Punishment is a tool widely used by society to discourage people from engaging in unlawful actions. The punishment subjected to individuals varies considerably depending on the crime one has committed. Law enforcement officers apprehend suspected criminals and prosecute them in a court of law. The judges utilize presented evidence to decide the culprit’s sentence. Capital punishment is one of the penalties given to people for different crimes, such as murder and robbery with violence. Although the death penalty was enshrined in British law, public opinion and implementation of the punishment have been varying over decades. As a result, some individuals support advocating for capital punishment, and others oppose it. While proponents of capital punishment say that it deters crime and murder and facilitates retribution, it is inhumane, discriminative, ineffective, brutalizes society, and can be used as a tool for controlling and vengeance.
The process used to execute individuals who are on death row is inhumane. The procedures used to cause a lot of suffering to the condemned, amounting to torture and wrong regardless of capital punishment’s moral status. Indeed, judges may give a criminal a death sentence due to the crime committed and the evidence presented before the court. The execution methods applied for the sentenced enormous suffering to the prisoners (Mitchell and Lucas).
The most commonly used means include electrocution, lethal gas, strangulation, and lethal injection. Most states have adopted the latter as the option for executing prisoners since it is humane. Nevertheless, the method is also associated with significant moral flaws and cruelty. Lethal injection contravenes medical ethics since doctors are directly involved in killing instead of just confirming the termination of life (BBC Ethics). The anesthetic used on the offenders may not be enough to guarantee that they will not experience pain. Sometimes the injection may not work as anticipated, taking longer for the prisoner to die. Thus, capital punishment should be abandoned due to the inhumane nature of execution methods.
Capital punishment is applied disproportionately, affecting certain groups in society. Even though the death penalty was designed to discourage heinous crimes, its application in the judicial system has been discriminative, raising concerns about whether only particular ethnic communities have offenders who deserve such kind of punishment. For instance, most recidivists who have ever been given a death sentence in the United States are African Americans, the economically disadvantaged, and individuals with mental disorders (Pandey). Undeniably, African Americans comprise a small percentage of the United States population.
However, they make up almost fifty percent of convicts with capital punishment. Such figures reveal a pattern of racial discrimination in applying capital punishment. The death penalty also inexplicably affects the poor globally since they are less likely to get excellent representation (Mitchell and Lucas). These groups receive severe punishment when they are not committing most crimes. Therefore, discriminative punishment should be abolished from the judicial system.
The death penalty is ineffective since it does not discourage individuals from engaging in heinous offenses. One objective of instituting capital punishment in the judicial system was to dissuade potential criminals. Nevertheless, the death penalty only prevents the possibility of being caught and punished. No evidence shows that the rate of heinous crimes in society has declined because of capital punishment. It is also challenging to assess the restrictive effect of a death sentence since one has to know the number of murders that would have been reported if the rule had been dissimilar. The deterrence concept of capital punishment is morally flawed since it can punish innocent people using fictional evidence and torture to extract confessions (Pandey). Therefore, the judicial system should not apply inhumane, discriminative, and arbitrary sentences because it is ineffective.
Capital punishment brutalizes society, leading to an increased number of dreadful crimes. According to BBC Ethics, the death penalty dehumanizes individuals, leading to a high rate of murder in society. For instance, the number of murders reported in the United States in 2010 was significantly higher in states that permitted death sentences than those that had abolished it. Additionally, the gap between non-death penalty and death penalty states increased from 4% to 25% in 1990 and 2010, respectively (BBC Ethics).
Families and friends may be disturbed when their loved ones, whom they believe are innocent, are subjected to capital punishment, increasing their chances of committing murder as vengeance. Equally, this kind of punishment is associated with rising rates of murdered law enforcement officers because people are likely to perceive that police are responsible for their loved ones’ predicaments (BBC Ethics). Thus, any punishment that makes people ruthless should be discouraged from the judicial system.
Capital punishment can be used as a tool for controlling and vengeance. Ideally, establishing the death penalty was intended to punish individuals for serious delinquencies such as murder and robbery with violence. However, considerable governments worldwide execute people for non-lethal delinquencies such as political crimes, burglary, and drug-related offenses. Such executions show that some governments are more interested in controlling and suppressing their citizens than injustice (Pandey).
Those in power arbitrarily use capital punishment, defining what they believe is unacceptable and an appropriate penalty. As a result, it instills fear among the citizens and violates their human rights, facilitating corrupt administrations to use executions to accomplish their goals. Capital punishment is also used as a tool for revenge. Taking someone’s life when another has been lost is revenge and not a punishment (BBC Ethics). Therefore, capital punishment should be abolished since it can be used to achieve the interest of corrupt government officials and revenge.
Although capital punishment is associated with considerable drawbacks, its proponents hold that it deters crimes and facilitates retribution. Ideally, no one would want to be subjected to a death sentence. Thus, people are more likely to avoid engaging in such crimes as murder and robbery with violence when they hear or know someone on death row (Pandey). Consequently, the rate of heinous delinquencies in society decreases significantly. Killing someone disturbs the balance of justice, which should be restored to ensure that society does succumb to the rule of violence. Taking the killer’s life helps restore the balance and shows that killing is an insupportable offense. However, capital punishment’s deterrence and retribution concepts are flawed, making it ineffective and sanitized revenge.
Conclusively, although capital punishment is believed to deter crime, murder, and facilitate retribution, it is inhumane, discriminative, ineffective, brutalizes society, and can be used as a tool for controlling and vengeance. The death penalty reduces human life’s value and deprives individuals of their right to live. This punishment is disproportionately applied, affecting some races and the poor more than others. Additionally, it does not prevent or minimize the rate of heinous crimes in society as anticipated. Instead, it makes society ruthless and becomes an instrumental tool for corrupt government officials to control others and exert revenge. Therefore, capital punishment should be abolished from the judicial system.
BBC Ethics. “Arguments against Capital Punishment“. BBC. Web.
Mitchell, Jonathan, and Lauren Lucas. “Capital Punishment and the Courts“. Harvardlawreview. 2017. Web.
Pandey, Pratyush. “Capital Punishment: Pros & Cons – Law Times Journal“. Law Times Journal. 2020. Web.