It is no secret that capital punishment has always been a topic surrounded by controversies in many humanitarian disciplines such as philosophy, law, and sociology. It is mainly due to its relation to other paramount social themes such as the sacredness of human life and its cost, the power of the state over people, and the permissibility of murder in society. However, the death sentence should become an allowed punitive measure worldwide. The main reasons are that it is “an effective way to discourage violent crime” and “a critically effective way to punish the worst of offenders” (Udoudom et al., 2018, p. 28). The moral aspect is another thing that one should consider here.
There are many cases when criminals who have committed literal atrocities are imprisoned in facilities with hotel-like infrastructure. Anders Breivik’s case is a prime example of moral dishonesty towards victims and their relatives caused by the overly humane Norwegian law prohibiting capital punishment (Norway and the death penalty, n.d.). Moreover, Scandinavian prisons are one of the softest correctional facilities globally (Smith & Ugelvik, 2017). The international death penalty sanctioned by the United Nations council would be a more just and cost-effective measure than placing him in a confined but comfortable space.
This type of sentence can be guaranteed to exclude new especially egregious cases in which the offender was caught. Moreover, it gives the relatives of the victims a more tangible sense of justice, which excludes the possibility of bloody revenge after the expiration of the term of imprisonment, lynching for the perpetrator and the likelihood of unpleasant incidents in prison. An example is the case of pedophile Richard Huckle (Shukor et al., 2017), who was stabbed to death in a cell by other criminals. Instead of a measure of punishment, for which the state would have assumed responsibility with the help of the law, other prisoners again committed a crime, increasing their sentences.
Legalizing global capital punishment would meet a lot of negative responses and remarks from many countries and international organizations. Udoudom et al. (2018) note that the discussed topic already “have caused several arguments and debates between its opponents and supporters” (p. 28). Most opponents of the global death sentence base their arguments on religion and culture, as the majority of world religions condemn murdering even as a measure of punishment. Proponents wishing to build strong rationale should also research these topics.
Life imprisonment, cited by opponents in disputes as an example, does not completely exclude the possibility of new crimes: there is always the likelihood of a criminal escape, amnesty during political coups, and much more. The likelihood of miscarriage of justice in countries where the death penalty has been introduced into practice is offset by a 10-15 year delay in sentencing, allowing the truth to be revealed (Johnson, 2020). The use of criminals as a labor force rather than a death sentence can be a compelling argument in emerging economies, but the peace and safety of society is often more important than the availability of a quasi-free labor force. Nevertheless, the detrimental and negative impact of the legalization of death sentences on society cannot be completely ruled out: from the development of the institution of “executioners” to the development of cruelty among the population, the problem of poverty, inequality and lack of education of which execution does not solve in any way.
Norway and the death penalty. (n.d.). Parliamentarians for Global Action.
Johnson, D. T. (2020). The culture of capital punishment in Japan (p. 125). Springer Nature.
Shukor, S. A., Abd, H., Shah, R., & Musa, N. A. (2017). Regulating children’s safety on the internet: A Malaysian perspective. International Journal for Studies on Children, Women, Elderly And Disabled, 1(1), 152-156.
Smith, P. S. & Ugelvik, T. (Eds.). (2017). Scandinavian penal history, culture and prison practice: Embraced by the welfare state? Springer.
Udoudom, M. D., Idagu, U. A., & Nwoye, L. (2018). Kantian and utilitarian ethics on capital punishment. Budapest International Research and Critics Institute-Journal, 2(1), 28-35.