Death Penalty: International Human Rights Law

Some scientists and practitioners are completely against the use of the death penalty and for its immediate abolition, explaining this by the immorality and inexpediency of such a punishment. Others support the use of the death penalty, considering it not only as a legal restriction, but also as the physical destruction of the offender, which guarantees the society complete safety from such a person. Still others, while supporting this measure, advocate a reduction in the use and subsequent abolition of the death penalty. All these opinions are reasonably well-grounded, and the choice of the most correct approach to the problem of the death penalty seems difficult. In my opinion, the death penalty should not exist for several reasons.

In any legal case, there is the possibility of an error. No matter how professional the investigators conducting the criminal case are, no matter how convincing the evidence of the guilt of the convicted person is, and no matter how fair the trial is, there is always a possibility of error in the judicial system of any country (Smith, 2020). Until the verdict is put into effect, the convicted person still has hope and the opportunity to collect the necessary evidence of innocence and convince the investigation and the court of this. After the penalty, neither evidence nor rehabilitation will be able to bring the executed person back to life. Thus, the death penalty is not a deterrent.

A person, committing a crime, expects to avoid punishment, whatever it may be, which means that there is no difference in whether they will be sentenced to life imprisonment or death. In addition, criminals who know that the death penalty awaits them for what they have done often commit new crimes, because they know that there will be no more terrible punishment, and there is nothing to lose. Hence, for example, the death penalty does not matter for a terrorist, since they are constantly risking their lives.

For a long time, crowds of people gathered to see how criminals were hanged, burned, or decapitated. However, in more ancient times, executions were even more cruel and sophisticated. Nevertheless, the methods did not scare away the audience; on the contrary, people wanted more bloody spectacles. In an atmosphere of cruelty and impassivity, new crimes were committed with enviable regularity. Nevertheless, execution does not eliminate the cause of the crime. The main factors provoking crime are poverty, lack of education, inequality, mental deviations of a particular criminal.

The death penalty cannot in any way affect the indicated reasons. Execution also does not provide an opportunity for correction. A serial killer, distinguished by particular cruelty of crimes, may not deserve an excuse in the eyes of the people and the relatives of victims. However, this person does not have a chance to think over their behavior and bring good to society. Moreover, the expectation of death often does not motivate, but demotivates. The condemned thinks that nothing can be changed. One of the most compelling arguments in support of the prohibition of the death penalty is that execution does not punish. Punishment is a measure applied to a person found guilty of a crime, and consisting in a certain narrowing of his legal status, endowing him with special rights and obligations. Execution presupposes the deprivation of the convicted person of the right to life. Thus, I believe that the death penalty is not a necessary measure.


Smith. R. (2020). International human rights law. Oxford University Press.

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DemoEssays. 2022. "Death Penalty: International Human Rights Law." September 12, 2022.

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DemoEssays. "Death Penalty: International Human Rights Law." September 12, 2022.