penalty has no deterrent effect.
If problems arise in particular cases, they should be corrected—and often are. That said, the death penalty serves three legitimate penological objectives: general deterrence, specific deterrence, and retribution.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the death penalty does not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment , but the Eighth Amendment does shape certain procedural aspects regarding when a jury may use the death penalty and how it must be carried out.
Capital punishment is a legal penalty under the United States federal government criminal justice system. It can be imposed for treason , espionage , murder , large-scale drug trafficking, or attempted murder of a witness, juror, or court officer in certain cases.