The death penalty is also known as capital punishment from a legal perspective. It refers to implementing the law on an offender who is sentenced to death after lawful processes in a criminal offense’s verdict. Death sentences do not comprise extrajudicial killings undertaken without permissible consideration, mostly by police officers. In the US, some states have the death penalty as law, such as Utah, which is in the Mountain West subregion of the country. The State is landlocked, and it borders Colorado to the northern side.
Utah was the first State to execute capital punishment in the US. That was since the national moratorium on the issue ended in the case involving Gregg v. Georgia (Pearce 62). Therefore, since 1977, the State has been bound to the critical matter (Pearce 62). The most recent execution of capital punishment in Utah was in 2010, which involved Ronnie Lee Gardner (Pearce 62). There is legislation that has been in place since 2015 where Utah Governor restored the firing squad as the right way to execute capital punishment (Facer para 2). The death penalty should be abolished in Utah because it violates the right to life and also, it breaches the right not to be subjected to torture, as well as violation of religion on life’s sacredness
Abolishing Death Penalty in Utah
The death penalty has been a matter of contention for a long time ago. Most of the time, people subjected to this sentence have gross misconduct on sensitive issues such as security and personal well-being (Pearce 62). Human dignity is the first faction that humanitarian bodies check when debating whether or not to abolish the death penalty. There is a risk of executing the matter to innocent people who may have been accused and proven guilty by conspiracy theories (Facer para 2). Therefore, having this verdict to sentence someone to death means there are chances that some people in Utah may die without having committed a crime that deserves such execution.
Capital punishment is known to be incompatible with the call for human rights in life. The right to live in this matter means will be desecrated because victims of capital punishment do not have a chance to choose whether to live or not. According to human rights, each person has the right to live, and no one is supposed to take life, even when it comes to suicidal matters. Additionally, the death penalty means that a person will be subjected to torture, which breaches human rights (McKellar para 5). When a firing squad is called to execute the killing, the victim is shot dead in an organized activity that may trigger psychological constraints on the people who execute such. The punishment appears to be inhumane, and it is important to consider other options, such as sentencing someone to serve in prison for their lifetime.
The death sentence does not deter the offense efficiently as no one can learn to rectify their mistakes when they are already dead. The punishment lacks the preventive impact as many advocates would prefer. Recently, the General Assembly of the United Nations stated that ‘there is no conclusive deterrent value’ in occasions where the death penalty is the solution (Martha 12). Therefore, it is important to note that there is a common holding that confers the effectiveness of the death penalty in issues that prevent crime (Facer para 4). Law enforcement professionals must be critical of what they do concerning human life and capital punishment. When someone is given a chance to rectify the mistake, it is possible that the victim may change their traits.
Public opinion may not be a major challenge to block the abolition because all members of the judicial system are expected to guide the public concerning the matter. It is not right to take away an individual’s life on that note, and therefore, the legal prosecution should form a policy that will guide such action. If there must be capital punishment, let there be legal reforms that shall concur with the majority’s expectations. For example, a person may be subjected to the death penalty if they have failed to transform even in rehabilitation centers. According to what people think, the death penalty should not be imposed because victims will not evade crime (Schott para 6). Due to the weaknesses that are evident in criminal justice systems, it may not work to uplift the desired virtues when it comes to applying the law to the people of Utah.
The death penalty is termed as ultimate cruelty and degrades the legal way to punish offenders. Amnesty International opposes capital punishment on all grounds without exception, regardless of the person accused. The organization says that the circumstances of crime may not define the method of execution when it comes to human life. According to Amnesty, various adoptions call for a ban on the death penalty (Williams 45). First, there exists the Second Optional Protocol to the political rights that aim to make equal legal representation for all criminals. The second is Protocol No.6, which is aligned with the European Convention regarding human rights, which has made efforts to abolish the punishment. Lastly, the American Convention on Human Rights seeks to abolish the same (Martha 12). Therefore, under these adoptions, Utah is a State that should follow suit with the legal provisions in other regions to abolish the death penalty.
The last point on the need to abolish the death penalty in Utah concerns the Christian point of view. Christians hold that sin is part of human nature and that all people can commit a crime. Therefore, the affiliations on that matter mean that expecting human beings to commit crimes should come with a neutral but effective punishment. Christians hold that life is sacred, and only God has the right to take it. However, St. Thomas Aquinas said that peace in society is essentially more than reforming the victim (Martha 12). His segment means he supported the death penalty, which may not concur with Christian provisions. According to Romans 12: 17, the Bible encourages Christians not to repay evil with evil (Martha 12). Therefore, it is believed that the sanctity of life is left for God to control and decide.
The Death penalty is against the provision of human rights on a person’s life. Additionally, punishing criminals with the death sentence subjects them to torture which is against the human rights provisions. When someone is deprived of their life due to committing a crime, it does not help them reform and, thus, is not meaningful. There are loopholes in the administration of justice in Utah that might prob judges to conspire with witnesses. According to Christians, life is holy and sacred, and only God has control over it. Therefore, Utah should abolish capital punishment based on the elements discussed above.
Facer, Austin. ‘Extremely Significant’: Death Penalty Expert Believes Utah May Be on Path to Eliminate Capital Punishment. 2021, Web.
Martha, Made. “Criminal Policy Formulation on Regulation of Death Penalties for Criminal Actors.” Journal Of Morality and Legal Culture, vol 2, no. 11, 2020, p. 12. Universitas Sebelas Maret, Web.
McKellar, Katie. “Awaiting Execution: Utah’s 7 Death Row Inmates”. 2021, Web.
Pearce, Joshua M. “Towards Quantifiable Metrics Warranting Industry-Wide Corporate Death Penalties.” Social Sciences, vol 8, no. 2, 2019, p. 62. MDPI AG, Web.
Schott, Bryann. “Lawmakers Will Make Another Run at Abolishing Utah’s Death Penalty.” Salt Lake, 2021, Web.
Williams, Kenneth. “Why and How the Supreme Court Should End the Death Penalty.” SSRN Electronic Journal, vol 7, no. 5, 2016, pp. 43-47. Elsevier BV, Web.